Out Of Town … But Part of Your Brand?

The Star of Our Show ...

Some of your most important programming may come from some other place besides your building.  So what do you do on your website and in your social media with programming that comes from Some Other Place?

TV has this issue, too.  I’ll bet that if I looked up the Fox TV affiliate in Altoona, PA … whoever they are … I won’t find much about American Idol, but I will find out about their local news.  If I check the NBC affiliate in Billings, MT, there will probably be local discount deals, but nothing much about the Today show.

For radio, it’s about Rush Limbaugh.  Steve Harvey.  Ryan Seacrest.  Sean Hannity.  Tom Joyner.  Delilah.  Tom Kent.  Bob & Tom.  John Tesh.  The list goes on and on.

What do you do with these shows when one of them shows up on the satellite and you basically push it back out the door with your transmitter?  How do you wrap your arms around these shows … on the air and online?

The smartest news/talk PD I know, Pete Spriggs at AM750 and NOW 95.5FM News/Talk WSB in Atlanta, has preached for years about the need for stations to work extra-hard to embrace their syndicated programming, and tie it to the station with custom liners, promos, and whatever else ya got.

Still, most stations that carry shows-in-a-box just let ’em air and don’t do much to weave them into the fabric of their product.  There are plenty of stations with, say, Tom Joyner in the morning, or John Tesh at night, delivering big numbers for them … yet, these personalities are a blip on those stations’ websites, and absent from their social media.

77 WABC, doing news/talk in New York, does the best job I’ve seen of including their syndicated shows in their social media.  Now, perhaps this is because they have big-name talk hosts like Imus and Hannity who work out of their studios.  However, Rush Limbaugh, to the best of my knowledge, is based in Florida, although he has deep roots at WABC.  Here’s some of how WABC integrates Rush into their social media:

It’s possible that whoever is doing WABC’s social media is just walking across the hall to talk with the syndication rep to get this info.  That doesn’t matter.  This is not secret or difficult stuff they’re posting.  If you’re a Rush affiliate, you could be posting this stuff, too.  A board operator or a promotions assistant or someone else monitoring the station could be posting this content.

What it takes is the attitude that you’re going to do it.  If you’re a news/talk station and you’re only posting news, you’re missing an opportunity to direct your fans from your social media to your broadcast and your website.

If you’re not a news/talker, but you have a big personality being beamed to you from across the country, you can do this too.

Plus, if you decide to get in touch with your syndicators and figure out a way that they can get you the info you need, I’ll bet … early in the conversation … they’ll say something like, “You know, no one has ever asked us for this before!”

Chris Miller


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