If you don’t have a local sponsor or two or four for your Super Bowl coverage you missed an opportunity. There are a lot of ways to tie into “Super Week” or whatever you want to call it so you don’t get in trouble. Here are some that have been successful for me in the past…
1. Even if you aren’t sending a local show to radio row, own the “coverage” of the week with promos touting your team coverage. (ie. “690 The Fan is sending Mike & Mike and Colin Cowherd to North Texas for Super Week to get you ready for the Packers and Steelers, plus exclusive interviews and expert analysis with Smokey on Sports. It’s Super Week “team coverage” – brought to you locally by Gifford Tires on 690 The Fan.”) Notice, no mention that this station has the game, or that they are sending a local show. Just reselling what the network has already sold. Support this with sponsor liners through the show and live mentions during your local show whenever they talk Super Bowl.
Here is a promo I produced for last year’s super bowl for 710 ESPN LA: KSPN 011609 30 Countdown to Kickoff_Colin.
2. Host a listener viewing party for the Super Bowl and give away a lot of free stuff; tickets, game consoles, T.V.s, swag. Have a bar, casino or other establishment invest in the hosting sponsorship.
3. Partner with sponsors do a Super Week of Ultimate Giveaways leading up to the big game; Big Screen TV, Home Theater, PS3 with Madden Football, man cave makeover, tailgate party with all the fixins delivered to your house for the game, etc.
4. Punt, pass, and kick competition for listeners.
5. …or create your own event like 610 WIP in Philly…WING BOWL!
Radio managers, producers and talent show up and, for the most part, grind through each day. The stories change, but our process tends to remain the same. Too often things at a radio station are done or said without thinking of how it impacts the fans or clients, without considering the carefully crafted brand, and without a conscious awareness of the core values and unique attributes of the company, station or show. The very people who are responsible for embracing these concepts and working each day to reflect these defining characteristics often times don’t know what they are. It’s time to stop thinking of radio as a playground and become more strategic with what you do and why you do it.
A year ago, the NBA released its core values and unique attributes. They are as follows:
NBA CORE VALUES
Regardless of age, sex, and race – fans agree that these four things are what attract them to the NBA.
- Intensity of Competition
- Power of Teamwork
- Respect for History & Tradition
NBA UNIQUE ATTRIBUTES
These are the qualities that make the NBA so special and differentiate it from other pro sports
- Exhilarating – from the pace of the game to the in-arena experience
- Progressive – the innovations, social responsibility of the players, teams and league, and willingness to evolve
- Inclusive – NBA fans and players are from all cultures and walks of life and the NBA celebrates culture
- Charismatic – the NBA has the most recognizable and magnetic personalities in all of sports
All of these values and attributes apply to a radio station too. Whether on the air, preparing for a live remote, throwing a party or in a pitch to a client, you should bring passion, compete with intensity, use teamwork to maximize effectiveness, and have respect for traditions and history. You should be exhilarating, progressive, inclusive and charismatic in your presentation and approach. Doing these things reflects a general fan perspective of your product and will allow you to engage more fully with our customers and clients.
However, I would recommend you and your team (whether managers or show units) create your own core values and unique attributes. Doing this exercise gets everyone on your team on the same page; it focuses your daily efforts and gives you a way to judge your content (ie. Is what you’re planning to do or say in congress with your core values and unique attributes?)
What are the four things that attract fans and / or clients to your station or show? Are you doing enough of these things? You do what you do to attract listeners and clients, so why not give them more of what they want?
What are the unique qualities that make your station or show so special and different from other stations or shows? How can you better capitalize on these points of differentiation?
If you haven’t thought about these things, you cannot know your product or brand well enough to maximize results.
Strange as it may seem, one of the keys to being a great interviewer is to actually ask questions.
“A diamond is a chunk of coal
that made good under pressure.”
Every day whether you are a producer, a talent, a board op, recording a podcast, or editing audio – ask yourself these important questions…
1. Is this the best we’ve got?
2. Would I listen to this?
3. Is this relevant?
4. Are we playing the hits?
5. Is there a better, different, more impactful way to do this?
6. Does this live up to the Mission and Brand of my company?
If the answer is, “no” – what are you doing to change it, make it better, evolve it, and own it?
“It’s the little details that are vital.
Little things make big things happen.”
When I come across smart, successful people have can contribute to our conversation, I enjoy passing along their thoughts. Radio consultant Valerie Geller wrote the book “Principles of Creating Powerful Radio.” Her principles are worth reviewing…
· Tell the truth.
· Make it matter.
· Never be boring.
· Speak visually, in terms listeners can picture.
· Start with your best material.
· Story tell powerfully.
· Listen to your station but also check out other media – know what’s out there and what the audience is listening to and how they get their information and entertainment!
· Ask: Why would someone want to listen to this?
· Talk to the individual. Use “You.”
· Do engaging transitions & handoffs.
· Promote, brag about your stuff (and other people’s stuff!)
· Stay curious, relax, and allow the humor to happen.
· Be who you are on the radio.
· Take risks, dare to be great.
I love those principles. Use these as a guideline as you go about your daily tasks. Every day, whether it’s the NFL Playoffs or the dog days of summer, make certain you are passionate, relevant, interesting, engaging, curious, entertaining, informative, impactful, telling stories, teasing, taking risks, being creative, driving for results, doing everything it takes to make remarkable radio, acting with urgency, thinking differently and having fun. These are the things that separate good from great.
“Success is dependent on effort.”
I live in Los Angeles. There are great radio station here with remarkable talent. There are also bad radio stations and forgettable talent. What drives me crazy when I listen to the radio – regardless of the market size – regardless of talent ability – is when audio mis-fires.
In the past two days I have heard two newscasts; one on KFI and one on KABC. In one case the wrong sound bite played twice in a row and in another there was dead air and the announcer uncomfortably asked out loud, “can you say that again?” In both cases, the talent was awkward and uncertain. It made me question the credibility of them and the stations they work on. I hear this happen at least once a day in this market on a variety of stations (and embarrassing as it is, it happened at KSPN while I was PD).
What is so frustrating is that it is preventable. Do yourself a favor. Before going on the air; double and triple check your audio, put it in the correct order, make sure it’s cued, be sure the pot is keyed into program and the levels are set. This is radio 101, yet everyday in every market in America these types of mistakes are made. Audio is our life-blood. It’s how we tell stories. It’s supposedly what we do best, though when I hear mistakes like these in a major market like Los Angeles I begin to wonder if we are truly audio experts or if that’s just we have told ourselves.
Do you make your listeners feel like they are at the party or like they show up late?
As a service to the masses of sports radio hosts, producers and managers who are preparing to descend upon Dallas for the Super Bowl and festivities, LarryGifford.com conducted a survey on where to eat when you’re there.
Others include: Nick & Sam’s, Perry’s Steakhouse, The Mansion, Al Bernats, Del Frisco, The Palm and Craft.
Not in the mood for a steak, no problem. Here are the best of the rest of the restaurants in Dallas/Ft. Worth.
• Kincaid’s Burgers (Ft. Worth) — an old grocery store turned into a burger joint
• Dickey’s Barbecue Pit• Reata (downtown Ft. Worth )
• Chef Tim Love’s Lonesome Dove (Stockyards)
• Fearings at the Ritz-Carlton
• Stephan Pyles – New Southwestern Cuisine
• Trece – contemporary Mexican kitchen and tequila lounge
• Mia’s Tex-Mex — a destination for Dallas Cowboys and local celebs
• Shinsei — Sushi Bar with Pan-Asian kitchen
• Carmines Pizzeria — New York style pizza
Finally some friendly advice from radio folks in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area…
1. Fort-Worth and Dallas cultures are quite different. Fort Worth is very laid-back and easy for getting around. Dallas is more high-tone and can be somewhat snobby. It’s also about a 30-40 minute drive between the two.
2. We have a lot of a-hole drivers, mainly idiots in pickup trucks. People rarely pay attention to road signs and will often go 20mph+ in the left lane.
3. We don’t have horses and there aren’t any dude ranches in town. Not everyone speaks with a country accent. There are no oil derricks and very few wear cowboy hats.
There are so many talent who are doing so many things wrong when it comes to teasing, this is likely part one of many on how to tease.