Monday, December 29, 2008

Thinking About 2009

There's been lots of talk about the credit crisis, the housing crisis, the automakers crisis and the economic crisis in general. And yes, plenty of talk about the radio crisis--amongst us radio folks.

Do you think the listeners know there's a radio crisis? Probably not. All they know is whether there is a radio station or stations that fulfill their needs as listeners.

Fulfillment and needs--two very good words to keep in mind as we steer our ships into 2009.

Maybe this is a little old school, but, if we focus our attention of finding ways to better serve our listeners we might discover new ways of formatting radio stations, new ways of connecting listeners with advertisers, and new ways to use our digital platforms to better connect and entertain listeners.

In 2009 radio companies that find ways to bolster their R&D budgets will have the best chance to be the big winners going forward.

R&D budget? Radio? Yes, R&D and radio! If Proctor and Gamble does it for 100 year old soap products we ought to be doing it for our radio products.

Here's a few ideas you might want to consider.

1--Find $30 a week to pay a new talent to try something new on the air for 2 hours every Sunday morning at 3am. For an investment of $1500 per year you might just discover someone or something new that could mean your future success.

2--Start attending local events again...festivals, community groups, or even high school football games. Talk to your neighbors, they might have something interesting to share.

3--Think about topics other than Hollywood gossip to talk about on the air. There's a phone topic right there: when you are not talking trash what else do you like to talk to your friends about?

Each idea is very low cost and very different from each other but yet all three are about the same thing: the listeners fulfillment and needs. Are these ideas groundbreaking? Hardly. They are basics we used to take for granted.

But then again, we used to take for granted that a newspaper would be printed and delivered to our house every day of the week and not just on certain days of the week.

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