Key into The Audience's World - What are they talking about right now? Consider these examples from current events:
- Friday the 13th - It's coming this Friday.
- Live Nation - Just this past weekend many stations took the Premiere Network coverage.
- 07-07-07 - A big event this past weekend did you jump in or didn't bother.
- Heat Wave - Really the whole country was pretty hot for the whole past weekend and we pretty much knew it was coming.
- Summer of Love - For Classic Rockers a natural it was 40 years ago when the genesis of the format was hatched in hippie heaven.
The Local Community - It's the middle of summer and lots of local events are probably going on in your area. How many of the state fairs, local ball games, softball leagues, blues/wine/balloon/air shows/state fairs and other festivals did you station show up at? This time of the year you should be out at nearly 1 a week and some weeks maybe 2 or more.
The Web - If you tune into NBC Nightly News you may have noticed their 'everywhere' promo campaign. NBC is going ALL OUT to embrace nearly every media with the Nightly News brand and make sure they are a lot more than just the evening network news cast. Just like radio evening news has been decaying over the last 20 years with 24 hour news networks, the Internet, and so many other viewing options in today's 100-400 channel world. Instead of just fading away - NBC plans on being a big news brand even after the evening news fades. Look at the on-line and new media options with the content from the nightly news:
- Net Cast - You can watch the whole 1/2 hour show anytime after 7p eastern online.
- Story Files - On the web site every story and the video is kept for review. Watch them anytime.
- Pod Casts - A wide range of podcasts of the big stories and some background that didn't make it to the nightly news cast can be downloaded to your I-Pod or MP3 player in both audio and video formats.
- Cell Phones - Get the headlines and alerts via text to your phone anytime.
- Cell Phone Web - Access the site in mobile formats with less graphics.
- Widgets - Download a display for your desktop or you can also post it on your web site or blog with all the headlines and links build in.
- Blogs - A full daily blog with 6-7 entries from the whole NBC reporting team. Also a world blog with international stories.
- Website - Obviously the launching pad for all this along with constant updates on the news 24/7
You can probably count on them to announce a social network system, a video posting for news you caught on your camera, and probably a special I-Phone site with features custom built for their browser.NBC is leaving no base uncovered. It's an example we can all follow both in the streets and on the web. I know many of you are looking at this as a mountain of work requiring a huge time consuming effort and a small staff that's already multi-tasking all over the place just to stay on the air. Yet I bet if you organize your priorities, plan ahead, and communicate with the whole team you can make a lot of headway. Now is the time to start thinking about how you can make 2008 a big year for your station. Taking some time this summer to plan out 2008 and build a stronger web presence could be your start to covering all the bases next year.
So many times I see stations that are not reaching out on the air and in the community enough. They just seem content to play the music, run some commercials, take care of the client remotes, and generally phone it in. Even though some of your efforts will not be huge successes out of the box every hand you shake or interaction you have with the audience WILL pay off.