A Great Story For Radio In The Social And Digital Space
November 8, 2011
Last week, Jacobs Media launched a search for “Radio’s Interactive Superstar.” The idea was to find people in radio who are creatively and effectively interacting digitally and socially with their audiences.
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I wanted to know if there is other on-air talent who “get it,” beyond some of my “go-to DJs” such as B.J. Shea (KISW/Seattle) and syndicated host Phil Hendrie, as well as some of the sharper programmers who lead their stations’ social movements, such as Bill Weston (WMMR/Philadelphia) and Dave Beasing (The Sound/Los Angeles).
Unfortunately, I often see a lot of what Fred Jacobs blogged about last week, “At many stations and many companies, there are a lot of random acts of digital occurring, often without a whole lot of strategy or thought. Like the tactic of running incessant promos and teases, many radio stations, programmers and jocks use social media as simply another dumping ground for sales promotions, giveaways and other off-key tactics that have nothing to do with why people use sites like Facebook to begin with.”
While that thought may hold true for some time as radio grapples with social growing pains, I’d like to introduce you to some very cool people who have totally connected to this space. I wish I could introduce you to everyone who entered our “Radio’s Interactive Superstar” promotion because each person is making a difference for their radio stations with the new tools we have to work with today.
But for now, I’d like you to meet the finalists. One thing I noticed once they were chosen is how they represent different companies, geographies, formats and departments in the radio industry:
- Chris Petlak, Social Media Manager - WTMX/Chicago (Hubbard)
- Mark Hamilton, PD/Station Manager - KNRK/Portland (Entercom)
- Maria More, midday host - WHTA/Atlanta (Radio One)
- Russ Francis, Director/Social Networking - Kidd Kraddick/Yea! Networks
- Jim O’Brien, Producer, Ken Calvert Show - WCSX/Detroit (Greater Media)
This list of finalists along with their companies and upper management signal that it’s time for every radio company to adapt to a multi-channel environment and study the motivations behind each channel.
If you’re just starting to take this digital and social space seriously, (and I don’t mean just paying more attention to your Facebook page) find the right people -- internally and externally -- who can assist you in developing and meeting your radio station’s social networking objectives.
In the process, it is of utmost importance to create an “umbrella strategy” that merges management, sales and programming to get everyone on the same page, so there are less “random acts of social” and instead, everyone focuses on strategic activities that can truly help you measure success, build brands, and connect with audiences where they now live - on Facebook.
This is a great story for radio because there are some bright spots in our industry and they should be championed. And as I write this, more than 21,000 votes have been cast for “Radio’s Interactive Superstar” -- now THAT’S a sign of engagement.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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