By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Observant TALKERS readers: Thanks for noticing my absence here last week when, like many Americans, I took some V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N time. Note: Two 1962 song references in two sentences. THIS time of year is THAT timeless.
Like baseball, which also hit pause last week, radio has a mid-season opportunity to re-set.
- Oh, and baseball stations: Are you exploiting this valuable franchise? With games now available so many other places, it’s important to be known-as your team’s affiliate. Regardless of where diarykeepers HEAR the games, let them THINK of you. 😉 Take listeners to games! And sales: Is sponsor copy fresh? If spots running-since-April are still crowing “baseball is back!” your advertisers will notice.
- All stations, all formats: Seize opportunities to touch-and-feel.“Hot town, summer in the city:” Where can you surprise people by handing out ice cream cones? (And logo’d swag.)
- Listeners’ lives are atypical this time of year. “When the weather’s fine we go fishin’ or go swimmin’ in the sea.” Classic Rockers and 80s Hits FMs are well-exposed in backyard cookouts. “All summer long, we spent dancin’ in the sand. And the jukebox kept on playin’ Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
- And as every station’s listeners’ routines are altered, they’re exposed to days and dayparts they might not habitually use. When they discover you, will they instantly “get it?” Is your elevator speech high-profile? When I programmed WTOP/Washington a competing PD flattered me when he said he’d listened lots while on his boat for a week. When I asked “What did you hear?” he parroted our slogan “…where you get the top news, instantly!”
- Be sure that your vacation relief talent gets that. Often Talk stations use local celebs and politicians as fill-in hosts, and they don’t have our instinct for imaging maintenance. Give them cue cards.
- Are any of those fill-in hosts ready for prime time?
- Will you be installing new shows or local hosts in September?Prep now for imaging that introduces them. Maybe a retro-TV “New Fall Season” theme?
Lots to do? Sure, but MUST-do is YOUR time-off. A psychotherapist I recently interviewed on my TV show says not-taking vacation time is a big mistake. Recharge now so you can charge-into post-Labor Day, when listeners revert to habit, “after the boys of summer are gone.”
Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Holland Cooke: Greatest Hits” an instant download available exclusively from Talkers Books. Click the ad banner on this page. And he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show on RT America. Read HC’s Monday Memo each week at Talkers.com, and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke