Today we've got another guest entry from Jacobs Media's Keith Cunningham:
The Internet, wireless technologies, and file-sharing have changed everything. Never before has news and entertainment moved at such a rapid pace. Consider John Kerry’s latest gaffe. Botched joke or not, it was only minutes after he planted his foot (leg?) in his mouth that his comments – both audio and video – were available to the entire world on the Internet and TV. And less than 24-hours later, the photo you see below was being seen and shared by thousands online.
It’s the print and CGM equivalent of a morning show bit. It’s an immediate and humorous payoff to a big news story that everyone was aware of. If FM Radio is going to be successful at injecting itself into today’s conversations more often, and be the music, entertainment, and topical informational center for a market, it must make better use of speed at all times. AM Radio often does it better.
Historically, radio has had the ability to be the fastest moving medium. Got an idea? You can have it on the air in minutes. Conversely, print and TV generally had lengthier timelines. But they’ve caught up to radio in the speed game. And sadly, voicetracking, production outsourcing, and pre-scheduling music are dramatically impacting radio’s speed.
How can radio again capture the moment and react right now, when something is hot or breaking? If there’s no one in-house who can do good production, if the creative team is too busy doing 10 jobs to even pay attention to what’s going on, or if we don’t have a live jock on the air for twelve-hours, how can we react to what’s going on in the market or in the world? At that point, radio is too s-l-o-w.
Implementing speed isn’t difficult; it just takes awareness and discipline. One idea Fred and I are proponents of is the 15-Minute Meeting. It’s simply a daily quickie creative meeting with the creative staff (who are simply the sharpest, cleverest people in the station). Bat around current events, both local and national, from pop culture to politics to sports – and determine what could be done. Whether it’s a bit for mornings, a full-blown weekend or station promotion, a funny drop, or simply tidbits of information for DJs to know or bring to the airwaves, the 15-Minute Meeting can single-handedly impact a station’s topicality and creativity – and improve its speed.
Gone are the days when stations can afford to have a liner-writing session, produce them up, and let them rotate for months. Things are moving too quickly – in the world and with competitive media. It’s time for radio to get up-to-speed.