(By Loyd Ford) Powerful shifts are happening in listener behavior. How could that not be true with the once-in-a-lifetime shift in what people are doing and thinking about right now? A large number of your listeners have lost jobs, another large group is working from home and even more are having their lives disrupted in ways you don’t know during this crisis. Someone should be thinking about them and that someone is local radio. Making real empathy a priority is more than putting a few generic promos on about healthcare workers.
We all believe ‘this’ will end and the world will return to “normal,” but the normal of the past is not a likely result of a ‘return to normal.’ Your brand may not return to ‘normal’ either. Yet, the opportunity exists for you to build and strengthen the core value of your brand with important local listeners.
Here are some thoughts about shifts in behavior and crisis as well as how to strengthen your brand during these times. These times won’t last forever and these times also represent a unique and important opportunity to strengthen your brand in your local market.
- We are supposed to all know ‘radio is essentially immediate and gets its’ power from being local, but if you are not acting local, your brand value will be reduced.
- How are you connecting emotionally to real local listeners, beyond the generic promos I hear celebrating doctors and nurses? Your copy and emotion in those messages should go further to impact real empathy for more than just healthcare workers.
- Do something that appreciates teachers and the fact their ‘kids’ have been snatched away from them by an invisible foe. Tell them you see them.
- Think about the people who work in restaurants and how their world has crashed immediately on them and their family (what are you doing to make sure these people know your radio station, morning show, on-air personalities see them)?
- How are you taking extra time right now to build complex copy that reaches the heart of important listeners and let’s them feel that you see them, care for them? This isn’t time for generic promos copied from others. Be unique and really connect in a meaningful way.
This is your opportunity to strengthen your brand during crisis. Don’t take it for granted or do the generic promos you may be hearing on competitors. This is no time to be average and this is no time to be ‘a national platform.’
Radio gets our power from being local. Not saying “Live & Local.” This crisis leans to your advantage if your radio station has local people, engages local community and you have a programmer or consultant who is actively creating empathetic and passionate connections with listeners that go beyond paint-by-numbers. If you are fortunate to provide real and local radio, use your advantage now and your brand will benefit over competitors in the long-term.
Local radio better be ready for our close up. This is it.
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]