With the political season in full swing, I thought it would be good to re-visit a post I did a few years ago about what I've learned about political spots.
I'm sure by now you are as sick of political spots on the radio as I am. You can't escape it. According to a story in All Access, an increasing numbers of complaints about political advertising on radio and TV are plaguing station owners.
At times there is so much mud slinging, hype and over exaggeration, I can't tell the spots apart or who the candidates are.
It got me thinking, if I was running for political office, what I would do in my spots and my positioning to stand out? How would I be different? How would I cut through the clutter?
The simple answer is to be real, genuine, open and honest. Much like a winning radio station's air talent and imaging should be.
1) Be real. Don't hype.
2) Be genuine. Don't be flashy.
3) Be open.
4) Be honest. Never lie to the listener.
Instead of "calling out the competition", hyping myself and talents, exaggerating or lying about what I've done, or what my competitor hasn't done, I would be organic, real and genuine.
If you are doing those with your imaging and air talent today, think how much of a relief it is for listeners to hear your station after a break full of political ads.
Monday, August 13, 2012
1994-1995 Q105, Portland, OR (Weekends/Fill)
1995-1998 WKKG/WINN, Columbus, Indiana (Program Director/Afternoons)
1998-2005 WYRK/WBUF, Buffalo, NY (Program Director)
2005-2009 KUPL/Portland, OR (Program Director/Afternoons)
2009-Present VP/Programming, Dial Global Radio Networks
1) How excited are you about the new show "Country Gold with Randy Owen?"
I'm super excited. To be able to partner with a legend like Randy to host a show is huge. Randy has lived it and has the stories to back it up.
2) How did you get Randy's interest for the show?
We wanted to get a high profile marquee artist to host the show. Randy was our first choice. He's never done anything like this before and is just as excited to host the show as we are to have him.
3) Tell us about how and why the show was decided on in the first place.
There's a ton of songs from the 80's and early 90's that Country radio doesn't play anymore. They are huge hits. But as country radio has evolved, they aren't playing those big songs and stars as much, if at all. Shows like "Country Gold" can fill that void. The show is packed full of huge hits from the late 60's through the mid 90's. The median year for the music is 1981.
4) Do you think that it fills a void?
I know it does. With Country Radio not playing a lot of songs from the early 90's and earlier, we can fill that void with this show. Plus, having a guy like Randy tell the stories and connect with the music...he's the icing on the cake.
5) Why did you decide to go with a Country legend to host the show this time, instead of a veteran radio guy, like, say, me?
We really wanted to cut through and get the attention of programmers and listeners by having Randy host the show. He's a house hold name with an unmistakably familiar voice and style. It's what you do between the records that makes the difference and having Randy host the show really sets us apart from other "Classic Country" and "Gold" shows out there.
6) Seriously, what has it been like working with Randy so far?
He's been great. As you would expect, a total pro. While I'm overseeing the programming and direction of the show, George Achaves in our Nashville office is the producer and records the show with Randy at Randy's farm in Fort Payne. Randy hit the ground running and has had a ton of great ideas for the show and awesome stories to go with all the songs and artists we play.
7) Are the stations excited about the show on the local level-what kind of reaction have you received so far?
The reaction has been great. There's a really nice buzz. I've gotten a ton of calls from small, medium and large market radio stations all over the country interested in running Country Gold. Having Randy's name on the show has really gotten the attention of some great programmers and radio stations.
8) It seems like the show is pretty 'music intensive,' with 13-14 songs per hour. Sounds like the listeners will get a ton of music.
Yes, we play 13-14 songs per hour and still have plenty of time for Randy's stories and other content. While the music is extremely important, so is Randy. We've been able to come up with a really nice mix of music quantity and Randy. It's a win-win for both PPM and Diary markets.
9) Is Randy doing interviews on the show?
He's done a few. Dale Carter at KFKF in Kansas City had Randy on the other day talking about the show.
10) How can we find out more about the show?
Call (212) 419-2926 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also e-mail me and I'll answer any questions and point you in the right direction.
1) What's Johnny Paul's favorite Alabama song?
2) When was the first time you saw them play and where?
Puyallup Fair just outside of Seattle in 1990. Since then, I've seen Alabama about 10 times.
3) Since anyone and everyone can cut an album today and post it online, will there ever be a group as big as Alabama again?
I can't imagine there would be. They are legends and one of a kind.
Saturday, August 4, 2012
We work in a pretty cool business, just ask any of my friends that are lawyers or CPA's whose offices are quiet, boring and stale.
After working in a few different radio stations, the one thing I've noticed are the ones that look and feel like radio stations tend to have better moral, hallway vibe and ratings.
We work in radio. Hearing music up and down the hallway is key. If you're lucky enough to get radio tours from new artists, invite the whole building not just the programming staff (non programming staff AND artists both love it).
Get up and walk around. Interact with co-workers in different departments. Don't rely on just e-mail to communicate.
One of my favorite memories was when I was in Buffalo. We had gotten an autographed Metallica guitar to give away. So my APD/MD stood outside my office, plugged it in and began to play and sing Air Supply songs on this black, skull and crossbones Metallica guitar. It was awesome and chances are that would never happen in any other office that wasn't a radio station.
One radio station where I worked had a five hole mini golf course throughout the building (the GM was a big golfer). It was encouraged to play five holes if you were stuck on a problem and needed to clear your mind and come up with a solution.
Have fun in the halls. Encourage creativity. Hire people that may be slightly off their rockers. This is radio, not brain surgery.
While radio is a business, we need to make sure that radio is still entertainment. That starts in the halls.