Joint Communications is conference hopping this week, with John Parikhal at the R&R Talk Radio Seminar in Los Angeles and Chris Kennedy at the Canadian Music Week Conference in Toronto.
At the CMW, I served as a panelist for the "60 Actionable New Programming Ideas in 60 Minutes" discussion to help kick start the radio conference. Also participating: Mike McVay from McVay Media, Tracy Johnson from Jack FM/San Diego and Steve Young from Jones Radio Networks, with the session moderated by Chris Byrnes of Byrnes Media. Great ideas were shared by all. For those in attendance wishing a recap -- or for those unable to attend, here's my actionable ideas.
If you have any fresh ideas to add, just submit a comment at the end of this post.
A pdf of all 60 Ideas is also available by clicking here:
> WOM Marketing: Explore what Word-of-Mouth marketing means online for your audience. Attend various WOMMA-sponsored conferences and read their various white papers. Go to WOMMA.org for more. Learn how "spreading the word virally" works online so listeners will tell friends...who will tell friends...and so on...and so on...
> Online Suggestion Box: Do you have an easy-to-see, easy-to-use online Suggestion Box for immediate listener feedback?
> Do Search Engines See Your Site?: How do the Internet search engines perceive and filter your website? Go to SEOmoz.org as well as SEOkeywordanalysis.com.
> Listener-Uploaded Viral Videos: Offer a place on your website for listeners to upload/link favourite/recommend viral videos (make sure they get approved by the Program Director/Webmaster).
> iPod Companion Devices:The iPod turned 5 last November...and they're now everywhere. Give away Griffin iFM radio tuner add-on remote devices ($50) or Belkin TuneFMs for iPods ($55) or other iPod companion devices that include a radio tuner for the iPod. Make sure all your listeners have an FM tuner for the iPod. "Upgrade their iPod."
> Don't Make Me Think: Read and practically memorize Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think, then make sure those rules are applied for the website's design and see what can be applied on-air as well.
> Broadcast Through Cellphones/PDAs: Deliver your broadcast through cellphone/PDA providers.
> Update Your "This Stunt Could Go Wrong" File: Prevent problems before they happen or before your listeners suffer water intoxication. In addition, consider conducting periodic "risk exercises" with staff to practice possible "what ifs".
> Pretend You Are Launching A Station: If you are an established station, pretend you are launching as a brand new station on a brand new signal. Since you have no baggage or heritage, how would you launch to get maximum community response? What would be your essentials? How would you attack competitors? Then ask yourself, are you doing those things now? If so, are you doing them the best you can? What can you improve? If not, what can you do to make those things happen? And what can you do different than now?
> Have Essentials On Your Website -- Simplify: Reduce clutter. Be font size appropriate for your target audience (older -- larger fonts). Make what you do on-air simple and easy to access/view/read on your website -- especially your current and recently-played songs on-air. Include lists of Top Requests (include sample listeners). Edit! Provide top newsworthy stories and/or water cooler buzz of the day...not a lot of stories, just enough.
> Positive Radio Campaigns: Independent of RMB/CAB or RAB/NAB initiatives, incorporate positive radio campaigns locally. Radio is the original wireless. Be wireless...and visible. Stay active in the community and on the streets. Avoid being overly digital-centric; focus on being digital-balanced with the real world needs of listeners. Promote radio in general over and above your own station.
> Offer Custom Ringtones: Produce and make downloadable custom ringtones using the station voice, character bits from the morning show, jingles and/or production...or custom messages from personalities and key format artists and bands.
> Are You Blogging?: Gives the station personalities a forum to be connected with the community and for listeners to comment and interact. Content can be anything from show bit discussions to appropriate content matching station style to community events, live-blogging during personality-oriented shows, etc.
> Do A "Best Of" Local Survey: Newspapers and free weeklies have long done the local "Best haircut", "Best local pint", "Best pizza", etc. contests...rarely has radio made it their own in a market. Conduct your own contest. Partner or take it away from the papers, incorporate the voting online and text message/SMS as well as voice mail voting.
> Do Research Beyond Just Radio: When conducting custom market research (perceptuals, music test, focus groups, etc.), make sure you periodically measure multi-media experiences, habits, preference usage and demands/needs beyond just radio to avoid a myopic viewpoint and to better optimize listener's typical multi-tasking routines for media and entertainment. Find out where radio is in your target audience's usage spectrum...so threats and opportunities can be revealed.
For the full presentation pdf, click here.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Friday, March 09, 2007,