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I Considered Listening to the Radio Today

“I considered listening to the radio today,” was the way the text exchange with my son Carver began. Carver is a junior at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. In some ways, Carver is a typical 20-something and – here is proud Dad coming through – in many ways he’s exceptional. He loves to try and get under his radio-loving father’s skin, thus the way he started the text.

Practicing what we teach about handling objections, rather than take the bait and share all the research with Carver, like the fact that 74% of people his age choose radio as their in-car audio choice, or the fact that 83% of adults his age tune into radio each week, (see Why Radio Slide deck at RAB.com) I instead asked questions. Here’s the exchange:

Carver: I considered listening to the radio today – I didn’t do it, but I considered it.

Dad: LOL. Thanks for sharing. What caused you to consider?

Carver: Well, I’ve run out of music to listen to - it’s a constant problem. I’ll put music on indefinitely when I’m doing work, but the playlists start looping and it gets repetitive and old fast. Radio wouldn’t necessarily solve that because if I listen to a station long enough, I’ll hear the music repeating, but it would be interesting to have someone come on every so often and say things. Radio has hosts that talk and make it interesting.

Dad: Tell me more…

Carver: Like a talk show all day; it’s like an infinite podcast. So that’s like the thing that radio has going for it – the hosts.

And there it is again, this time from a 21-year-old. The point of differentiation for radio among Spotify, Pandora and other curated personal music playlists, is our talent. The “hosts,” as Carver calls them, who come on every so often and say things.

Because we work in the same building, it’s easy for us to take our on-air team for granted. To think they are nothing special, just other workers in the building. But to the audience, even a younger audience member, they are the key difference between all the other audio options out there. They are the stars that keep our industry fresh, current, relevant and personal. They do amazing work connecting with our communities.

If it’s been a while, go down the studio hall today and thank the on-air staff for the incredible work they do. They make a difference, and for radio, the talent is THE difference that sets us apart. Then have a conversation about how you can leverage their relationship with the audience for the benefit of your client’s in the form of live reads, endorsements and appearances.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep working on Carver…

Jeff Schmidt is SVP-Professional Development at the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can reach Jeff at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. or follow him on social media: Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB