Millennials -- Those Digital Social Natives - Love Radio, Too
June 4, 2013
Oftentimes, we hear opinions or read anonymous online posts about how today's youth has either "abandoned" radio or has no desire to work in our industry because technology has swept them away from radio presets to the pure plays.
But there is evidence to the contrary.
Beyond what we see at The Conclave each year, Fred and Paul Jacobs and I witnessed great enthusiasm from kids at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters event in March – Fred wrote a great piece about the event on the Jacobs Media blog.
I also see that same budding excitement all over the social sites - up and coming radio stars reaching out to veteran jocks that will take the time to acknowledge them. Z100/New York's JJ Kincaid is one of those "vets," always tweeting and "vining" with radio's young blood – making them feel seen and heard.
And beyond social, the evidence of Millennials interest in radio is playing out at graduation parties in towns and cities all over – if you listen closely enough.
I experienced that firsthand this past weekend.
Ali Anderson, a class of 2013 high school grad from my hometown of Green Bay, WI (and even my school, Southwest High) has chosen to study communications this fall – and to be more specific - radio.
It was very exciting when Ali told me her decision at her graduation party.
To know she will one day sit behind that microphone as I did and entertain made me reflect on that sense of freedom that being 18 offers.
But it also made me think about all the options Ali could have chosen. So I asked her to share with the industry her 18 year-old - digital and social native - perspective on radio.
As you read Ali's words, perhaps you'll recall (and revive) your own passion for our medium:
"Radio has always been an interest of mine. I have a strong passion for communicating with others and an even stronger passion for learning. It fascinates me to know the growth that the Radio Communications industry has undergone in the last few years. And as someone who is just starting the journey into the field of communications, I am very excited to think of the continuing progress the industry will make.
Being a young adult I am very familiar with social media. The fact that anyone, from anywhere in the world, at any given time has the capability to interact with each other is an important tool. In radio, I can see how both social and digital media is a necessary part of the business. With the posts through sites such as Twitter, Facebook, etc... listeners like me are able to make immediate connections to stations everywhere.
Without that interaction, stations may not be able to meet the needs of the listening crowd, or reach them at all.
So many advancements continue to take place in social media and technology. And with that, I cannot wait to begin to take part in the dynamic industry of Radio Communications."
So the next time someone suggests to you pure-plays are snatching away the young end of radio's audience, think of Ali Anderson. Or better yet, talk to the folks at your state's next broadcaster association conference or convention.
I bet you'll meet a lot of Ali's there.
I'll be mentoring Ali and you can, too! Her new Twitter account is @aalianderson.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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