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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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As imaging director for a CHR in New Orleans, the point you've made here truly interests me. In essence, it's Marketing 101 that a consistent and repeated message creates a "common understanding" of the promotion. However, here's where I am torn in my own daily work. Many times, our station is promoting, on-air through produced pieces (before stopsets, etc), two, and sometimes three different promotions each week.

If we are only pushing ONE event that week, we usually will end up with three different creatively-focused promos built around that one event airing over the week.

Are you suggesting that this could be detrimental? Some might say that the school of "ONE PROMO, UNCHANGED, EVERY TIME, ALL WEEK" is the optimal structure, while others believe it is "old school"...and that the attention and demand for unique content of today's audience requires we have constantly "fresh" sounds to the promos.

If ABC had success running promos for "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" repeatedy to drive home the message, is that NECESSARILY the reason for their success? Or were they just good shows? And, with TV having an intensely different viewing habit with its audience, can we necessarily apply the same to radio?
These are all up for interpretation, of course.

However, I'm incredibly fearful that with the approach we use right now at our station, with multiple promos running in multiple ways each week, we may be causing a "clusterf**" of image.

What is your opinion on this? There IS a reason I'm not the PD, but I deeply care about the success and performance and mindset of our listeners in response to our on-air package, and would love to know your stance, and personal opinion, on a sound promotional imaging approach as related to frequency/creative options.


Larry Rosin

Fred this is a great point. I once saw a study performed for public radio. Public radio stations, being what they are, typically run two promos per week for each of 50 shows. A very smart fellow got one station to flip that ratio -- just promote two shows 50 times each for a period of time. As you might imagine, after years of stagnation, the numbers for those two shows started to rise.

I don't know what the optimal number is...but if a network or a radio station attempts to promote too many things, they just end up promoting nothing. Great post, Fred.

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