Radio Isn't Going Away, It's Going Everywhere
September 18, 2012
The title of this week's "Merge" was one of the (many) great sound bites heard at Public Radio's Programmer's Conference last week. It came from Kinsey Wilson, EVP & Chief Content Officer at NPR.
Another great sound bite that had me quietly reacting with a loud, internal "Yes" was from Jay Allison, an independent broadcast journalist. Jay's work airs on NPR's All Things Considered and Morning Edition, PRI's This American Life, and other national programs.
Jay said, "Our listeners depend on us for the news, but they love us for our heart. It's easy to find the latest news these days but it's hard to find anywhere the kind of heart that's at the core of our sensibility."
Wow, that philosophy should apply to every radio station, shouldn't it? Fans can get their music just about anywhere but it is the heart of your station – the essence of your brand – that keeps people attached to you. What a great reminder!
It's what social and digital channels allow brands to do – serve fans by building on the core of who you are - why they "like" you in the first place.
There was so much to hear from the minds of those who work in Public Radio that anyone on the commercial side of the street could benefit from.
Throughout the conference, the more socially connected attendees were sharing the moments that resonated with them on Twitter using the hashtag (#) PRPD. I've highlighted some of them below for you to get a sense of just how progressive Public Radio's conference has become.
(Included are a couple tweets from my session, "Programming Across Platforms" and Fred Jacobs' presentation on the "Difference Between Public Radio and Commercial Radio" that compared Techsurvey8 to a similar tech study conducted for public radio – PRTS4).
As you can see in that very brief "highlight Twitter reel," there are philosophies that can be applied equally to public and commercial radio – especially in the digital and social space.
Many radio conferences give us the opportunity to listen, learn, and maybe even take away a thought or two that make us even stronger in our specific positions.
You should want to go to the radio industry events that challenge your thoughts, and even make you a little uncomfortable in order for to grow from our common mindsets – "the way we've always done it."
I absolutely recommend PRPD in 2013 (as well as the Worldwide Radio Summit in 2013, of course.) At both of these events, nobody is "giving away company secrets."
Instead, we are reminding each other of what our mission in radio is all about, while discussing the progress and challenges in the industry. And on a personal note, it's also an opportunity to reconnect with friends we rarely see, plus making new ones.
I'm still reeling from the impact some of the speakers at PRPD had on me. I was digging the messages – much more than the sound guy for the panel I spoke on, LOL.
I liked this guy.
I took this picture right in the middle of my panel as we were all passionate and chatty about creating impact and serving fans. And there he was, probably discussing more important things, like his fantasy football league.
He reminded me that no matter how much we think we know about radio and its future, if we're not paying attention to our heart - why fans like us over the many other choices – then we can't be surprised if we have more of these "sound guy" moments, where they hear us but just aren't paying attention.
Thanks to Arthur Cohen and Tamar Charney for including me, a career commercial radio broadcaster, into your insightful world of public radio.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
Please enjoy MERGE archives here.