Now What? 


(By Gary Berkowitz) We have already been through a few phases of this awful, painful pandemic. As I knew we would, radio has really stepped up in so many ways. Even though our ranks are getting slimmer, radio continues to be there for our listeners across America. A large portion of our on-air staffs are now working remotely from home, and most are sounding incredible. You’d never know they are out of the studio, not missing a step. Not a surprise. We’re radio people and that’s how we roll. Its in our DNA!  

We’ve all told listeners to wash their hands, don’t touch your face and maintain social distance. That message has been successfully delivered, so what now? Here are 4 points to consider as you start your week. It’s where I see us going next. 

Provide hope for our listeners. The line I’m using a lot is “every day brings us one day closer to normal.” As hard as it is to believe (at times) this pandemic is going to end, and we will get back to our normal routines and lives. Let’s talk about and encourage that. Use my line or come up with your own. Either way, its critical to provide hope to every set of ears that we are reaching. 

Provide hope for our advertisers. For the business’s that are still open and operating, we must do everything we can to help them get the word out. Maybe its special (temporary) pricing, or even some bonus spots, we must partner with them for two reasons. First, get the word out so we can keep their (and our) revenues flowing. Second, to show we are a valuable “partner” in their success during and after the crisis. Trust me. They will remember you when all is back to normal. We must do all we can to get our sales departments thinking creatively and not being afraid to go out with the offer to help local business get thru this. 

Be Local. We all say that is our key to survival, but now is the time to deliver. Talk about what is happening in your community. There’s a lot out there to report. Shout outs to all the workers that are still on the job. Examples: Nurses, doctors, cashiers and workers performing daily duties in essential business that are operating. 

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow. Promote Positive. This is the most important thing we can do now. For years, research has shown that listeners listen to hear programming that “makes them feel good.” Now, more than ever, is the time to practice this. Best of all, promoting positivity is not hard. Why? Because before long we are going to “get back to normal.” Our government officials are telling us this week could be the toughest yet. Promoting positive has never been more important. Work it into your position. For example: Today’s Hits, Yesterday’s Favorites and always a feeling of positivity.”

Trust me. This is going to end and the normalcy we all crave more than ever, will return. As an industry, lets make an impression now that will not only keep us relevant, but thriving for many years to come. 

Gary Berkowitz is President of Detroit-based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, specializing in ratings improvement for AC radio stations: Gary can be reached at (248) 737-3727 or [email protected].


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