It’s time to say it again. Air personalities are the future of radio. Recently, I wrote about ways to promote personalities more effectively in station promos. That’s just the start. Maybe you should make them the face of your brand.
In the past, radio was able to compete for four main positions:
That’s changed, and broadcasters know it, whether they want to admit it or not.
- Radio is no longer the “go-to” media for music.
- Information is transmitted in seconds via mobile devices. By the time it’s on the radio, alerts and notifications have popped up on phones.
- Promotion is more challenging than ever. How can radio out-promote a $1 billion lottery prize?
Those elements still have a place on commercial radio but it’s no longer enough to win the position. There’s one advantage that will sustain into the future: Personality. And that’s where brands should invest.
The Face Of The Brand
This scares some managers. What if they leave at the end of their contract? What would happen if the face of the brand takes the audience across the street? And isn’t it a disadvantage when negotiating that next contract? These are some of the reasons stations assign a generic name to morning shows (a bad idea, by the way).
Those are considerations. But that doesn’t stop marketers from promoting Tom Brady, Tom Hanks, or Mick Jagger. They’re stars that attract audiences.
Yet not every air personality is qualified to be the face of the brand. They must be truly strong personalities. Promoting average talent or DJs that don’t move the needle won’t get you anywhere. By the way, if you don’t have high-profile talent, we should talk. You probably need a talent coach.
Here are ways to make personalities the face of the brand:
Spokesperson: Position and promote programming features, music, and contests. Find ways to get them on the air frequently talking about the benefits of the station.
Positioning: Create imaging and promos around unique content and the stars that create it. Radio stations can’t be the place for Justin Bieber, but can be the place for the morning show. Connect the stars to the station brand.
Features: Develop high-profile features branded with the personality’s name. It should be Peppy & Zippy’s Thousand Dollar Minute!
Contests: Don’t just give away concert tickets. Give away (talent’s) tickets. It’s not the WXXX Concert with Justin Bieber. Make it a Peppy and Zippy event. And it’s not just an ordinary giveaway. Make it Peppy & Zippy’s Beat The Bank.
Website: Build an online and social media presence around the talent, rather than forcing them to fit into the station’s social pages. Be sure to use lots of videos in high-profile spaces. Check out how Lite-FM/Melbourne, Australia positions their stars, Lucy and Kel. Yes, that’s their home page:
It’s amazing how stations have more updates about celebrities in Hollywood than their own stars. Don’t let that happen to your brand!
External Marketing: Why run a TV commercial with a generic spokesperson or model? Or a voiceover and no actual people? Use your stars to promote the station. The same applies to online videos and outdoor advertising (billboards, etc.).
Email Marketing: Wouldn’t that open rate be higher if it came from a person the audience likes rather than a station name? Of course, it would. Here’s why.
Radio needs stars. Broadcasters should not be afraid of them. Find them, nurture them, embrace them and promote them. It’s the one resource that can drive our future.
Stations that promote personalities connect with audiences more than those that promote with a generic “More Music Workdays”. Now if the talent is endorsing and promoting that station feature, you might have something.
Would you like a personality-based show worth promoting this way? Let us help. We specialize in developing and inspiring on-air superstars. For more information contact us.