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Posts Tagged ‘Dallas Cowboys’

Creating a “WOW! Factor” with Your Next Radio Event

Radio can be cool, fun, exciting, breath-taking, and memorable. Over the weekend BBC Radio 1 showed me something that blew me away, “Radio 1’s BIG WEEKEND!” Watch this and remember this is radio.

I wish it wasn’t a surprise that radio can pull off an event like this. KROQ does it  , WIP does it , others do it to, but it’s far more the exception than the rule.

Catherine & Jason Marriage Madness

Mike & Mike’s Marriage Madness winners Jason & Catherine. Photo by John Atashian.

As a radio manager, I’ve had a mix of hit and misses when it comes to events. I’m probably most remembered for Mike & Mike’s Marriage Madness at ESPN Radio. It was the NCAA Tournament meets “The Today Show Throws a Wedding.” It culminated in the ultimate sports fan’s wedding on the campus of ESPN, broadcast live on radio and TV during Mike & Mike in the Morning. It was big in 2006. Since then most of the internet has forgotten, except for some snarky barbs from the folks at Deadspin.  I’ve done others since like this and this.

Today, Inside Radio featured several big time summer radio events, festivals, and concerts.

When done properly, a radio station event is a bunch of hard work and logistics that brings together the radio station, the listeners, partners, and advertisers to help create a buzz around the station (internally and externally), reinforce the brand, build fan loyalty, raise incremental sponsorship dollars, and gives your radio station a story to tell.

Here are five steps you can take to create a radio event with a “WOW! Factor”…

1. Have a vision, a goal, a budget, and define success up front. Start with the biggest, best idea you have and revise the idea over and over again. Be realistic about costs and expectations. Keep the concept simple, but make the event memorable and remarkable. Remember to make it about the listener, not the radio station. Why are people going to show up, what’s the draw? And expect greatness. We can’t be great if we only expect to be good enough.

2. Create a pitch and sell it to everybody in the radio station. You, or someone on the staff who is passionate about the event, needs to OWN the event, but everyone needs to pitch in. You can’t do this alone. Delegate, delegate, delegate.

3. Details make all the difference. If you’re aren’t a detail person, get someone who is. The color of napkins, or the shape of a gobo, or the size of the ticket matters.

4. Be inspired. Don’t just copy another radio station’s event, however take notes, evolve a concept, personalize and customize what you see to make it reflect your radio station. Own the event, don’t lease it from another radio station in a neighboring town.

5. Make sure it tells a story to the listeners. What are you going to tell your listeners and what are they going to tell their friends? Tell them what you are going to do for them, tell them what you are doing for them, and then tell them what you did for them.

Food for Thought: Super Bowl Edition

Bob's Steak and Chophouse

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.

The overwhelming favorite place in Dallas to get a great steak is the original Bob’s Steak & Chophouse on Lemmon. III Forks came in a close second.

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 PizzeriaNew 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.

Are Your Local Updates Out of Date?

There was a time when it was necessary to give scores and schedules on the radio, because people were depending on radio to deliver that information. There was no internet, twitter, cell phones, smart phones, I Pads, etc. That was then, this is now. Nothing disappoints me more than when I hear a sports update that goes something like this…

“The Giants beat the Colt 37-3. It was the Bills over the Lions 10-7. Bengals fall to the Browns 27-7 and the Steelers stole one from Philly 21-20. Tonight it’s the Cowboys and Rams. Kickoff at 8:30.”

The score doesn’t tell the story. The fact that the Cowboys and Rams are playing is not a story – it’s a detail. Tell me a story. Here are some ways you might flesh out the scores (all made up scenarios)

Peyton Manning is still scratching his head after throwing 4 interceptions and racking up  negative 15 yards rushing in the Colts 37-3 loss to the Giants. The Bills and Lions account for an all time NFL low…a combined 135 yards of offense.Buffalo wins 10-7. The Browns rally, posting 27 unanswered points in the fourth to upend the rival Bengals 27-7. Philadelphia baubles a onsides kick and turns the ball over with 12 seconds to go. Steeler’s QB Ben Rothlisberger fakes the hand off, casually walks towards the sideline and then runs 44 yards for the game tying touchdown. The extra point is good for the win with no time on the clock. Steelers 21. Eagles 20. Tonight, The Rams look for redemption with the Cowboys. St. Louis hasn’t won a night game against Dallas in 10 years. Both teams are looking to stay above .500 on the season. Kick off at 8:30″

Tell me a story. Fill it with action. Keep in the active tense.

Ever watch Sportscenter? When was the last time they just gave you a score? Never. They make you work for it. SportsCenter goes through all the highlights in the game chronologically and then – at the end – tells you how it ended.

It takes more work. It takes more creativity. It takes more time to write. It’s also more entertaining, more informational, easier to listen to, and it makes you a sought after commodity.  Make yourself relevent. Be a story-teller.

Double Standards

I find it interesting how talk show hosts are quick to call for the firing of coaches and quarterbacks when they under perform, but these same hosts can’t understand how and why they are yanked from the line-up, when it’s obvious they don’t prepare for their show, create compelling content and/or grow ratings.

You are the coach and quarterback of your radio show. Listeners have the same expectations for your show as you and other fans do for Wade Phillips, Phil Jackson, Brett Favre, and Lebron James.  Hosts bang on Shaq for not being good at free throws, but cringe when PDs bang on them for failing to prepare for an interview or fall flat on basic formatics.

You get out of your show what you put into it. If you “wing it,” it will sound like it. If you didn’t watch the big game, the listeners will know. If you don’t care about what you’re talking about, neither will anyone else.