Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Forgotten Advice

Facebook has a new feature that it will tell you about “memories” you have on this very date dating back to when you joined. Through this fun time warp I discovered I wrote a blog before this one. I forgot that for two months in 2008 nearly every day I wrote a “note” on Facebook and called it my blog. I love reading them and thought I’d share a few. Strangely, the advice remains strong seven years later.

Under Promise, Over Deliver

This is one of the 100 or so great pieces of advice I have received during my career. It is simple advice, which works when adhered to. The Chinese restaurant down the street is great at this. I’ll call in an order and the woman will tell me it will take 45 minutes. 35 minutes later the delivery driver is at my door. I’m excited that my food is here early, I tip the driver more than usual, I enjoy eating the food and everyone is happy. If they would have guaranteed 30 minute delivery or less and it arrived 35 minutes later, I would have been upset, disappointed, maybe not have tipped the driver at all and probably would have been annoyed while eating my food. It’s the same food and the same quality of service, but a different promise resulting in completely different experiences by the consumer.

I Will Change Someone’s Life Today

Today, I have the dubious distinction of telling one of my employees that because of the great technological advances in our industry, we are replacing his position with a computer. Ouch. This employee isn’t my most valuable player, but he is hard worker and responds to coaching. And it is his life. He’s been here almost 7 years.

When did we as a society determine that things are “better” when a beating heart is no longer needed to make decisions that affect how our fans consume our product? Sure, it’s cheaper. And that is no small issue in these fiscally challenging times. However, it occurs to me as we take these giant steps into the automated future, we are taking huge leaps backwards in customer service.

When a computer is in control there is no one to answer the phone, there is no one to make a judgment call, there is no one around to do what’s best, there is no one to call for help, and there is no one putting their human energy into your business. The end result is perfection – cold, sterile, lifeless, perfection. How can we ask people to be passionate fans for our business, product, or service — if no passion goes into creating it?

I will change someone’s life today. If you are a fan of my product, it could be you.

Tuesday – I Have a Thought

Notice how often to you walk with your eyes firmly planted toward the floor or your feet. Today, lift your head, make eye contact, smile and say hello to people in the hall. Even if you don’t know the name of your coworker look them straight in the eyes, smile and say hello. Check that. Do this ESPECIALLY if you don’t know the name of your coworker. Watch what happens.

Coffee Confession

I have a confession. I have been cheating on my privately-owned coffee shop with Starbuck’s. I’m not proud. In fact, I’m embarrassed.

Here’s how it happened.

Right around the corner from my home is a small, privately owned coffee shop. They know me by name. They know what I drink. They will still serve me my coffee if I show up with no money. A couple months ago, I stopped going. Instead, I started making tea at home and taking it to work with me. I was trying to be healthy. I was trying to conserve money, resources, etc. Over time I missed my coffee, my morning chat and the daily routine.

However, instead of returning to “my” coffee shop, I would drive right by it and go to Starbuck’s. It’s not that I enjoy the taste of Starbuck’s coffee more than my coffee shop – I don’t.  I didn’t return to the private coffee shop, because they know me. I had pangs of guilt for leaving them. It had been a while since I had shown my face, there would surely be questions. So, instead I opted to go for the cold, sterile, factory of coffee where there would be no questions and no guilt. Except there was. Guilt that is. I felt guilty giving my money to the 800-pound Gorilla. I felt guilty based on the blog entry I wrote on August 18th “Starbucksfication.”  So this morning, after two months, I returned to my coffee shop. I pulled up to the speaker and heard, “Good Morning, we’ve got you started.” No questions. No guilt. Same service. I was treated as if I never left. I’ll return to tomorrow.

In order to take actions in life and business you need to actually take the action. We get caught up in the drama and our own fears of what MIGHT happen that we are left paralyzed. Today, go forth with gusto. Stop listening to the chatter in your head and start taking action.

Radiodays Europe – Day 2

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Elvis is in the Building!

Whoa! Talk about information overload. What a crazy day. It started early for me paling around with my new buddy Elvis Duran. The Z100 and iHeartMedia syndicated morning host kicked the morning off with a chat in front of 1,200 delegates. But, before he took the stage he chatted on the Radio Stuff Podcast. (As did all the speakers I’m featuring here today.)

Sneak preview! Duran on Program Directors, “To be a coach as if I’m in a sporting event — if I’m a football player. I need someone to whisper in my ear what the play is, what our goal is for that play and for that game, and be there to be a cheerleader for me. And when I have a bad show I want them to come up and say, ‘Hey, you know what? You’ll have a good show tomorrow. You’ll have a good game tomorrow. Let’s work on these things and you’ll be better tomorrow. That’s what I need from a manager.”

G Whiz

2015-03-16 10.40.31Media Strategist David G. Hall (Former PD of KFI and others) offered up “Five Simple Tools to Make Your Show Better,” including the idea of “partnership.” This is one of the first thing a show, a host and management need to do. Work together to express expectations, roles, and responsibilities. It goes both ways and trust is one of the key ingredients to make it work. He also suggested shows prepare their shows as early as possible and then upgrade it throughout the day as your show prep marinades in your brain and new (better) ideas surface.

Does Anyone Have Ira Glass’ Phone Number? 

2015-03-16 11.58.29This was a great session by WNYC producer and host of the Death, Sex and Money podcast Anna Sale. If you can’t get Ira Glass to plug your podcast that’s okay, but use other podcasters to promote your show, “podcasts are what grow other podcasts.” It’s simple logic really. It’s more meaningful when podcast listeners hear about your podcast on another podcast because they can download it immediately. If they’re driving and hear about it on a radio show they’re likely to forget by the time they reach their destination. She preached the importance of keeping podcasts intimate which includes the hosts being vulnerable. And shareability is key. So, it’s preferred podcasts are more evergreen than pinned to a news hook, because the tail of listening is so long and episodes are consumed during binges.

Hey Facebook Listen Up!

“Facebook needs us, more than we need Facebook.” Those words are still echoing through my head. Danish Broadcasting Corporation Audience Researcher Rasmus Thaarup was full of social media insights. He believes as Facebook clears the clutter of cat videos and such, quality content — the kind radio provides — will be cherished by Facebook. And he’s already seeing results in increased impressions as they use it to deliver visual add-ons to their radio content (pictures, videos) without paying for them. His group also closed over 100 social media profiles this past year and are focusing on pages for true personalities / characters and radio station main pages.

He’s also big on SnapChat. Here’s his slide explaining why it’s a great fit for radio:

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Radio is Sick in the Head

Consumer psychologist Adam Ferrior diagnosed radio as borderline personality order. This session was one of the most interesting and creative.

For instance, Ferrior contends radio’s competition is not other radio or audio or video or TV or movies — it is people doing nothing. We need to change people’s behavior. The easiest way to do that is to get people to do something for you. It’s counter-intuitive, but it’s real and it’s called the Ben Franklin Effect. Ikea implements it and creates massive customer loyalty by making you assemble your own furniture. What then would a radio station look like that was run by Ikea? I’m glad you asked.

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No More Pranks

2015-03-16 16.50.33This is M2015-03-16 16.24.51-1el Greig aka the “Royal Prank DJ.” Read about the incident here if you’re not familiar. I am impressed with how open and honest she is about the whole incident and aftermath. She shared death threats that she received through social media, admitted she spiraled into a 12-month depression, and she is  adamantly opposed to radio hosts pranking unsuspecting victims in the future. “Don’t do it. The joke has to be on us. Take the piss out of yourself.”

Day 3 of Radiodays Europe is Tuesday. Follow along with #RDE15

 A reminder all of these guests will appear on the Radio Stuff Podcast, which flights and jet-lag willing will post on Thursday. Subscribe to the Larry Gifford Media “Radio Stuff” email and each Tuesday you’ll receive an email with all sorts of stuff about radio. Sign up here.

And the #1 Radio Story of 2013 is…

December 29, 2013 1 comment

top 5Here it is. The Top 5 Larry Gifford Media blog posts of 2013. No surprise that new and social media resonated with readers. Readers were riveted by the poor judgment of colleagues in Atlanta and a little scared and confused by the ratings hit Talk Radio formats took in 2013. But, nothing captured the hearts and minds of radio folk more than the sudden death of radio’s Kidd Kraddick.

Rode Rec25. Five Apps All Radio People Should UseI realized the other day how much time, energy and money I’ve saved thanks to online, iPad and phone apps. I have more apps than I need, but some seem especially useful for radio work. So, from one radio guy to you — here are five apps that you may never have heard of that just may change your life or at least make you more productive and effective.

Nate Riggs4. How Radio Can Better Embrace Social Media A post from 2011 that still resonates today. “Don’t try to do everything all at once. Pick one thing that you’re going to do 110% and get really good at. If it’s a Facebook page invest your time and energy in building a community around that Facebook page and engaging in that community. I think it’s a perfect complement to radio, because radio is traditionally a push medium; we listen to radio.” – Nate Riggs

steve3. A Journey Into “Instant Unemployment” and How to Avoid It Three Atlanta talk hosts are fired following a poorly planned and executed “comedy” bit. The reality of the situation is, regardless of ratings or talent, most radio hosts walk up to and around the “line” everyday. They are the stunt actors of radio willing to dive off the top of a building, walk through fire, or wreck a motorcycle to get a laugh, to get some ink, and to increase ratings. And we love them for it. From time to time, they’re going to cross the line. It’s going to happen. PDs need to be there more of than time than not. Truth is some will lose their job (See: Dan Sileo) and some won’t (See: Rush Limbaugh).

rush-pubshot2. The Free Fall of Talk Radio

Talk stations are tumbling in the ratings and no one knows why, though there are many theories.

It’s political fatigue. It’s too repetitive. It’s too depressing. It’s too angry. It’s too boring. It’s humorless. It’s predictable. It’s not entertaining. It’s all commercials.

Former radio star, now internet radio sensation Tom Leykis chimes in, “Talk radio went from Rush Limbaugh’s bells, whistles, jingles and parody songs and everything to a line up of people reading bill numbers.” He went on, “It’s devoid of humor, entertainment value or mirth. These are not radio personalities.”

He wonders aloud if anyone in the radio business getting the message?

KiddKraddick1. Kidd Kraddick’s Last Selfless Acts

There’s really no way Kidd could have understood the impact he’s had on so many people and the radio industry in general. He even made an impact to radio friends around the world. The reaction on Twitter, Facebook, and coverage in news has been overwhelming. One listener credits Kidd for “restoring his faith and belief in FM radio.”

And I too have found myself caught up in it. I didn’t know Kidd, but I’ve respected him from afar and have never heard anyone say a bad thing about him. No one. Which, in this ego-fueled industry, isn’t just rare – it’s an anomaly. It’s the exception to the rule.

To honor Kidd’s legacy, I have extracted some of the rules of life and radio he’s left behind. These rules come directly from words and phrases used by his family of colleagues and listeners.

If you missed the rest of the countdown you can catch up on blog posts #25-16 of the year here, and #15 to #6 here.

Thanks for making 2013 so great. I raise my glass to you and wish you  a bright, ratings-filled, drama-free 2014!

Here’s a link to the Radio Stuff Podcast New Year’s Special which counts down the most listened to episodes of the year.

For the Love of Ratings and Your Livelihood, Tweet Smart

twitter-logo-breakI’ve started to wonder if twitter is inherently negative. Don’t get me wrong, I love twitter. But, recently I’ve noticed an avalanche of stories involving radio and twitter’s dark side; threats, trolls, listener backlash, industry bullying, and firings over tweets. We talk about it extensively on this week’s radio stuff podcast.

Is it Twitter’s fault?

“You really can’t say it is all twitters fault,” says Lori Lewis, Jacobs Media’s Digital and Social Media Strategist, on the Radio Stuff podcast. “All of these folks are not using Twitter constructively, nor are they using it strategically. So when they shoot off at the mouth, they say in appropriate things, if it just backfires on them or nobody is interacting with them, it’s absolutely not Twitter. It’s every individual’s use of the platform.”

Oh. Okay, so why do this? Why put yourself out there? Why participate in social? And if you choose to do it how do you do it right?

Thankfully, Lori Lewis has some suggestions.lorilewis_1323706974_59

“I can’t tell you how many talent I get to work for and their ratings correlate their social use. It’s amazing and could be coincidence, but there is a major market radio station, they have one talent that is a social brand – the midday personality – he outshines the entire radio station weekly after weekly after weekly — he’s always number one. Now, he’s the new person on the radio station. Everybody else is legendary. Everybody’s been there for decades and they don’t participate in any of the social tools and while their ratings are good, isn’t it ironic that the social brand really outshines them?”

“You’re just making room for your competitor. You don’t have to Twitter. People don’t have to embrace social, but all you’re doing is making it harder for yourself and making it harder for your future. This is where the puck is going and if you think it’s cute to say you don’t know those apps, you don’t use those platforms – that’s your prerogative, but there’s someone younger and faster ready to take your place.”

“It takes skill to humanize a brand and come off naturally. You really should watch your grammar. There is nothing attractive about using the letter ‘u’ for you. We don’t have to look like 12-year-old girls when we are tweeting. I think you have to remember at the end of the day that social is as public as face-to-face and it’s almost louder than it is face-to-face. Because, when your tweet shows up in my live feed and you are cussing or you have bad spelling or grammar or it’s just not funny – it’s just substandard – it’s almost more offensive.”

“Twitter is the most simple platform of all the social tools out there. Yet, you really have to study it. You really have to listen. Listen to the founders of Twitter, listen to the CEO Dick Costello, and listen to all the VPs of brand development. How are they expecting users to use the platform? And then when you have studied it enough and you have watched people who are really winning on Twitter, you start understanding the strength and you start using twitter appropriately.”

“So many people think the social space is an unrestrictive playground and they can say and do whatever they like. And you know what? You can, but so can your bosses. And if you are the voice of a radio station, if you are the face of a brand, — it doesn’t matter if you are on the air or not on the air – it doesn’t matter who you are, if you have any affiliation with a brand and you say something that is questionable, that gets a rise from a lot of people, your boss also has the right to do and say whatever they wish too. And people really need to get over themselves.

“One of my favorite things is just to block people. But there’s no golden rule out there. I see this happen more on Facebook, because the comments lay there more publicly than looking at tweets. There’s no rule that you have to let those comments sit there for everyone to read. Delete that stuff. If it’s inappropriate, if it’s vulgar, if it just doesn’t fit, if it’s weird…there’s no rule that it has to stay. Trolls will bait you and they will get you to say things you would never ever say in public.”

Read more from Lori Lewis in her MERGE column on All Access

Eight Things I Takeaway From HIVIO

hiviologo_finalHIVIO is a made up word pronounced as a mash-up between hive and radio (HI-vee-oh). While billed as radio’s FIRST ideas festival, this is a concept that is going on its third year in London with radio futurologist James Cridland and “NextRadio.” Regardless, Mark Ramsey assembled an invite-only gathering of radio folks in San Diego to sit and listen to thought leaders and brand builders from outside the radio industry; from Google and Pandora to the San Diego Zoo and Uber. The festival was live streamed and is now being carved into individual videos to be released in the coming weeks.

(This was a big topic of conversation on Radio Stuff Podcast with an interview with Ramsey and loads of clips)

After sitting through the six hours or so of streaming video, I was agitated, inspired, embarrassed, hopeful, and at times confused. Here are eight of my big takeaways.

1. For radio to thrive it needs four things: strategy, innovation, creativity, and unique content. These concepts were echoed through the day in part of whole by every presenter. Mark Ramsey’s opening presentation set the tone, “It’s time in this radio industry of ours to stop saying, ‘where did that work?’ and start saying, ‘why not here, now?’”

Chad Robley, CEO of the digital agency Mindgruve touched on those ideas too saying radio’s advantage over digital competitors include established listener engagement, brand equity and reach – and he pointed out, “you have permission to innovate on top of that and reach across platforms.”

2. Radio is losing respect from people who want to be fans. Presenters were at times laughing AT  — and at times speechless of — radio’s inability to “get it.”

Michael Warburton of San Diego Zoo snickered at the prospect of radio pitching website banners ads as a digital solution.

Patrick Reynolds, Chief Strategy Officer of Triton Digital, was dumbfounded, literally speechless for five seconds and visibly taken aback when a radio person asked if they had plans to compete with PPM-type measurement devices.

3. Radio is afraid. Mark Ramsey calls them hard questions that need to be answered, I call it resistance to innovation and change. The fear radio has of the unknown keeps us rooted in the past. This was most evident to me during the presentation of the Google + hangouts, when the women presenting could barely finish their prepared remarks due to constant haranguing from radio folks worried that Google + is going to swipe their listener databases. Really? Aside from what the women pointed out, “Google’s motto is do no evil,” Google + has 500 million users – I’m guessing their not looking to pinch the data of a couple thousand P1s you’ve collected. It also confused me, since Google+ is a social network and the industry happily hands listeners over to Facebook and twitter with reckless abandon.

4. Radio is losing listeners, fans and supporters, because it’s hard to listen to. This point was hammered home by Bryce Clemmer, Founder of Vadio.

“When I rented cars on trips for meetings, I never use Sirius or anything, because I felt like I was a loyal listener to broadcast itself and therefore I actually went through this thought process: I want to support the broadcasters that I’m trying to innovate. But, at the same time, after I’ve been traveling for a year now, it kind of became unbearable. And the reason being is because there were so many commercials, the experience itself — there was so much repetition, and naturally as a human you can’t deny if it’s not a good experience, you’re not going to use it. No matter who you are.”

5. Radio isn’t trying hard enough to be great. Shows need to worry about every detail. It’s not good enough to be “good enough” anymore. San Diego Zoo Global brand manager Michael Warburton talked about why they spend so much money and time to make things great.

“Because it matters to a lot of people. If a consumer or client or anybody sees that you’re willing to put ‘all in’ and make something as great as it can be, they are going to appreciate it that much more.”

More specifically, Gary Cramer, the founder of the National Comedy Theater, pointed out the problems with most ensemble talk shows…

“You don’t have some person who is an intern who you throw on air, because you need ‘three’ and they’re just all over the map. So many morning zoo shows are just a nightmare to listen to, because they don’t have a cohesive plan as to where to go. I think they’re just chattering and saying whatever comes to their mind. And they’re not going one direction.”

(For an idea who of who’s doing it right, Cramer points at Mark & Brian, Kevin & Bean, and Phil Hendrie)  

6. Pandora has keyed in on radio’s advantages. While radio is bemoaning PPM and FM in cell phones and crying over lost placement in the dashboard, Pandora is busy studying what radio is doing right. Pandora CTO Tom Conrad said there are “all kinds of things” radio does especially well that Pandora hasn’t touched yet..

  •  Local community integration
  • On Air Personalities
  • Spoken word content

When pressed on one thing Pandora may key in on, Conrad was cautious, but his personal ambitious is to make it feel less robotic and add more life to the music service. 7. Radio needs to emulate Pandora’s filter for hiring people. I blogged about how radio and internet competitors are taking different approaches to hiring for similar positions here. Conrad has a few filters that are worth stealing: HIRE PEOPLE WHO ARE:

  • Smart
  • Self-motivated
  • Passionate about some aspect of their work
  • And who are… not assholes.

8. Radio needs to step up in a big way. Triton Digital’s Patrick Reynolds has these words of wisdom for radio broadcasters.

“Be everywhere, starting with mobile. Anything that plugs in is capable of delivering audio and you have to be in all those places.” – even if it’s your toaster.

“Invest in understanding (your) audience. Where does it come from – geographically? When does it come – day part-wise? On what device does it come? What registration data do I know about it if anything?”

“Where sneakers to work, because it’s going to get disrupted on an ongoing basis and you’ll be running around ragged.”

And eight other things overheard…

“Radio is in a great position to disrupt itself.”

“Radio needs to operate more like start-ups.”

“Why are you on Pinterest? Facebook? twitter? vine? Why do you even have a website?”

“There is an expectation of having a higher purpose… a “return on mission” as important as “return on investment””

“…build a relationship with consumer, be relevant in their lives, tell stories, be innovative, always do and try new things.” (Talking about San Diego Zoo, but could just as easily be radio)

“It’s not the new devices that are innovation, it’s what people are doing on those devices.”

“Get in the middle of transactions.”

“They’re all going for your audience. It is critical you invest mind share and invest in resources to fight for your audience.”

Why Social Media Is NOT Radio’s Magic Bullet and Four Other Revelations

April 23, 2012 2 comments

Five Radio RevelationsOkay gang, every day someone in radio asks me what’s new? what’s next? or how can we be better? There are millions of theories, philosophies, and tips for success. These are five things that I keep going back to. They aren’t the only things. They aren’t necessarily the most important things. They’re five things you can do today to improve you, your show, your station.


1. Be Consistent. Everyone on your show / station should have a defined role that the listener can depend on. And your show should be dependable…for whatever the audience can depend on it for; news, big opinions, laughter, stupid jokes, three songs an hour, passionate rants, or whatever. Deliver it without fail.

2. Get Personal. If you’re trying to be neutral or unbiased, you’re lying to yourself and the audience. Every word, detail, and piece of audio you decide to use or omit is a choice based on your bias. Stop trying so hard and use your reactions to stories and events (or music) to create and drive your content (yes, even if you’re a news anchor or reporter.) Have a point of view. Even Paul Harvey delivered “News and Comment.” Why can’t you?

3. Embrace Emotion. Don’t drain the emotions from your content…use them; laughter, tears, fear, rage, embarrassment, etc. Emotional moments create the stories and memories in life that people remember and share. No one ever asks what was the most neutrally satisfying moment of your life. Stop striving to create it.

4. Stop reading and start sharing stories. Every day I hear radio hosts reading AP wire copy, newspaper or internet stories. This is lazy and boring and often leads to stumbling, because they’re written for the eyes not the ears. Take the time to read it off the air and tell me the story or relate the story to me the way you would if we were friends.

5. Snap Out of It! “Social Media” is NOT a Magic Bullet.

Yes, find a way to connect and have conversations with listeners through facebook, twitter, text, email, your website, and other platforms.  Don’t just use them as promotional platforms. Like radio, content is king, and users will “unlike” you faster than you can blink.

Here’s the kicker. It is time to stop talking about “social media” as a comprehensive solution to radio’s mid-life crisis. The difference between users and applications of Facebook, TwitterLinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Four Square is vast. Offering “social media” as a solution is like offering “transportation” as a solution for going from LA to NY, instead of car, train, boat or plane. Be specific with your strategic vision. Pick a lane and drive it.

Did You Know THIS About Radio and Social Media?

At Arbitron’s annual consultant fly-in in Baltimore last month there were some really powerful presentations that talk about best practices of social media, the importance of Moms, Weekends, and listening occasions. I’ve received this link to consultant Holland Cooke’s analysis in Talker’s Magazine from a handful of people and want to share it with you.

Here are some of my takeaways…

–          We need to stop using Twitter and Facebook as a promotional platform and begin ENGAGING with our “friends.” Social Media is NOT about the station, it’s about the relationship between YOU (the person – not the show or station) and the listeners. Use these platforms to have conversations. If you ask questions, also answer them. If people reply, reply back. I see this social media as the bonus track on the DVD that provides behind the scenes footage and director’s commentary.

–          Moms are key to consumption of our internet, new media and social platforms. The internet is Mom’s “most-essential” medium, driven by multiple household computers, wi-fi, and the cell phone. 60% of Moms would choose her smartphone over a TV.

–          Traffic is still very important to listeners, most believe traffic is getting worse each year, and they still lean on radio first for information.

–          Cool presentation from ESPN about their “best screen available” philosophy (even if that screen is radio) – proving that cross-media usage is NOT a zero-sum game (reinforcing our strategy with three radio stations and a content-rich website).

–          Listeners are extremely more patient with commercials than we expect.

–          More people in most markets listen to the radio on the weekends than either morning or afternoon drive. Radio is a total week medium…

–          The #1 Headline: Getting people to come back again and again is the ball game.

How Big Is Your…List of Responsibilities?

December 26, 2011 1 comment

This is the time of year when most companies have managers sit  down with employees to conduct employee reviews. Regardless of your position in a radio station there is one concern/complaint that I’ve heard, I share and that I believe is keeping most people from performing their very best — too many responsibilities.

As the industry evolves — endless digital platforms, video, audio on demand, podcasting, blogging, social media, and more — we all end up adding duties and responsibilities to our list of things to do. The problem is these rarely get prioritized and never get removed or reassigned – even if they’re old, out-dated, and unimportant.

It’s okay to ask – why are we doing this? Should we still be doing this? And as I add this to my list of responsibilities – which take priority? Can we re-assign any to someone else?

Sometimes the answer will be no. Sometimes your manager isn’t aware of all you do.

Do yourself a favor. Write down a list of everything you do. Identify the things you think you do best, the things you believe to be most important, and the things you enjoy doing. What’s left over? Talk to your supervisor and find out if your assessment of your job responsibilities is accurate in his or her eyes. If not, you just opened the door to a great discussion that will likely lead to some kind of change.

Communication. Sometimes we’re so far in it, we forget how to do it.

Don’t Just Build An Audience, Activate Your Community

November 11, 2011 2 comments

Social media should be a vital component to your strategy to engage, retain and grow your fan base. One study just released (by Arbitron) shows most radio stations and hosts are still broadcasting (simply pushing information) on social media instead of engaging.

Engagement comes in many forms and it’s crucial if you are going to engage in social media that you create a 24/7 experience.  This means replying to tweets/comments online and on air, retweeting posts, following listeners, asking questions, providing information, expressing opinions and observations, posting pictures, videos, and owning big events or moments.

 If done correctly, not only will the listeners feel like they’re a part of your show and/or your station (and not just witness to it), but you’ll have a staff of tens-of-thousands helping you prep and advance your show or giving you leads for stories.

And the key is doing this without taking our focus off of creating great content for radio. For talk shows, hosts and producers will need work together and assign specific duties to make sure you serve your fans the best you can.  Read through jobs-to-be-done below and work together to identify what each member of the show unit can do to contribute to the effort.

These are social media insights from talent who are having success with it; 97.3 KIRO FM’s morning news anchor Linda Thomas (@thenewschick), 710 ESPN Seattle producer Jessamyn McIntyre (@JessamynESPN), Syndicated host Dave Ramsey (@RamseyShow and @DaveRamsey), CBS Dallas Sports radio morning guy Shan Shariff (@newschoolSS), and regionally syndicated hosts Armstrong & Getty (@AandGshow) among others..

Here are some of the Jobs-to-be-done for successful social media

Make the show a 24/7 experience; don’t just tweet or Facebook while on the air. The most successful engagers are tweeting opinions, insights, observations and pictures during the time they are off the air. This is how you can get fans to think about your show when you aren’t on the air. And create a community of fans who can turn to you for reaction at any given moment and not have to wait for your show to start.

Showcase your personality. Sending links to stories is not enough. It’s your personality and how you observe the world that resonates with YOUR fans. Engage. Have a conversation.

Be substantive. Don’t just make this a promo machine, telling people to listen to the radio at a certain time for some reason. If you promote something to get radio listeners, follow-up with a link to the discussion for those who missed it. The rule of thumb is four pieces of content for one piece of promotion.

Think of it as content. Use twitter and Facebook to find REMARKABLE comments on things you are talking about on air. Reading a BAD tweet is just as bad as a BAD phone call. 

Reply to follower’s messages. Not all messages, but messages that add to the conversation.

Retweet. GREAT messages that ADD to the conversation should be retweeted, so the community can see how others are engaging with you.

FOLLOW all followers. This is how you grow your community.

Own big moments; provide an ongoing commentary of big events/moments. Assume your followers are witnessing what you’re seeing, so it doesn’t become straight play-by-play. Notice what YOU notice.

Give Access. Tweet or Facebook behind the scenes access; observations, pictures, videos.

Share Audio. Tweet and/or post podcasts and short sound clips each day that showcase your show, your personality or the station.

If you have successful best practices you’d like to share please post a comment or send me a note.

Meet My Expectations and THEN Give Me The Unexpected

I’m staying at the Olive 8 Hyatt in Seattle. It’s a cool, hip, new and proud to be a certifiable green hotel. The people are friendly and accommodating. They have this cool, energy-saving, lighting system which uses your room key to operate. Big, fancy, sliding, mirrored doors conceal the bathroom and closet. I lost track of how many pillows were on the bed, but there are more than anyone person could want or need. The hotel and rooms are open, spacious and make you feel important.

On a practical level, however, it’s not as user friendly. The alarm clock is an hour off and I can’t figure out how to reset it. It also doesn’t light the time up at night, so I can’t see the time when I roll over in the middle of the night. The desk chair I’m sitting at is broken. The seat won’t lift higher than about a foot and a half off the ground. It’s like I’m typing above my head. And I didn’t realize going green meant you could only use 1-ply toilet paper. (Who knew gas stations and rest areas were trend setters in the green movement?)

The lesson here for your radio station or show is to not be so distracted by the bells and whistles  that you forget to invest in the the very things that the people you are serving need, want and expect. If you don’t fulfill them, they will go somewhere else to find them.

Hotels and radio stations take heed — It’s not all about the packaging; it’s the content or contents of the package that will keep them coming back.