Category: Digital

Cooke: Will You Be Ready When On-Demand Content Is Rated?

| November 25, 2014

Wake-Up Call: Nielsen will rate Netflix and other video on-demand

 

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI – With hits like “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” re-defining television, it was inevitable.

How soon before Nielsen measures podcasts, streams, and non-transmitter-delivered audio?  Hopefully, not before radio smells the coffee, and steps up on-demand delivery.

Most stations do on-demand all wrong, typically archiving on-air shows, deeper within the station website than many listeners will bother clicking.  Too often, those who do get there find whole hours labeled only by date and time.

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The Kinder Eggs Shocker

| November 24, 2014

Six New Facts About Online Video

 

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

sabowriterNEW YORK – Please take a moment to look at this video for Kinder Eggs. You only need to watch for a moment. There are other Kinder Egg videos in the Que with similar view counts of over 100,000,000.

Why do Kinder Eggs pull high view counts?  The answer reveals a profound difference between online video platforms and TV or passive video platforms.

1.  If a user types in “Airplane,” many videos featuring airplanes pop up.  But, platform engines also push videos that share similar title spellings. Type “airplane” and “airplane” videos come up first, then “air show” “air balloon”, lots of “air.”  Most marketers ignore the opportunities presented by the shared title spelling previews.  For example:

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Thinking Visual in Your Audio World

| November 14, 2014

By Gabe Barnes
Director, Business Development
Mersoft Media 

 

barnesgabewriterKANSAS CITY – Stevie Wonder is one hell of a musician and singer, but I am not putting a paintbrush in his hand and asking him to be Picasso. His art might turn out a bit abstract…. And that is putting it nicely.

I use this analogy to get radio groups thinking. For so long, all that they have had to be able to do is paint a pretty picture in the minds of their listeners with colorful dialogue, stories, and audio entertainment. But now, they are being asked to paint those same pictures in the eyes of that same audience.

So how does a radio station begin to think visually when they have been so accustomed to working in the audio world? Here are six recommendations to consider when thinking from a visual perspective:

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What Listeners Will Find Under the Tree

| November 12, 2014

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterNEW YORK – Even before Thanksgiving, we know what will be in Santa’s sleigh, if just-released Consumer Electronics Association research nails it as well as in recent years.  The outlook is good generally, according to CEA chief economist & director of research Dr. Shawn DuBravac, who observes that “consumer credit is accelerating, and lower gas prices will help.”  He predicts 2.5% growth over last year’s holiday spending, consistent with other improved economic indicators.

His forecast came Tuesday at CES Unveiled/New York, the perennial press event previewing January’s massive, mind-boggling Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas.  Not surprisingly, tech gifts will be big again this year, with 63% of USA adults surveyed planning to buy accordingly.

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How Mobile Can Save Your Talk Radio Brand

| October 20, 2014

By Gabe Barnes
Director, Business Development
Mersoft Media 

 

barnesgabewriterKANSAS CITY — Now I know that many of you may be thinking, “What the hell is this guy talking about?”

But hear me out first.

I am not saying that if you do not embrace mobile, your station might cease to exist.  I am saying that if you don’t embrace mobile, your station WILL CEASE TO EXIST as you know it.

The general population is quickly consuming the majority of its audio content through various digital platforms, and with mobile providing 24/7 access, users are looking at a traditional broadcast’s digital offering and measuring how it stack ups against the competition.

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July 2014 PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships

| August 25, 2014

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

 

kinosianMLB - 300LOS ANGELES — This time last month, we introduced our overview of Major League Baseball flagship stations. We continue with how these stations did in July and will chart through progress all the way through the World Series.

The following scoreboards are for MLB’s English-language flagships only.

Some flagship facilities appear in multiple markets, but here it is only listed in one PPM market – the team’s “home” metro.

In cases where a team has two flagships, both stations are shown.

Some MLB teams have a main flagship and an emergency alternative. The latter is used only in isolated cases to resolve a programming conflict; those backup facilities do not appear here.

The key station for the American League East division Blue Jays (CJCL) is, of course, located in Toronto, the only non-PPM market within Major League Baseball. Consequently, there is no available Nielsen Audio PPM ratings information for CJCL.

One of the Atlanta Braves’ flagships is Dickey Broadcasting Company-owned WCNN. WCNN is not a Nielsen Audio subscriber and therefore cannot be included in print.

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Stop Using This Word and Start Getting More Website Hits

| February 3, 2014

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

millerchrisSHAKER HEIGHTS — How can you get more website visitors?  Here’s an idea you can start using right now.

Quit using the word “details” when you talk about your site on the air.  You know what I’m talking about.  How many times a day does your station say, “for all the details, log on to radio103.com!”

That’s EXACTLY what I need in my life … more details.

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Short Ideas for a Short Week

| January 21, 2014

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS – “Sorry, I quit paying attention!” 

What attention span can we ask for these days to sell something?  One of my clients created a 40-second video for an email project, and I was momentarily concerned it was too lengthy to keep people watching.  Another client buys two :60 spots back-to-back on TV to show mini-documentaries.

And yet … we’re still offering to sell :60 spots, loaded up back-to-back, as if it’s 1990.

Good luck selling a lengthy ad online.  When YouTube lets us skip the rest of an ad a few seconds in, and Facebook measures your ad in characters instead of columns or inches, don’t six-minute sets of :60s make you at least a little nervous?  Roy Williams, the “Wizard of Ads,” says “Clarity is the new creativity.” Or, if I lost you during that last sentence, “Less is more.”

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New Year, New Content

| January 6, 2014

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Facebook has made some important changes, and I’ve got some tips for you to take advantage of those changes.

BuzzFeed_Logo 200The news and entertainment site Buzzfeed first picked up on it before Facebook made it official.  The folks at Buzzfeed noticed that, all of a sudden, online content publishers were getting a huge increase in hits.  That group of publishers includes a wide variety of content providers, but the way to think about it is “sites that find and write about stuff that others should find interesting.”

All social platforms are getting more sophisticated about how they determine what their users will see.  Facebook has adjusted their formula that determines what content we all get shown, emphasizing the interesting over the merely silly and self-serving.  Here’s how to help insure that more of your posts get shown to your fan base.

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Dare to be Crap-Free

| December 16, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — “In this multi-tasking radio world, who in the station should be responsible for online content?”  That’s a question I got from a smart guy I used to work with.  It’s a great question.

You need only two particularly strong people with this plan I’m going to give you.  You may be surprised about who they are.

Set it Up

Who should handle your online content?  Here are the staffing requirements for this focused plan:

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What You Look Like to Us

| November 18, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Those of us in digital media know that our world will continue to change drastically, over and over again.  We also know that we will be bigger and better three years … five years … 10 years from now.  Plus, we hear how radio compares itself to online listening choices, and we see how you use your digital platforms.

And here’s what we think.

We Have Transmitter Envy

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Getting Results from Facebook Ads

| November 4, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH — I was really down on Facebook ads when they first became available.  I thought Mark Zuckerberg and his team had a good handle on managing content for people to see, but they were clueless when it came to advertising.

Now that I’m tactically using Facebook ads for my non-radio clients, I have to eat those words!  Their ad platform has improved to the point where I use them to drive specific, direct response for clients who want to sell more cars, houses, wine, books and downloads.  I use them because they work.  And boy, are they ever cheap!

I wouldn’t be bringing it to your attention if I didn’t think it would help you get more meaningful social media results.

For example, I just spent $20 to get a client 20,000 well-targeted impressions in two days.  If your Facebook posts are crafted correctly and you are smart about ad targeting, this can influence real people to take action in real life.  I’m thinking that sort of response might help both your promotions department and the sales department, too.

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Proven Ways to Evaluate your Facebook Page Today

| October 21, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

facebooklogoSHAKER HEIGHTS  – When it comes to social media, you’re either building your brand, or spinning your wheels.  Here are a few tools you can use to evaluate the job your station is doing on Facebook, even if you hardly ever go on social media yourself!

Who’s on, First?

You work to talk with your target, whether it’s on the air, on site at an event, or online.  Who is your target?  Are you getting those people to hang around with you on Facebook?  Here’s how to tell.  Click thusly: Your station page > View Insights > People.  You’ll need to be an administrator for your page, or doing this with someone who is.

Here, you’ll see a graph that fits surprisingly well with your ratings info!  Among your fans, it shows your balance of women to men, and then breaks that down into the age cells we know and love … 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, and so forth.

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The Radio Broadcaster’s Guide to Getting the Most from Posting Video to YouTube

| October 7, 2013

By Chris Pendl
Bonneville Seattle
Creative Director

 

pendlchriswriterSEATTLE — It goes without saying you probably have a YouTube Channel for your show or station.  And yes, there’s a lot of talk around what makes a video good – but how can you get the most out of the video you’ve posted on YouTube?  In this column, we’ll look at how to make money from your videos, how to get users who find your video on YouTube to tune-in to your show, and other tips to make the most of your online video efforts.

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An Opportunity for Radio’s Interactive Sellers

| September 23, 2013

A social media arrow in your quiver would help open doors to more potential interactive clients 

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Good radio salespeople I’ve worked with pride themselves on being smart, helpful marketers, not just spot-schleppers.

So here’s an opportunity for our interactive sellers.  We offer some great digital marketing tools to our clients, such as hyper-targeted streaming spots, eye-catching interactive ads on our sites, insertions in database emails, and sponsorships of texting programs.  But what about the hottest digital marketing tool today, social media?

This is where I need to play the sound effect of crickets chirping.

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Mad Social Networking Skills

| September 9, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — There’s more to being a good jock than listening to yourself talk.  There’s more to being a good sales manager than just knowing a lot of clients.  And, there’s more to having mad social networking skills than being passionate about posting a ton of stuff!

Alan Peterson asked me a good question.  This is the Radio World Alan Peterson in Washington, DC, not the news-talk guy in California.  He was getting ready to speak to a college radio conference, and asked me about social media skills.  “So what is it that differentiates ‘mad’ skills from ‘casual’ skills, or just plain competency?”  He suggested it might involve video shooting and editing, coding, HTML, or actual IT knowledge.

Those are all useful skills, but there’s more to it than that.  If you want to be at the top of your social media game, here are the different levels you have to go through.

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ALEX BENNETT at 73: True Radio Pioneer

| August 9, 2013

Raising the Digital Frontier Bar One “Great American Broadcast” at a Time

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

NEW YORK — The one thing you can never say is that Alex Bennett is not ahead of his time.  Bennett can stake a claim to the fact he may be the only one who has successfully climbed the ladder from the smallest of radio markets to the top market in terrestrial radio, worked on the air as a talk host on satellite radio, and have made the transition to the audio and video digital frontier in a way nobody else has.  It also appears that being 73-years young, he has no plans to hang up his headphones or power down his bandwidth anytime soon.

Bennett was born in 1939, when NBC’s Red Network had an affiliate in Havana, Cuba, and a few months before radio shows like “Truth or Consequences” and “The Adventures of Superman” debuted on the air.  Much like those “firsts,” Bennett would soon prepare to venture into radio and create a few “firsts” of his own.

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It’s Boston, but is it the Herald?

| August 6, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

bostonheraldradiologo 150SHAKER HEIGHTS — As you read here in TALKERS, Boston Herald Radio debuted on Monday 8/5.  The internet-only radio station plans to draw on talent and content from their print and online editions to create a new Boston-based news/talk outlet.

A newspaper used to be just something you held and read.  TV news was what everyone sat down and watched a half-hour of on the tube back in the day.  Radio news was the immediate one, the one that could go with you.  Those days are gone.  We’re no longer defined by our method of distribution.

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The Social Media Trick You Don’t Know
You Know

| July 29, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — One of the hot phrases in social media and content management right now is “call to action.”  It’s a phrase I remember hearing not long after I first got into radio.  However, now it’s a major buzz word in the digital media world, where it’s a new and rapidly evolving concept.

As I learned it in radio, it was a phrase that basically asked for the sale for whatever was being promoted at the time.  “So join us at noon and phone in your request.”  “Make sure you come early for this special sale.”  “We’re offering free trials of this special new weight loss product, but only if you call before midnight.”

A call to action is the tool that turns a flat spot, promo or jock liner into one that directs the listener to take some action.  Thus, it takes something ineffective and makes it effective.

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What Am I Going to Post Today?

| July 15, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital
Owner

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Content curation is a massive headache for a lot of social media experts.  It’s an endless mouth to feed, and the general impression I get is that those of us who do this spend about two hours a day just looking for interesting or fun content to post that relates to our clients.

In radio, there are a lot fewer full-time social media folks, and a lot more people who have added some social media duties on their already long job description.  That makes it tougher to be consistently interesting, funny or helpful.  That’s especially true if you’ve never used social media in a professional way.  We radio folks know radio, so we tend to write online like we’re broadcasting, or we assume our station’s followers want to be our friends.  That’s understandable… understandable but ineffective.

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Can Internet Radio Reignite a Career?
Ask “Radio George”

| July 1, 2013

By Jeff McKay
RadioInfo
Special Features Correspondent

KANSAS CITY — When you’re in radio and you lose your job, in almost all cases you begin looking for another job at another radio station, whether it’s in the same city or another market.  For some, the intrigue of the internet brings them to the digital frontier.  If the choice becomes the digital divide, then the question then becomes, “How can you make money?”

For that answer, you can ask “Radio George.”

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Your Social Media Strategy

| July 1, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — “What’s the return on investment?”  That’s one of the questions that’s regularly asked by businesses of all types, while trying to make sense of their place in social media.  The more honest statement I hear is, “I know I need to be doing more with social media, but I don’t know what I should do.”

I see social media and content marketing make the needle move for businesses, but there’s one thing you have to do before you’ll see results with it: do it correctly.

The first step in doing it correctly is to come up with a plan. So, here are four steps to your new, effective social media strategy, especially designed for radio stations.

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Questions Answered

| June 17, 2013

SHAKER HEIGHTS – There are some questions I hear pretty regularly.  They’re good questions.  Here are some of them, answered.

Q.      How many social media followers should I have?

A.      I don’t know, and I don’t care.

What matters is who they are and what you do with them!  Social media is your frequent flyer program.  This is where you take your big fans and turn them into customers for life who give you the lion’s share of their media consumption.  So, you want to attract your heavy listeners, bring them backstage with you.  More big fans is better than fewer.  A lot of casual cumers is a waste of your time. Read More

How I Tweet

| June 11, 2013

By Chris Miller
Miller Digital

twitter100SHAKER HEIGHTS — I tell my clients, “When it comes to social media, either you’re building your brand, or spinning your wheels.”  Twitter has turned into a huge wheel-spinning exercise for many businesses!  Here’s what I’ve found works for me.

Don’t Wait to be Followed

The best way to get followers is to follow first.  Find people who like what you offer, and follow them.  If you choose them well, a significant portion of them will follow you back.  Simple, huh? Read More

The 10 Percent Solution

| May 28, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Being consistent is good.  That applies both on the air, and in your social media, too.  Your fans build up expectations of what you’re going to post.  If they choose to engage with you about what you post, that’s great.  Nice work.

There’s a dark side to consistency, however.  When you get into a rut, or your favorite ways to interact aren’t getting interacted with, it’s time to take control by losing a little control.

You never want to just change everything at once about what your station is doing in social media.  However, I’d recommend taking about 10% of your posts, and just try different ideas.  Do this whether you’re wildly successful, or not happy with your fans’ level of engagement.  If you’re always curating content, linking to sources online, try posting a great photo, or just asking an open-ended question.

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Email: New Rules

| May 23, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Remember that one thing you’d never make it to the driveway without?

Your keys.  Now there are two things.  It’s tough to imagine a day without that everything-in-your-pocket thing we used to call “a cell phone.”

Texting and Twitter have raised the bar on Email.

When I first started consulting, client stations would mail me aircheck cassettes in padded envelopes.  No, Harry Truman was not in the White House.  That was first-term Clinton administration era technology.  Tick tock.

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Cleaning Up for Summer: Big Moves in Small Chunks

| May 20, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Even though it’s still spring, Memorial Day weekend is about to roll around.  For a lot of us, that can feel like the start of summer.  So I’m giving you the summer to do a little upgrading!  Here’s a punch list of items you can work on each week between now and Labor Day to get your website and social media fixed up, and ready to totally support your on-air product this fall!

Write Down Your Goals

Your performance is being judged on some set of numbers.  How can your digital platforms contribute to those numbers?  Think about those goals, write them down, and share them with your co-workers.  Whether it’s content on your site, your social media, email, texting, whatever … bring it into focus.

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Proven Winning Ideas for
News/Talk Social Media

| May 6, 2013

By Chris Miller

Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — So here’s some good news about a huge opportunity for news/talk stations.  You can turn your social media into a “loyalty content marketing” program for those ultra-passionate fans you have.

facebooklogoUnfortunately, just about all news/talk stations with a Facebook page have the same problem.  There’s a lot of content posted about news.  However, there is almost no content about what the talk shows are doing.  I’m sure syndication is one reason for this; if the talk host is not in the building, how are you going to know what he or she is planning to talk about, and when?

Even so, this is a problem with local talk hosts, too.  I don’t see a lot of social media content about local shows.  Those local talk host posts that I do see often don’t offer a lot of specifics.  I’m not told when to listen; I’m not told why I would want to listen; I’m not invited to engage.

Let me give you a hand with a couple of basic tips about how to use Facebook and Twitter more effectively for your news/talk station.  News and talk are handled differently, so let’s start with news.

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Turning Promotion into Content
on Facebook

| April 29, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — There’s something that makes Facebook different from all other social media sites, and I’m going to tell you how you can use it to your advantage.

Facebook has a vested interest in showing you the best content.  They’re also clearly suspicious about what most businesses and brands are posting, because they limit us from the start, showing our posts to 10-15% of our followers.

Most brands don’t do a very good job in social media.  They’re stuck in an old model of pumping out marketing messages, and that’s what they do on Facebook.  You, as an individual, didn’t get on social media to be advertised to!  Neither did your followers.  When you cut and paste your promo liners to Facebook, or try and write to your followers like you talk to your listeners, you’re confirming Mark Zuckerberg’s view that it’s in his interest to block your fans from reading your hype.  Your promos cut down on his users’ time-spent-engaging.

So here’s the secret.  Turn your promotion into content.

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Dead, or Online?

| April 22, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS – Have you ever read something that just freshly fired up your motivation?  That happened to me recently.  It was a piece at SocialMediaToday.com by content marketing specialist Barry Feldman titled, “Social Media Doesn’t Really Connect Us. What Does?”

To sum it up, the proclamations that radio is dead, news publishing is dead, books are dead, mail is dead, and so on are wrong.  The media we’ve known for years are not dead, they’re just online.  Furthermore, media isn’t the issue.  Content is.

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True Believers

| April 15, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — I ran into to another couple of True Believers this past week.

True Believers are the radio folks I talk to who just know deep in their heart of hearts that the brilliant use of our digital tools could help radio be the best it could possibly be.  When I talk with them, they often just see so clearly how to fit all our different platforms together and how to use them.  Most of them seem to feel a level of frustration, too.  I suspect that’s because they are often the one person at work who is both knowledgeable and passionate about the potential of these tools.

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Prune Now to Grow Later

| April 1, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Here’s a way to clean up your website to get more repeat visits from your heaviest listeners.

Where to Start

Someone knows how to run your web analytics so you can see which pages get the most hits.  Do that.  Generally speaking, a small number of pages will, when combined, deliver more than half of your web hits.  These are the important ones.  Sometimes, you’ll see a clear difference between the pages that are performing and those that aren’t.

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Is Moss Growing on your Website?

| March 29, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The midday host at a station I work with asks: “Should I move from Facebook to Twitter?”

Wisely, stations and personalities are prioritizing Twitter, a darn opportune tool which listeners have adopted as-fervently as they did Facebook…and MySpace, in its day.

If you’re thinking that “The Next Shiny Object” is your very own iPhone app, STOP.  Save the money, for reasons I will explain on June 6 in my Talkers/New York presentation “Resourceful + Remarkable.”

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Twitter as a Broadcaster’s Tool:
Use it Wisely

| March 25, 2013

By Holland Cooke
www.HollandCooke.com
@HollandCooke

Twitter invites more voices into your on-air and digital conversation; even more so than Facebook.

When someone posts something on your Facebook Wall, all of their Friends and your Followers and Friends see it, and can easily chime-in.  When THEY do, all of THEIR Friends see it, and can Comment or Like or Share.  Thus the metaphor “going viral.”

Twitter takes Social Media to the next level, by enabling you to attract the attention of others who follow neither you NOR the-person-to-whom-you’re-Tweeting.

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POSTING: When and How Often?

| March 25, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — There are a couple of social media questions I get asked a lot.  “When are the best times to post?”  “How often should we post?”

Now, neither of them is as important as making sure you have the right content for your fans.  That’s the big thing.  But let’s assume you’re good to go, content-wise.  When you post and how often you post will be different depending on the platform you’re talking about.  Keep in mind that getting seen only by your fans is not enough.  When they start retweeting, sharing, commenting, favorite-ing and liking what you show them, that’s when more and more people will see what you posted.

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Goodbye, Clutter

| March 11, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Get ready for the whining, because Facebook is about to make some changes.

FacebookOn Thursday, the social media giant announced a new format for their news feed, which Mark Zuckerberg referred to as “the best personalized newspaper in the world.”  The big change?  Pictures are going to get even bigger.  That’s a bigger change than it sounds like.  The headline Facebook puts on it is, “Goodbye, clutter.”

This is good news for radio stations and other brands that are doing a good job using social media as loyalty content marketing.  It will be easier for your fans and their friends to see what you post and enjoy it!  Let me offer 5 quick guidelines to help you make the most of your Facebook posts, especially once the new news feed kicks in for everyone.

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Core-Casting

| March 4, 2013

By Chris Miller
Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — So, what the heck is social media really worth?  What sort of return on investment are we talking about here?

Some days, it seems that everyone is liking, sharing, commenting, retweeting, favorite-ing and pinning.  On one hand, it’s easy to wonder if it’s worth it to have a social media presence.  On the other hand, it’s also easy to wonder if we’re missing out if we don’t actively pursue having a social presence.

What this stuff is worth is also a question that digital media and social media pros wrestle with.  Most brands that have staked out a social space are working on either creating a direct response of some sort, or brand awareness.  All other strategic goals being equal, I’ve had much more success using social media for direct response than for brand awareness, although the latter can be done.

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Meaningless Shiny Objects

| February 25, 2013

By Chris Miller
Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — “My station has five thousand Facebook ‘likes!’”

“We’re working on a video that we think will go viral!”

I’ll try and be gentle; both of these topics are shiny, distracting objects.  Unfortunately, the number of Facebook “likes” you have is almost completely without meaning.  In addition … working to have something go viral is probably taking you away from what you should be doing!

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Have You Hugged Twitter Today?

| February 19, 2013

By Holland Cooke RadioConsultant Seinfeld-backwardBLOCK ISLAND – Remember Seinfeld-in-reverse? It was a special episode that was entirely backwards. It began with closing credits and ended with the opening theme. The plot started-at-the-end…then ended at-the-very-beginning. We saw Jerry and Kramer meet for the first time. In the final scene — the earliest chronological moment, a flashback, to a time before the Internet — Jerry’s date was telling him about the advent of Email. “Email,” Jerry asked, puzzled, “Why would I want to send someone an Email?” Read More

A Tool to Delight Your Fans

| February 18, 2013

By Chris Miller
Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — I’m having a hard time coming up with a way to make “good writing” seem sexy and interesting.  Look, this is important, okay?  Even though it’s not as fun as learning about some shiny new digital bauble.

Good writing is at the heart of what we do online, and how we communicate with our fans.  Don’t just do it for the art of it; do it because it can help stretch your few thousand Facebook fans into tens of millions of annual impressions.  Do it because it will help get your tweets retweeted.  We’re talking about building your numbers here!

You don’t have to be Faulkner to write a good Facebook post.  Here are three mistakes to avoid so what you write … gets enjoyed!

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Do You Sound “CompuServe”
to Smartphone Users?

| February 14, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — To avoid a common mistake I hear in my radio travels, promos for your station’s website should END – not BEGIN – by plugging the site.

Instead, begin by telling ‘em ONE REASON they want to go there.

Fundamentally, a promo is a commercial, right? So, as with copy you’d write for an advertiser, you should:
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Blogging to Grow your Tribe

| January 30, 2013

More Thoughts from the Recent New Media Expo

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — In olden times, radio, like other ad media, sold exposure, audience tonnage. Sales reps would show-off ratings rankers… which I always thought was daffy. Would you go to a job interview with nine other applicants’ resumés?

• But there our call letters were, in black and white, atop the page of whichever-demographic-we-sorted. Reps recited the Reach + Frequency spiel, promising that a radio ad schedule would help the retailer “build brand.” “We’ll make you the best-known” among all-who-sell-what-you-sell. Repetition, y’know?

• Fast forward to present day: Mere message exposure doesn’t do it anymore. The E-word en vogue is engagement, and money is flowing to digital opportunities that talk-with customers, rather than simply talk-at-‘em.

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If I Were the CEO of YouTube

| January 28, 2013

A modest proposal by Walter Sabo

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman

NEW YORK — First, I will never be the CEO of YouTube because I could not pass the battery of Google employment tests. Math was not my strength. Also, based on a visit to their NY offices, their hallway labyrinth would keep me lost all day.

But here’s why I should be CEO:

Why do you look at YouTube? The primary reasons are to see cats, music videos, your kids and “web stars.” I am perfectly comfortable with these crowd pleasers. Why? Because they please the crowd.

About 18 months ago YouTube announced a multi-million dollar initiative to pay for premium video content created by “top producers” and Hollywood stars. At the time I explained to my annoyed relatives and friends that this was an insane waste of money and it wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t work because it violated a key axiom of show business:

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Radio Makes it Real…if, We’re Keepin’ it Real

| January 14, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

WASHINGTON, DC — If you’re a broadcaster, you probably found this story remarkable. If you’re a podcaster, you probably found it relatable:

“By most measures, he was nondescript: a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. From a small case, he removed a violin. Placing the open case at his feet, he shrewdly threw in a few dollars and pocket change as seed money, swiveled it to face pedestrian traffic, and began to play.”

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Hype vs. Truth

| January 14, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Here’s why it’s very important for you to communicate in a scrupulously honest manner online.

Today, there’s plenty of trustworthy online info at your fingertips. There’s also plenty of misinformation, and a Google search may not help you sort it out. A decade ago, when the internet was a wilder and woolier place than it is now, all sorts of crap masqueraded as truth. “I know it’s true; I read it on the internet!” was a sarcastic joke you’d commonly hear at the time.

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“I Knew You’d Like This, and that No One Else Would Show It to You”

| January 7, 2013

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS –People sometimes pooh-pooh the power of social media because of the relatively small number of followers we have.  However, did you know that you can turn a thousand Facebook “Likes” into a reach of a million over a year’s time?  That kind of reach can then deliver millions of impressions in a year, too.

Every good programmer has a solid knowledge of what tactics work to deliver better Arbitron numbers over time.  If you’re a PD, that’s just part of your job.  Well, Facebook has a similar set-up that you can take advantage of to create more engagement, which then drives your social media stats up … and creates more brand usage for you.  If you’re doing it right, that is.

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What Do You Do Online When the News is Bad?

| December 17, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Friday’s tragic events in Newtown, CT, remind us not only that life is precious… but also that our fans’ expectations can turn on a dime.  You may know what you’ll do on the air when the news explodes like that.  What will you do with all your other content platforms, like your website and your social media?

Radio has two worthy purposes on days like Friday:

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You’re Fired? Timing is Everything.

| December 11, 2012

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — If you haven’t already noticed, you’ve got to see this.  Grab a copy of USA Today.  Any day will do, but it has to be the newsstand hard copy.  No digital version will work.

Radio is reeling from another Clear Channel bloodbath, just in time for Christmas.  It wasn’t the first, it won’t be the last, and it’s not just Clear Channel.  But heartless timing.  The nerve of ‘em.

In the words of Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman: “Let me tell you the story of another loser…”

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Social Media is “The New PR” for Radio

| December 10, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — It may not cost you a dime when your radio station is Tweeting and Facebooking and YouTubing.  However, I’ll bet social media is a major ongoing project for some people at your station.  It’s probably costing you plenty of hours from your programming or promotions department.  Seems to me you’d want return on that investment.

Is there a possible return on investment from your social media efforts?  Maybe not the way you’re doing it right now.  The way to change that is to think of it as “The New PR.”

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Five Practical Digital Lessons Radio Can Learn from the Obama Campaign

| December 3, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Politics aside, Barack Obama’s winning presidential reelection campaign has some great lessons for us about how to use these wacky new digital tools we have.  There’s been a lot written about the campaign’s data-mining and information overlays and Facebook’s “open graph” and more.  However, we’re not going any of those places now.  Let’s stick to what you can do today.

Media All Fits Together

It’s easy to think about all the things we do as separate parts.  Our on-air broadcast, on-site promotions, website, social media, email and texts can all feel like different projects.  Meanwhile, our heaviest listeners and biggest clients want to use all those parts as interlocking pieces of a whole.

The Obama team didn’t start by thinking about what should go in a TV spot, what would be fun to do door-to-door and what might get some likes and shares on Facebook.  They thought about what they needed to do to get members of certain demographic groups to come out and vote for the president.  That goal drove what content was on each platform … and how those platforms fit together … and helped lead to their success.

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How to Get a Brand-Building Website

| November 19, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital        
SHAKER HEIGHTS — Maybe you have corporate people who have some control over the content and appearance of your website.  Maybe you’re the lone person at your station that really cares about the website.  If you’re in either one of these groups, you are not alone … not by a longshot!

I often hear digital issues spoken of in grandiose terms, so let me pass on a few practical website tips you can do at the station level, no matter what your corporate interactive people are doing.  They’re often brilliant experts on the web, but they’re not experts on radio.  They’re also certainly not experts on how the two fit together.

What’s the difference between your site and Google, YouTube and Facebook?  Those sites have a clear reason for being, and clean, well-organized content.  Get your page looking more Facebookish or YouTubeEsque, and you’ll go a long way towards building your website numbers.  Here are some nuts-and-bolts actions to get more people back more often and clicking on more stuff.

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Twitter Secrets Unlocked!

| November 12, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH — I’m going to give Twitter some love, by telling you three ways to use that platform to help build your radio brand.

BULLETIN SERVICE

“Bulletin” may mean different things for different formats or situations.  On Twitter, you’re much less likely to get people to click on links than on Facebook.  However, Twitter is a good way to rapidly send out information of some value to your fans.  It might be a news or traffic headline, or when a new song will play, or when you’ll play a big contest next.  I’ve been increasing Twitter fans for one client by making their Twitter feed about one thing and one thing only, and promoting that on their Facebook page.

See, we often treat Twitter as the little sister to Facebook.  It’s not the same thing, and your opportunity is to make your Twitter feed clear and distinct from what you do on Facebook (or anywhere else).  That’s why one big way to increase the value of your Twitter activity is to make it about something in particular.  Many people are already using Twitter for information updates about things they’re interested in, so you’d be fitting in with their expectations.

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Start Doing THIS Right NOW
on Facebook – Part 2

| November 5, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH — I was amazed by the high level of interest in my previous TALKERS piece, “Start Doing THIS Right NOW on Facebook.”   So here are a few more tips to help you get your radio station’s pages and posts right!

A lot of us radio folks see the value in social media.  Still, many could use some help working it in a way so you’re building your brand, instead of just spinning your wheels.  Many of the mistakes businesses make on Facebook have to do with how you write what you post.  We tend to speak in marketing-ese or like we’re scripting a promo.  That’s a huge error that may have people consistently hiding your content.  Here’s how to write a post that works for you.

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Start Doing THIS Right NOW on Facebook!

| October 29, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Over here on the digital side, it’s a common belief that Facebook has drastically cut back on how many people see our branded posts, so that we have to buy more advertising.  That may well be the case!  However, the Facebook folks are not only concerned about money, they’re also concerned about their version of time spent listening.  They want you to visit more often; and they want you to scroll further down your news feed than you do now.  They may limiting how much stuff people see from us commercial enterprises, so that it doesn’t crowd out what they see from their friends and family.

In any event, you’re lucky if 15% of your followers see any given post of yours.  REAL lucky.

So, here are the state-of-the-art techniques that will help you get seen more, and engaged with more often.  If you’re doing it right, that will then lead to more on-air and online usage of your radio station, which is the ultimate goal.

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Not All Web Hits Are Created Equal

| October 22, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — I can tell that we radio folks are more stressed out than ever, because I’ve been in on a few conversations recently where the subject was how people out there don’t understand the value of radio anymore.  That’s a change from the previous sentiment, which was that we just needed to get more compelling content on our websites and in our social media.  The feeling seems to be now that we have to make potential fans and clients understand what we’re all about, and what we offer.

Then, I see here in TALKERS (10/17) last Wednesday that Bonneville in Seattle is putting one of their key on-air people “in the driver’s seat for bringing unique, local content to both KIRO-FM and the company’s digital space, MyNorthwest.com.”  So wrap your head around this.  Linda Thomas, who’s been part of KIRO-FM’s morning drive news block … that’s morning drive in the 13th largest market … is moving online.  That’s a real commitment on Bonneville’s part.

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Crystal Ball for Brand Managers

| October 12, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS — Saga Communications made the news this past Wednesday when they anointed their program directors as “brand managers.”  Saga’s executive vice president, Steve Goldstein, issued a memo that you read in RadioInfo.  It read, in part, “We’ve been thinking about how successful programmers are morphing their skills to become proficient at not just managing the on-air product, but the overall brand.  And conversely, it has exposed the vulnerability of program directors who are not learning and growing as we become more digital.”

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Tips to Rejuvenate Your Listener Emails

| October 8, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH — Once upon a time, it was cool to communicate with people via email.  Now, it’s a utility like the power company.  You don’t think about it very much, but it’s hard to imagine getting business done without it.

I hope you haven’t gotten so blinded by social media that you’ve fallen out of love with email.  It’s still a powerful tool to communicate with your listeners, especially if your station targets adults.  Here are three things you can do to make your emails that much more powerful.

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Three Steps to Digital Revenue Power

| September 24, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH – President Barack Obama has been appearing on radio morning shows lately … not on talk stations, but on stations that play music. On September 17, TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo covered how one of these appearances came together for Cox’s hip hop station in Orlando.  The President has shown up on alternative and Spanish language stations, too.  Politics aside, this is a success story for radio! Obama’s campaign has been targeting certain messages to appeal to certain voter blocks.  They have microsites on the web, different social media groups, and targeted, focused e-mail lists. However, what did they use to present the President in both a targeted and a personal way? They used RADIO!

Radio is the original targeted medium. It’s potentially even more targeted in this new media world. Having digital inventory to sell on our streams and websites only makes us a stronger business partner for clients who want to hyper-focus their message. That’s the power of broadcast plus digital! To maximize that power, you can follow three steps.

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Social Media? It’s Your Frequent Flyer Program

| September 17, 2012

By Chris Miller
Chris Miller Digital

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — Lots of radio folks still don’t see the value in social media, and the way that most radio stations are Facebooking and Twittering, I don’t blame them.

The people who sign up to follow your radio station’s Facebook page tend to be your biggest fans. It makes sense that only someone who really cares about what you do would add you to their news feed, right? Now that you have all those folks in one place, what are you going to do with them?

Here on the digital side of things, we’ve studied why people sign up to follow brands on social media. Here are the big reasons:

  • To get the advantage of insider information
  • To get special deals and offers
  • To learn more about things you do that they like or are interested in