Powerful Moves To Make In A Time Of Crisis


(By Loyd Ford) The developments you see in the real economy (listeners/clients) are both real and unusual to say the least. This article is designed to give you specific ideas to help you with both listeners and clients, or at least give you starter ideas that can help you perform better as the current crisis continues to play out.

There are a couple of things that are grabbing my attention, and I wanted to make sure I share those with you as we all look at potential best practices for a series of events none of us have ever experienced before related to coronavirus.

Listening At Home – Visuals In Digital Supporting Your Brand There
If you don’t have an easy-to-understand slider or display of some kind featuring Alexa and Google, focused on the potential changes in your listener location and inviting them to “listen at home,” you should be concerned and moving to fix this rapidly. The same could be true about having someone on your on-air team on video in social media sharing how easy it is to listen with other devices from home, and showing empathy for the new at-home experiences and perhaps giving tips on doing it well.

It is critical and potentially powerful to get in front of a hard trend that could impact radio over the next six weeks to six months (and we don’t know which). I am a big believer in getting in front of the “parade” of what is happening with listeners. The idea of focusing on easy-ways-to-listen-at-home is potentially very important.

Over The Air – Listen At Home Support
You also want to think about making it clear over the air that you have ways for the audience to listen at home, and specifically Alexa and Google if you have that ability (and you should).

On Your Website
It is important to note you have listeners and clients who will see safety issues as a super-high priority (for them) and will consistently be seeking fresh information related to this. That is why I am suggesting this kind of share.

Consider sharing things like this:
If you are concerned about the coronavirus and how to stay safe, you might want to consider this: lots of listeners have been asking what public health officials and doctors say about receiving packages. This is what we are doing, based on the experts advice we’ve seen:
If you are receiving packages and food delivery, ask the delivery person to leave the packages outside. Then, open the packages OUTSIDE – touching them with a wipe or glove. Dispose of the packaging and glove wipe OUTSIDE. Wipe down the contents of the package with disinfectant and bring the contents INSIDE. You can also opt to leave your external clothing outside if you live where you have some sun.

Give a big thanks to the delivery people who are very busy supporting everyone now.

This is not an area where you usually see programming focus, but this is a critical time to support our overall broadcast business and the clients we serve.

Consider placing messages from your AE’s and your station management in social media saying, “We are consistently updating listeners on the coronavirus and best practices for safety and tips on staying balanced, entertained, and stimulated without overreacting to anything that is happening. We are sharing responsible information and if we can help your business during these times, reach out to me directly. XXX – XXXX or [email address]. We are here to help you at (Brand Name/Company).”

Consider Sharing Well Lit Video Web & Social Business Updates
This is B2B updates focused on showing your clients you care about them and have a plan for them to stay top-of-mind and stay in touch with their consumers through your radio station, digital, and social.

Do this ONLY if you have someone on your team who is excellent at doing this, you can do it “well lit” and you have a business-looking environment that looks nice where you can shoot the video. *This can be done with your smartphone and YOU SHOULD DO THIS MOTION PICTURE-STYLE — NOT straight up and down like you look at your phone. You want a full picture video on Facebook, the web, and other social media (not blank spaces on the sides).

You can include different content focus with these updates across time:

– Tips for keeping employees safe.
– Reminding people things as simple as “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” and offering tips on preparing and living responsibly with social distancing.
– Tips on staying top-of-mind with customers in social and media.
– Tips on sharing social media focused on customer safety or how to make their lives better around your product category, et al.
– Tips on how your clients can benefit by relating to their customers and sharing ways THEIR business can help during these times.
– Sharing tips on staying balanced at home if people are continuing to practice social distancing.
– Tips on supplies they should consider in work environments, at home.
– Tips on preparations of all kinds during this time.

These updates can be ongoing (once or twice a week).

Always Include Easy Contact Information – Have Someone On Call
Always include your contact information (email and phone). You can also do weekly updates via email to your clients and potential clients with these kinds of updates. We all believe in top-of-mind and it is equally (or more) important during a crisis like this for radio and for our individual clients.

The entire idea is to update, inform, communicate things that can improve local business connection with their customers and the public if that is important to them, and to a lessor extent (but still present), how your business can help them in uncharted times.

What’s Important Now
If you know me, you know I believe in playing a game I call “Where’s The Ball/Be The Ball” when it comes to what listeners think, especially in unusual circumstances. The same goes for your important clients to your broadcast cluster.

During this kind of environment and while something like this – the coronavirus – continues to take us in unusual situations and directions with listeners and clients, I highly recommend thinking just like this:

Where’s My Empathy? Where Is My Focus?
What is happening to my client/my listener and how can I be in front of it with them over the air and visually in digital and social? Being the broadcaster who reaches out, provides solutions, and problem-solves for local businesses will be the one who receives the benefits long-term.

Loyd Ford consults radio stations, coaches personalities, and provides behavioral and strategic programming to radio with RPC. Reach him anytime. 864.448.4169 or [email protected].


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