The Most Interactive Station in the World By Andy Meadows

Over the years I’ve consistently attempted to come up with ways to make the stations I worked with the most engaging, interactive stations within their individual markets. On one hand that’s allowed me to come up with some creative innovations and on the other it’s caused some to accuse me of trying to turn radio into something it’s not. But, I’ve always had the philosophy that the best way to create great radio today is to think about what great radio will look like in a few years and then take small steps toward that every year. 

The challenge when you’re working for a company, really any company regardless of how forward thinking they are, is its tough to think outside the limitations of your current situation. Lots of great innovations are tabled or nixed because of budget constraints, fear that existing staff won’t be able to consistently execute or, and here’s the big one, that it will take away from your core business. 

So, let’s set aside all of those fears and inhibitions for a second and think about what the most interactive and engaging radio station in the world would look like. I’ll brainstorm a few of the things I would see that station doing regularly and then you chime in with a few ideas in the comments (Or email me at andy@radiostationconsultant.com.)

  • On-air and social video teasers every hour 
  • Multiple daily benchmarks/features pre/post promoted on social/web 
  • Facebook or Instagram Live every on-air break 
  • On-air phone topic that turns into a web article with a poll/audio each shift 
  • Turning some phone topics into video submission topics 
  • DJs playing interactive games daily using Kahoot/Nearpod/Houseparty 
  • Virtual events/concerts targeting in-home workers 
  • Artist, celebrity and listener takovers on-air, social, web 
  • Live video stream paired with audio stream on web 
  • Hyperlocal focus integrating community voices into programming 
  • All on-air talent required to become multi-platform content creators 
  • On-air staff that blog/vlog daily 
  • Utilizing home studios to bring listeners behind the curtain 
  • Doing a benchmark/feature long form as a podcast first 
  • All on-air talent doing a regular podcast shared through a hosting service 
  • Utilizing staff outside of programming to help create digital content 
  • Supplementing digital content using freelancers 
  • Integrating more user generated content into on-air/web/social 
  • Taking requests/dedications 24/7 on station website using SpeakPipe 
  • Artist/celebrity generated station content linked to promotions/contests 
  • In-house video editors 
  • Content creation studios in-house 
  • Live streaming all station events 
  • Live game shows on-site/online that are promoted on air 
  • Interactive giveaways on-line and on-site at all events 
  • Daily jock video promos 
  • All station audio promos turned into video promos 
  • Visual liners run on social, web 
  • Video concert/event calendars 
  • Video, blog and web poll on all new music adds 
  • Weather/newscast video shared to social 
  • Video ads for every audio ad 
  • Synced videos for some/all songs 
  • Websites manned 24/7 
  • Originating the bulk of the digital content the station shares 
  • Integrating advertisers into all multi-platform content 

A lot of these ideas are getting easier and more affordable to execute with each passing day. If you’re interested, we can help show you how to pull them off while we simultaneously train your staff on how we do it. 

Pic designed by liuzishan for www.freepik.com.

2 comments

  • Sloan
    Sloan United States
    I love this list. It is great for idea starters for our talent. However, talent in smaller markets just isn't paid enough to accomplish even 4 things off this list. Also, you need to show metrics to us that prove that interactive online activity creates more instances of listening, longer listening and dollars for the brand. Being a PD, I have to balance making my announcers into influencers online... or do i want them to connect with listeners? Both are full-time jobs. In addition, having all on-air staff doing even half of the things above would create unfollows, as no one wants to be bombarded constantly in their feed with wacky DJs trying to hawk products, be funny or informative. There HAS to be a balance between online and on-air that fits with staff schedules and aspirations, and with saturation to your followers.

    I love this list. It is great for idea starters for our talent. However, talent in smaller markets just isn't paid enough to accomplish even 4 things off this list. Also, you need to show metrics to us that prove that interactive online activity creates more instances of listening, longer listening and dollars for the brand. Being a PD, I have to balance making my announcers into influencers online... or do i want them to connect with listeners? Both are full-time jobs. In addition, having all on-air staff doing even half of the things above would create unfollows, as no one wants to be bombarded constantly in their feed with wacky DJs trying to hawk products, be funny or informative. There HAS to be a balance between online and on-air that fits with staff schedules and aspirations, and with saturation to your followers.

  • Kelli
    Kelli Texarkana, Texas
    This is an amazing wish list! But I agree with Sloan, online/social content creation is in itself a (more than) full-time job. And, unfortunately, most small-market stations barely have enough staff to cover all on-air shifts, production, and personal appearances (and most of us are voicing multiple stations). When I first got into radio (I won't say how long ago that was lol) we were much closer to being able to accomplish this kind of list. Now, the majority of small and medium market stations are WILDLY understaffed and would find it difficult to add very many of these ideas. *Side note- Is it possible that the more on-camera element we add, the more we detract from the "theater of the mind" element that has historically been part of radio's appeal?

    This is an amazing wish list! But I agree with Sloan, online/social content creation is in itself a (more than) full-time job. And, unfortunately, most small-market stations barely have enough staff to cover all on-air shifts, production, and personal appearances (and most of us are voicing multiple stations). When I first got into radio (I won't say how long ago that was lol) we were much closer to being able to accomplish this kind of list. Now, the majority of small and medium market stations are WILDLY understaffed and would find it difficult to add very many of these ideas.
    *Side note- Is it possible that the more on-camera element we add, the more we detract from the "theater of the mind" element that has historically been part of radio's appeal?

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