What TV Understands Better Than Radio

I’m speaking this weekend to a group of broadcasters … both TV and radio owners and managers … so I wanted to make sure I was up on what their stations were doing in the digital world.

I’m sorry to say, as a former radio guy, that TV is doing a better job on embracing digital than radio is.  Not that radio isn’t trying.  Television broadcasters, when they post content on their websites or  in social media, are generally putting up more brand-related content that’s helpful in using their product.  Radio stations, unfortunately, are still posting a lot of stuff with a very tenuous connection to the brand.

So let’s review.  What does it take to turn your website or social media stream into a destination?  What does it take for your database emails to get opened, or for people to want to receive your texts?  Here’s how it works:  They hear something on your radio station … a song, something your jocks said, whatever.  They then go online to find out more.  They are looking for deep, focused info that builds on what they heard on your air.

For example, maybe someone on the air mentioned something fun to do in town this week, or a concert that’s coming soon.  We do that a lot in radio, and now our fans expect us to have relevant, timely lists of things to do in the area that would appeal to them.  They hear your morning show talk about a TV show or a new study, and they expect to go to the morning show page at your website and learn more about whatever that particular topic was.

Now, if you  have the sort of morning show that’s posting cute photos of their kids and funny YouTube videos instead, you’ve missed the mark.

If your website has a lot of different sorts of information crammed onto the front page, and much of it is never spoken of on the air, something’s wrong.

Surveys have shown that our Facebook fans find many, many radio postings to be a pleasant arrival; they like hearing from us.  But they don’t find what we’re saying useful.  We’re spending so much time finding content that we think may be the most interesting thing they’ve heard all day, that we forget they want to hear about US.  They signed up with us to have a closer relationship with us.  They want more of our stuff.  They want more of our info.  They want to know how to use our brands to get the most enjoyment out of us.  The sort of enjoyment they’ve already been getting on the air.

That’s the challenge for radio.  If you look at TV websites and social media, the stations with news operations are usually pretty good at stretching that into their digital platforms.  Even those independents who don’t have a big news operation usually know what programming brings the most people in.  They build their brands on that, and draw that into their website and into their social media.

Are you up for that, radio?  Are you willing to focus on and commit to what people love about you?


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