Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Big Event

This weekend we have 2 huge media events that are probably more about HYPE and the media making something huge out of an event.  

The first is the Royal Wedding which by most accounts has somehow become more important here in the U.S. than in England.  Really the 'royals' don't rule the English Empire anymore.  The empire was largely split up in the 50s and the British government is not about the rule of the King/Queen.  But, the fairy tale of the prince and princess and a lavish wedding with the whole world watching has the eyes of the media locked down.

Really the only place to dodge all the coverage is ESPN.  But ESPN is itself involved in another marathon event that is probably way overhyped - the NFL Draft.   They have nearly non-stop coverage for 4 days as teams pick from the college ranks.  Exactly how many of these rookies will even see much field time in the NFL next year?  Yet if you listen to the hype - this is the chance for the Panthers to win the Super Bowl.   Forget about the potential of a strike next season -- which team will land Cam Newton???  Last year ESPN estimates that over 28 million watched at least part of the first round.

How does this relate to your radio station?   Well we all have special events (or we should have).  It might be that festival concert you do every year, an annual contest, or a big street/fair community event that you go all out for.  

The key to making them into HUGE events is a consistent build.  Look at the Draft - it started out has a meeting between the teams to divide up the college players.  Year by year the coverage grew and grew - now it seems to start around Halloween and builds to fill the time after March Madness.

The Royal Wedding was built for centuries with the fairy tales, Disney, and the legend/scandals of the 90s.

While you probably won't be able to turn the Chili Cookoff into a Royal Wedding you can grow it every year.  Look for new fairy tales to build from the event, new angles on making more exciting, and also look for new ways to build it up on the air.  

The key is not just to run way too many promos and and just pound it down the audience's ears.  You also have to keep it honest and authentic.  While you can embellish the sell on the event you have to watch that you don't over cook it.  The key here is having a plan and reviewing it every year to make it bigger and better.

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