I’m a Radio veteran, broadcasting is something that will forever be in my blood and no one will take that away from me. With that being said, I want to share my knowledge and experience from my time in the radio industry.
Since the beginning, radio has been an ever-changing and evolving medium, sometimes at a more cautious pace than other forms of media.
The First thing many of us do without thinking about it, is turn on the radio as soon as we hop in the car.
Today, terrestrial over the air radio is no longer the only way to listen to music or talk. with advances in technology, we now have satellite and internet radio broadcasters looking to provide a niche that in some places , not filled by traditional terrestrial radio.
Marketing and Promotions
Marketing and promotions for a station have come along way from buying a few billboards and painting your logo on the side of a van.
We live in a new society that is connected 24/7 via smartphones and tablets. in the 90’s, as technology became more advanced and computers became household items, Radio stations turned to the internet to stay connected with listeners. Through the power of the internet, listeners could pull up a stations’ web page and view information on their favorite jock, see when their favorite artists was coming to town and even Email the station their song requests.
Today, with Social media, A radio station can and should reach out to their listeners, interacting between songs or at live remote broadcasts. Facebook like has become a priceless tool for both tv and radio broadcasters. Using Facebook Live, a station interact with listeners in new ways, from test driving the hottest new car at a dealership to hanging backstage and interviewing artists before a concert. Social Media can also be used for special off air contests and giveaways, engaging listeners to commentate on local news or issues, and to become more involved within the community. Many stations make the mistake of letting their Promotions department, not the station Jocks, be the face listeners see on social media.
Imaging is the most important part of any station, Your Imaging Tells that listener what station they are listening to, and if they aren’t in a car, what dial position on the radio they can find you. Running formats with new music at its core, should keep their imaging up to date as to not become stale and repetitive to a listeners, some imaging pieces should tell the listeners how to interact with stations through hashtags on social media. creating a hashtag for your station allows a jock to engage listeners through usage of social media and can also provide effective branding to that listeners, who could would then attach your hashtag to every post in hopes of creating a viral moment.
Music is the core for thousands of radio stations nationwide, music has been proven to stir up emotions, reduce stress and even create bonds with people. Formats that play older music, tend to bring back memories that listeners cherish for their lives, from meeting their spouse, to remembering those who passed away.
The biggest thing that should set your station apart from the competition should be the sound. having a great processor, is the key to making your sound great, with the right tweaks, a station can really use their sound as a form of branding that will stick with the listeners, a rock format, tuned just right will highlight the thumping bass notes and the twang of the guitar strings, while a top 40 or hot ac station may want to feature the rich tones in the singer’s vocals. those small tweaks could be valuable in attracting listeners.
Evolution of the Program Director
Over the years, the job of the PD has taken on many forms, and at times, has involved wearing multiple hats. Some will say the job of a PD is threatened by changes and evolution of Radio software that with a click of a button, can produce a playlist with very little need for human input. I find flaws in that because i still believe every station should have a Program Director who knows their town and listeners, and can tailor a playlist to keep listeners tuned in.
Too Many stations have become complacent and set their automation to “Shuffle” Modes, effectively eliminating the need for a PD, or are a corporate owned station with micro managed focus groups who dictate one playlist for every station. both are very bad for the radio industry as they allow for little to no room for songs that don’t “Test Well”.
A Program Director should be leader for the station, and not letting the sales Manager to call the shots. The PD should be the one to sit down together and show the sales and marketing departments how to sale the station to a client. A PD should be a role model to interns and working with local colleges to educate those who will one day like to pursue a career in broadcasting.
Communication is key, A PD’s door should always been open to everyone from the morning show crew to the saturday afternoon live remote board op. plan quarterly staff meetings so that everyone is on the same page with current happenings both within the station and community. and most importantly, stay ahead of the curve with new technology and social media.