Radio’s Santorum Problem

I don’t think many would disagree that the Republican candidates for president this year have been a truly unfocused, incompetent lot.  I’m not talking about their politics; I’m talking about their campaign skills.

Think about winning presidential campaigns.  Obama in 2008.  Reagan in 1980 and 1984.   Clinton in 1992.   These were all campaigns that stuck to a winning message, tailored to the candidate, no matter what distractions came along to try and sideline them.

What’s it like to work inside a campaign like that?  I understand it’s grueling, in part because you just get sick of being on the road, saying the same thing day in and day out.  However, when you change your message regularly, or go off the cuff as some of the GOP candidates have done this year, it’s not pretty.  You could argue that Senator Rick Santorum totally blew his time in the sun over the last couple of weeks.  He answered all sorts of questions about social issues when he should have been sticking to an economic message … one that helped him win Iowa.  As a result, he squandered his lead in national polls and some state polls, too.

So let’s bring this back to radio …

How is it that we can be disciplined on the air and so unfocused online?

Our fans know what to expect from us.  Consistency is a real benefit for radio listeners.  They have memories and expectations, and they want them met when they turn us on.   That’s part of the joy of entertainment of hearing the radio.

Those same brand memories and expectations come into play when folks log on to our websites.  They especially come into play when people sign up for our social media.  However, the consistency often stops once you turn off the radio.

I talk with folks who are stymied by the idea of a digital strategy.  They seem to think it means knowing a ton about technical matters, or being an expert on forms of media they’re just in the process of learning.

It’s so simple, actually.  It’s about your brand.  Where do you want to go?

More listeners?  More listening?  Let’s go there.  You might want more listening from the people you have.  Or, you might want to get sampling from people who should like your format, but aren’t listening.  Or, you might have some other important goal.

Your goal then helps determine what you focus your web content and your social media on.   If you want to start using your station brand’s Facebook page to get big fans to listen more, you have to focus on that.  You can’t post lots of other content along with a couple of brand-building posts from time to time.

You have to commit.  You have to focus.

What will your fans think?  If you do it right, they’ll probably be delighted!  You’ll probably be giving them what they hoped you would give them when they first “Liked” your page.  See, they’re not looking for lots of new content from you.  They don’t have time to enjoy what you’re already offering them.   Social media is about giving more brand access to your big fans, not coming up with more entertainment to distract them.  Your content is YOU.

Execution counts, and you can learn more about that by poking around this blog some more!  Good luck … your brand will start looking more appealing once you start!

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