Reassessing The “I Can’t” Radio File


(By Loyd Ford) I just thought I’d share some things I hear and give them a little twist. These are from my “I can’t” file.

“The Clubhouse app has no application for radio. If anything, it’s a negative.
Let’s say you are a country station (but there are applications for ANY format). You have a big concert coming. Luke Combs. The big day arrives and your station is tilted fully into concert mode (as is your audience). There’s a buzz in your city about Luke’s arrival, what he’s doing before the show, what’s happening at the concert site. How do you tell this story in an immersive way that ‘pools the tribe’ and places you ‘in front of the big parade?’

Get “In It” With Listeners, Take Listeners With You

You’ve launched a (Station Brand Name) Luke Combs Central Club. It’s in your on-air, promos, social media. On-site, your personalities go through the parking lot talking to listeners. Your program director goes backstage with a winner and interviews Luke, but they carry their smartphone with them and interview Luke Combs on the app in the club. Listeners know they can pool into this club all afternoon and evening to be a part of what is happening. Your afternoon drive talent pops in and talks about what is going on right now on the station and ways listeners can win all afternoon and evening. That’s just one example of how your team can use Clubhouse for your brand. Imagine all the different things you can do with pop up clubs based on live events.

How does that turn into revenue? Well, your powerful and mobile relationships with listeners IS the power of local radio. It IS your power-of-revenue. Inventive sales department? Sell it. They know how. Radio should be the influencers in every environment. When you do that, you will grow revenue because your brands will be obvious and different. Clients on all levels need passionate participators, customers who are willing to engage.

Thousands of listeners are “pooling” together with passion in your market for an event? Why shouldn’t you use technology to build an even closer relationship with listeners?

“Remotes are dead. They’re always dead.”

They sure are dead the way some radio stations do them.

Let’s say you tap into the local music scene (easier than you think). There are singer-songwriters with wowing talent in your market right now. Do you know who they are? You should. You can seek and find a cast of these individuals or even bands and sign them up to be your ‘house band’ for remotes and live events. If needed, you can audition many and select several so you can rotate them for a wilder on-air presence during a live out-of-the-radio-station-event.

Suppose you create a game show style event when your personalities go on a live remote/event? (In the style of Ellen’s Game Of Games). This is about reinventing the old school remote as if you are….in the 21st Century because you are. And your listeners surely are. A ‘remote’ shouldn’t be a live commercial – it should be a live creative event with an agenda. That’s just one example of how your team can use your ‘remotes’ as powerful connectors (and magnets) for drawing more listeners to your client and your brand.

Oh, and then you can have social media shares that GRAB ATTENTION and on-air breaks that are TRULY entertaining to draw-more-people-to-you.

People should be able to expect entertainment from local radio and you can create it in a wide variety of ways that don’t look like the old remote broadcast.

Join The Immersive War For Ears, Attention + Deeper Relationships

We are involved in an immersive battle for ears and relationships. This won’t be won by homogeny. We must recruit break out artists, influencers. If you are a personality in today’s radio world, buckle up. You should aggressively learn from the innovators pushing the limits of attention. No one is going to manage your career. That’s YOUR responsibility.

Part of getting ears now is getting eyes, so draw your team together and brainstorm about unique videos that can encourage higher participation at all kinds of events, including concerts and remotes. Visuals are powerful. As they used to say, “A picture is like 1,000 words.” Only now it’s video. Don’t take a backseat to other creators or influencers. Get creative and surprise those in social. The fun is on the radio.

If you are responsible for a local radio cluster today, reform your attack around reassessing your creative approach to getting attention and developing creative more deeply engaging relationships with local listeners. But don’t let it end there – look for engaging and immersive ways to grab the attention of clients and ad agencies in new ways that disrupt their ability to look at you and your brands as a commodity. We’re not meant to be a commodity. This is radio.

And this is the 21st Century. Flush the “I Can’t Files” and rebrand your cluster, your station, your personality as someone who goes on the offensive with fun, engaging, inviting, creative relationships. That’s our future if you want to grow your revenue. And who doesn’t want to grow their revenue?

Loyd Ford consults radio stations, coaches personalities, and provides behavioral and strategic programming to radio with RPC. If you’re on the Clubhouse app, you can join Loyd’s radio pro encouragement group “The Encouragers.” Reach him anytime. 864.448.4169 or [email protected].


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here