I was fortunate enough to be invited to Saga Communications' group meetings last month. Steve Goldstein put together another great program, featuring a host of stimulating sessions and panels. This year, Gerry Tabio worked his magic, reminding everyone how to brainstorm marketing solutions.
Gerry's premise is that for the most part, our first blush reaction to solving problems is typically the most mundane, knee-jerk reaction. Everyone's in a hurry, so we typically jump to the tried-and-true answer. I'm as guilty as anyone else.
But of course, that first response isn't always the best course of action. In fact, it leads to mundane, been-there-done-that promotions that bore listeners to tears.
Gerry reminded me of a project that Jacobs Media took on a couple years back. We were asked to consult on a concert tour, and the promoter sent us a stack of promotional proposals.
Guess what? They were all the same. If it wasn't a "9th caller every time we play a song from the band," it was yet another "5-4-3-2-1" contest. No wonder promoters, advertisers, and yes, listeners yawn when stations present promotions.
We have long advocated convening "Buzz Council " meetings at stations - groups of creative players (from all departments) who can spend 20 minutes brainstorming solutions to a focused, clear challenge or problem. No question about it - we have way too many promotional requests, and not enough time in the day to deal with them all effectively. But when something big or appetizing comes along, radio needs to use its creative energy more effectively than proposing another "touchtone" solution.