Pending Business: The Long and Winding Road | TALKERS magazine - talk media trade : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Pending Business: The Long and Winding Road

| May 3, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — We don’t subscribe.

Three words that could set the tone for what could be a thankless, time-consuming exchange. The seller who needs to provide metrics in a highly accountable media landscape and has no “numbers” to show could be at a competitive disadvantage. Perhaps you sell for a locally owned and operated station that doesn’t subscribe or a privately held owner who simply isn’t of the mindset to subscribe to a ratings service.

Frustration often turns into low motivation and the downward sales spiral begins.

My recent marketing work, took me down this road twice. Each time obvious opportunity was missed when 80s-style pitch flow jumped in the way of newer thinking. If you are selling for a news/talk station that doesn’t subscribe to a ratings service, here are some takeaways that come from the field and could help your chances of winning in a highly competitive environment.

  • Don’t waste valuable time with lengthy explanations. If you can’t provide traditional ratings metrics, hit the point and move to what makes your news/talk station different and better.
  • Good company. Advertisers want to know they can reach high-level people. Do you have pictures in the studio or notes from “wow factor” listeners? We often forget that local “wow factor” residents dine, buy cars, see health care professionals, and they listen to your station!
  • Why are they never current and relevant? One seller asked me to create a “brag book” of testimonial letters. He would constantly update and use something from his “brag book” on almost every call. Works in today’s digital world as well.
  • Social media numbers. Careful with this one. Your station or talent-follower numbers may not be as competitive as you think. Do your homework before you pitch those Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or email blast numbers.
  • Influencers. Talk radio hosts may have been the original electronic media influencers. Do you present accordingly?
  • Build your credibility. How do you market yourself? Do you use the same boring tag line as thousands of others?

Just because the metrics tools others use may not be at your disposal, don’t go down the long, winding road. Review your unique position, refresh your pitch flow, rehearse and win!

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.  Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy.  Contact Steve Lapa via email at:

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Category: Sales