Craft And Refine Your Narrative


(By Bob McCurdy) I’ve written previously about the importance of hanging onto and re-purposing the powerful stuff that’s published about radio. In the past few weeks there’s been some outstanding material that we should a) be aware of, and b) share/discuss with clients. Below are several:

1) Ted McConnell, consultant and ex ARF, P&G alum: Add it all up and audio is crushing it, but why? Why audio, and why now?

In a world of multitasking (busy) people, it’s easy to do other stuff (e.g., drive, do dishes, walk) while listening, and dangerous while watching a screen.

A second possibility might have to do with media overload. Maybe the media universe has grabbed too much of our attention, so we are fighting back. It’s whiplash from ubiquitous screens, or maybe some sort of claw-back for mental bandwidth.

In audio, we have a sensory input that can adapt to any distribution channel, communicate any idea, and is deeply connected to emotion. And no line of sight is required.

The entire article can be read here.

Comment: Particularly like his phrase “deeply connected to emotion.” As consumers we tend to buy emotionally and then justify with logic. At our core we are analog, not digital beings, and one needn’t put life on hold to enjoy radio.

2) Mike Lindell CEO MyPillow: After selling a MyPillow to 44 million customers, Lindell said radio is the number one platform to promote his product. “If you don’t believe Mike Lindell on an infomercial, you trust the radio host.”

Comment: The personal relationships that listeners have with their local radio personalities is something that neither Google, Facebook, nor television can match. Every day, radio’s best salespeople — on-air personalities — “whisper” in listeners’ ears about the benefits of thousands of products. A recommendation from a radio personality is word-of-mouth advertising at its best. No other medium has the ability to connect with the consumer on such a deep, emotional level.

3) Colin Mitchell, VP/Director Global Brand at McDonald’s: “So, it’s not saying deep and meaningful things, it’s not asking people to think. It’s asking them to feel something – and feel something that resonates with their experience of the brand.” The brand’s “I’m Lovin’ It” sonic insignia is a powerful case in point. “It doesn’t have a deep thought in it. It’s a feeling line; it makes you feel something in your heart.”

Comment: Pictures convey information. Sound conveys emotion. See a picture of someone laughing and you might smile. Hear someone laugh and you might start to laugh. See a war scene and you might cringe. Hear the actual sounds and anguish and you might cry. See what a difference sound makes in this clip.

4) Nicholas Schiavone, former Chief Research Officer of NBC Radio/TV, now a consultant: “From an advertiser’s and agency’s perspective, radio’s ability to create ‘Imagery Transfer’ makes it an unusually effective and efficient marketing vehicle. With the proper creative execution, the right audio stimulus in a radio commercial will produce the visual elements of a comparable TV commercial.”

Comment: Why not take advantage of the benefits of the visual at audio prices? As Charles Osgood said, “I think radio is a better medium than television, and I tell people the reason is the pictures are better.” I like this quote from Bill Ludwig, ex-Chairman & CEO of Campbell Ewald, “Radio can be used to position and target. It can be used to demonstrate. It can even be used to display.” Imagery transfer. Not discussed enough.

5) Billy Collins, American Poet Laureate 2001-2003: Radio is such a perfect medium for the transmission of poetry, primarily because there just is the voice, there’s no visual distraction.

Comment: Radio is free from the distraction of visuals that can overwhelm the message. Rod Serling, who produced the Twilight Zone TV series said that, “In radio, you didn’t have a picture, so you had to create one. If you said there was a castle on a hill, then all of a sudden there were millions of castles. Each person in their own head created their personalized castle.” Radio was the first personally addressable medium as it requires listeners to fill in the blanks, making them entirely in charge of what they “see.”

6) Martin Koch, Head of Development, Infotainment Multimedia at Audi: Noted that over 70% of time spent listening today in the car is to broadcast radio. “It’s still very important,” he said during the “Connected Car, Audio on Demand, Advertising and Big Data” session. “This is the golden age of radio in the car.”

Comment: According to Edison’s Share of Ear study, AM/FM radio among ad-supported audio has an 89% share of time spent in-car.”

An educated client is a good client, and a well-versed sales rep becomes a more valued partner. There’s a lot of good material that crosses our desks daily that can be used to advance our cause. Great salespeople utilize every angle and tool to more effectively craft their narrative and communicate their story. There are six pre-sell pieces above. Feel free to clip each along with the “comment” and forward to clients as your own.

Bob McCurdy is Vice President of Sales for the Beasley Media Group and can be reached at [email protected]


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