A Happy Metered New Years
January 12, 2016
My first New Year's with this gig, I was still Promotion Director at Wild in San Francisco but was laid up with nine broken ribs from a limo accident. (Freaking Mary J. Freaking Blige). So I listened to the new year ring in on stations in Baltimore, New Orleans, Denver and finally on my own station.
For the first time since high school, I actually listened to New Year's Eve like a listener. I wanted to send a blanket apology to the world for the truly horrible radio we'd perpetrated on the masses and that I had been an accomplice in. It was The Night Of 1,000 Clubs. That was it ... pretty awful club broadcasts that happened to fall on December 31st.
Should you broadcast from a club? Absolutely. Why? For the sound. For the noise. For the music. For the audio accoutrement. But maybe 3% of your listeners will be at a club. The rest will be at movies, on dates, at community celebrations, and house parties.
As opposed to the people at the club, a pretty significant portion of the audience at least has the potential to be listening to your station. This would be a good thing.
I went out in San Antonio and crashed 102 parties on New Year's Eve. None of these were quiet little affairs. They averaged 50-100 people and every single one of them had KTFM blasting on the speakers.
Large numbers of people bathed in your programming for three or four or five hours. This is not a bad thing. Imagine, if even one ... had a meter.
When you're going to broadcast from a club, first, do what Rick Gillette did when he was in Detroit. He had multiple mics, in an array, so that when you listened it sounded as if you were standing in the middle of the dance floor.
Second, make sure that whoever is there has access to your social media. This will be like the Super Bowl, the Grammys, the Oscars ... this is a ginormous night for social media.
We don't want to "post" and "spam."
We want to "Connect" and "Engage."
Whether you are at Debbie's house where 300 people have shown up for a pig roast and hot tub party, or at Club Cancun, take lots of photos with the listeners and tag every single one of them. We want your photos to be on every listener's Instagram and Facebook. And hopefully add some likes and follows.
We want to use the 3% to play to the 97%. Use the people there to make it entertaining and compelling for people who are actually listening to the damn station.
Do a big Kiss Off. Listeners can step up and with their new BF, GF, WTF, and get their photo kissing. This will then be posted to the page of whoever they broke up with this year. The DJ should be leaning in giving two big thumbs up.
Another idea: Reverse Resolutions. Air listeners who are taking up bad habits. Playing Candyville. Smoking their first cigarette. Stalking girls from school on Facebook. Eating red meat. Whatever.
"We have Debbie from Anoka and her Reverse Resolution is to start smoking." You hear her inhale deeply and go "Oh man ... that's good. I don't know why I waited this long."
Or you could run a syndicated mix show and give everyone the night off.
The best contests are the ones that don't play to the 3% who play contests, but the 97% who are listening waiting to hear their favorite song. Ditto with New Year's.