An Open Letter To The Radio Industry

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Posted by on February 11, 2009 at 15:23:30:

From Bill Figenshu, the President/CEO of FigMedia1 and former President & founder of Viacom Radio

While it's sad to think of the hundreds of folks who could be downsized in the wake of a possible SIRIUS/XM Chapter 11 filing, is there ever a better time to work on the radio 'perception' problem? Would you buy a satellite receiver from a company that may not be there in a year from now? In this recession how critical is the monthly fee compared to ... oh, say, paying your mortgage?

Radio perception (and reality) problems can be addressed with a bit of passion for the competition. Now is the time to go after them with everything we have to offer -- and that includes putting satellite radio on the defensive. It's time to remind our advertisers that we still pass 100% of the cars, homes, and online computers. Perhaps it's time to reinforce the basics and play offense!

What Should We Be Doing?

- Reminding advertisers that despite the increased competition, there are still over 235 million people who manage to listen to radio every week. That's about 215 MILLION MORE than you know who?

- Present your station as a local brand. Brands are everywhere, but local brands are important to consumers today if we provide local programming they can't get from the bird. We have the LOCAL brands that are part of the community. They don't!

- Distribute your radio brand where the people are. That means online, and as a mobile application in addition to AM & FM. Then address it with your advertisers as an offering of a complete package.

- Reinforce the immediacy of radio to deliver a message, the value of inexpensive production, and local uniqueness of your brand.

- Put something on the HD channels that matter to consumers and differentiate you from current analog radio offerings. Traffic and weather 24/7, Job postings, books on tape, car tips and restaurant reviews, real estate listings, computer and cell phone discussions, police scanners ... anything but more boring deep cuts.

Sure, there is a recession and times are hard for small and large businesses alike, but "when the going gets tough, the tough use radio!" It's affordable, accountable, and reliable as an advertising medium. If it's bad times for satellite radio, why not let everyone know it by restating our own attributes? Let's go get our audience! It's time to stand up and make a big noise!

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