Morning Shows Should Change How They Spend Their Time In The Digital Age
September 20, 2016
Back when people had few media options, media outlets gained an audience by providing the best content. Thirty years ago, if you wanted to get the news, you had to read the morning paper or watch the evening television. People could easily sample all of the news sources, and then decide which one they felt delivered the best content.
However, in a world where media options are plentiful, simply providing the best content is not enough; you must also promote that content after it is published. There is so much content out there that people cannot possibly sample it all and decide which is best, so they will often opt for the content that is most convenient. Quite often today, the "best" content loses out to the "best promoted" content. Accessibility trumps quality.
In an internal report, the New York Times noted that the Huffington Post attracts larger audiences partly because Times editors assume their job is done when a story is published, while Huffington Post editors realize that their job has just started when a story goes live.
The same lesson can be applied to radio. When people did not have thousands of options for audio content on their morning commute, 100% of the morning show team's time (outside of the show itself) was invested in show preparation. In other words, all of the extra work was done before the next show; nothing was done with a show after it was complete. In a world with iTunes, Pandora, satellite radio and more, radio morning shows need to put a new focus on post-show promotion. I recommend that approximately 50% of effort and resources should go into planning the next show, while 50% of effort and resources go into repackaging and promoting a show after it is over.
This represents a new mindset for radio. While most morning shows teams are well-versed in what it takes to prepare for a show, few have any experience in post-show promotion. For that reason, I will not address show preparation here, but rather outline a concrete strategy for the post-show promotion.
Post show promotion can include:
- Uploading highlights from the day's show to Soundcloud
- Uploading part or all of the show as a podcast
- Creating a "shownotes" page and proactively sharing the page on social media (here's a tutorial)
- Post videos from the day's show to YouTube
- Create additional web-only content
In the digital age, building a successful show isn't just about preparation; it's also about promotion.