The Radio Industry Needs A Publicist

Morning show prank leads to suicide; massive layoffs at the largest group owner; listeners upset about pending format change. Just another week of headlines about radio from the non-industry press.

Most of the headlines about the radio industry that make it to the mainstream press are usually negative in nature these days. Outside of a handful of columnists, most newspapers have no regular coverage of the personalities and programming in radio.

We live in a world where publicists have turned people who gained notoriety for a sex tape into international superstars. The NAB or some other consortium of broadcasters need to get together and spotlight the good things being done at radio. Turn your personalities into local superstars. When you’re doing what was your ho-hum annual Christmas charity, make sure the print and visual press is there to spotlight it. Pay for the press now to turn into extra revenue later. Be forward thinking with your brand on all levels.

Or just continue doing what your doing and enjoy driving the rest of us into irrelevance along with you.

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  1. Jeff says

    Seriously. Some of the worst press I’ve seen was probably some of the best-intended: Bob Pittman’s “Making radio cool again.” I think I know what CCM+E was going for, but suggesting that radio isn’t cool now isn’t the way to do it.

  2. Jeff says

    Also, don’t forget that good PR depends on honest follow-through to be effective, or else it’s just hype.

  3. MattParker says

    Publicists are not all that powerful. Most (like 99 per cent) of what they put out gets ignored.
    Radio has no buzz. Pandora has buzz. Tablets have buzz. Smartphones have buzz. Satellite radio did have buzz (not any more). Celebrities have buzz. Even radio doesn’t do stories about radio.
    Lance, I don’t know what story you think publicists should be telling about radio. Massive power outage or storm damage and radio gets a little media attention for providing information. After all radios work on batteries so TV and PCs are pretty much out of the game when the lights are out. But radio can’t stay in business as an emergency medium (in the same category as flashlights, canned goods and bottled water). What other story does radio have? HD Radio? Nobody cares.
    NAB? Their main business is lobbying for regulation changes (mostly regulations that have killed radio). And their main interest is TV and the major group owners.
    Personalities? Are there any left? Hardly any.
    Make sure print and visual press are there? How? Hold a gun to their heads? Newsrooms are deluged with releases and phone calls from people with something to promote. They decide what they will pay attention to.
    Right now radio doesn’t have anything as interesting as a sex tape – and it hasn’t had since Howard Stern went to satellite radio.
    First radio needs a story to tell – something to promote. But it’s given up on local personalities and local presence. No story in satellite distribution and voice tracking.

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