Today’s radio stations aren’t just graded on what’s coming out of the speakers. Although on-air is still the most important, it’s no longer enough to just win in that one phase of the business, we have to be competitive in all of them. Stations that dominate markets tend to perform well across all of their platforms, on-air, online, on social and on site. To do that, we need to train, coach and hold our staffs accountable for creating content on each of our platforms. My suggestion for doing that is to take a carrot and stick approach with the stick, accountability, used to require a certain volume of content creation and the carrot, rewards, used to incentivize the staff to create content that gets a lot of interaction and engagement.
Let’s quickly go through what content creation looks like within those four phases and I’ll throw out some potential minimum requirements and rewards.
On-Air Content: Because it’s still the most important and we should strive for virtually everything to tie back to it, creating great content starts on air. As hiring managers when we’re combing through airchecks and resumes what we’re looking for are on-air personalities that can create their own original content and only choose other’s content that they can actually add something to by personalizing and localizing it. Anyone can rip and read from a prep service. Minimum requirements (Regardless of daypart): One content break per hour, one phone topic per shift and one contest per shift (Above existing station-wide contests). Incentives: Quarterly (Or bi-annual in diary markets) bonus/reward for highest daypart ratings increase, quarterly bonus/reward for most contesting engagement, viral on-air content reward and for group’s a reward for the station with the most incoming calls (On VOIP/Digital lines where that’s trackable.)
Online: The general misconception with website content is that it’s only blogs and therefore only applies to writers. Yes, blogging is a big part of it and it always helps to have that skillset. But, we don’t have to be trained journalists or a wiz at creative writing to write an article on a radio station website. All we’re looking for is a paragraph of copy in their own words (Doesn’t have to be formal and perfect), embedding a couple pics/video and linking to a place to get more info. Plus, if that’s still too much to ask, they can just create their own videos to post on the station website. Minimum requirements: Two original assets (Blogs or videos) per week posted to the station website. Incentives: Monthly bonus/reward for asset with the most unique clicks/pageviews and/or shares.
Social: If you traveled back to when I started in radio and told me there would one day be multiple free platforms where you could communicate directly with thousand of listeners (And potential new listeners) with a couple of clicks I would say ‘Wow, I’m sure everyone loves that and uses it constantly to drive traffic to their shows.’ To which future me would reply, ‘Well actually while typically all of them use it in their personal lives, only a fraction of them regularly utilize it to promote their content, features and contests.’ I know it can seem overwhelming figuring out how to use social, which platform to post on and when, but once we incorporate digital into the prep process it becomes a manageable part of our day. Then, within short order we’re regularly posting before, during and after our show across the various platforms. Minimum requirements: 3 per day, one before, during and after spread across the stations active platforms based on which one that content/post fits the best. Incentives: Monthly bonus/reward for the post with the most organic impressions.
On site: There’s little point in going on site if we’re just going to sit behind a table and wait for people to come up to us. Our goal should be to take some of the same interactive/engaging things we do on-air everyday and adapt them for onsite. All of which could create some social content to share. On site is also a great opportunity to capture and bank digital content. Minimum requirements per event: One audience engaging/interactive bit, 2 social posts, 1 banked video and 5 banked pics. Incentives: Quarterly bonus/reward for the most registrations during an event/remote.
What do you think, comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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