All posts by John Lund

Editorial: Stand Out From The Crowd

JohnLund_200By: John C. Lund
The Lund Consultants, Inc.
www.lundradio.com

Many companies make cell phones and computers, but Apple managed to cut a unique path that led to sales numbers all other companies covet. In the process, the Apple name gained strength as the “i” moniker became a marker for innovation. Apple has mastered standing out in the crowd. Winning stations are like that: a unique edge or identity that becomes part of the brand. We call it Stationality.

What is your unique edge? If you say your music, then this can be attacked easily by a competitor in order to steal your audience. Is it market longevity alone, or have you coupled that with other unique desirable listener benefits?

An even bigger challenge is properly identifying your station’s unique offering and marketing that to listeners. In your next staff meeting, ask every employee to describe your station and then list a key attribute or offering. Chances are that some of your own staff have trouble defining what you are. What can we expect from a listener in that case? Conversely, you may find a description or approach that becomes your new marketing campaign.

The value of your brand rests with being easily identified and offering something exclusive or more attractively packaged for your audience.

Do you own your image in your market? We work with stations and groups to build unique positions and stronger brands that anchor ratings and revenue. Contact [email protected] to discuss your market. See the Lund Stationality Stylebook for ways to make your station unique.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Editorial: A Facebook Lesson in Audience Retention

JohnLund_200By: John C. Lund
The Lund Consultants, Inc.
www.lundradio.com

The most recent quarterly conference for Facebook revealed their version of Radio’s time spent listening: 50 minutes a day, up from 40 minutes in 2014. That’s still less than Radio’s 13+ hours a week (2015) or TV’s 36 hours a week. TV’s numbers are up a bit, while Radio’s have dropped over five hours a week since 2007.

Facebook’s gains have come despite growth at other social media platforms, and spokesperson Jessie Baker told the New York Times, “The time people spend on our site is a good measure of whether we’re delivering value to them. The better we do at providing what people most want to see, the more likely they are to return … and spend time.”

And, there is Radio’s big challenge: boosting our perceived value to listeners.

> We still have younger demos coming for music exploration, but we as a medium are not doing well at engaging them and locking them in for more time.
> We need to provide truly beneficial reasons to tune in more often each day, with real benefits and not merely features.
> Remember the big contests of yesteryear? They still work at building buy-in and boosting TSL.
> Invite the listeners back from one day to the next. Give them reasons with offerings within your programming and special show promotions.
> Use social media to drive “return” listening to Radio. Your station’s followers are there, just waiting to be engaged. Use social media for reaction and continued involvement. It can be as simple as a “Type it on Facebook and hear it on the Radio” behavior pattern.

People can get music anywhere, but the “mortar between the musical bricks” is what makes for a strong wall.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Editorial: The Perfect Break

JohnLund_200By: John C. Lund
The Lund Consultants, Inc.
www.lundradio.com

Programmers and talents often discuss what makes a perfect break. We think it’s the proper mix of branding, engagement, and commitment – measured on the audience’s terms.

Branding is essential to get ratings credit, even with PPM. Learn from the masters like Coke and Starbucks, where being top-of-mind is everything. Sell your brand and tattoo your station on the listener’s mind. Be consistent with how your brand is sold.

Engagement covers many areas. It’s content that listeners want, and it’s the companionship that makes a station essential to each user. For content, begin with the essentials (morning time checks, song information, weather, and listener’s plans) and add the other items that register with your audience. This is where content gets tricky. Aim for your target and not what your talent thinks is interesting. Get to the point and pay off quickly. Your time to engage or lose interest is measured in scant seconds. Don’t waste it with silly filler or meaningless inside talk. Engage quickly (3-seconds!) with a “hook” that builds continued listening.

Commitment includes teases of more reasons to listen, returning for another tune-in, and building partisanship. This is where you “buy” your next tune-in for improved ratings. Is your station a utility for that listener or a daily “requirement?” Building commitment is the key to growing your audience from within. Think about listener benefits here.

The Lund Marketing and Promotion Guide offers over 100 no-cost promotions and gives details on executing promotions and strengthening your branding. Sharpen your marketing focus with our marketing checklists and worksheets.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Editorial: Ready for the Big One?

JohnLund_200By: John C. Lund
The Lund Consultants, Inc.
www.lundradio.com

Spring has arrived (in some places with a last cold blast), and that means spring storms are not far away. This is the season for tornadoes, flooding, and (well, maybe not in Michigan), preparation for hurricane season.

Natural disasters and major storms are a platform for all broadcasters to provide outstanding coverage to their local communities. But while TV, cable, and online services require power, radio remains a medium where batteries allow continued service to update their listeners and community at any time. Your disaster plan should be in place, outlining how you cover the events that are most likely for your market.

  • Speaking of batteries, always have a healthy supply. Power goes quickly, as snowstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes have proven time and time again.
  • Your contact list is vital, and having preset staff assignments will lessen confusion.
  • Know how to reach all community leaders, including where they live.
  • Be ready to mobilize vehicles, as well as people. Provide necessary food, water, and sleeping space for your staff.
  • If your studio is compromised, have a backup location (maybe at your tower site).
  • Text often continues to work when cell voice service doesn’t. Having a text service for your audience is a strong feature during bad weather events.
  • Old two way radios can be a godsend when cell towers are down or overloaded.
  • Generators are good, but so is gas to operate them.
  • Most of all, involve your audience as eyes and ears. They can be your strongest reporters.

The Lund Consultants have decades of experience in helping stations assemble disaster plans and providing solid community service that translates to great ratings. A station is only as good as its coverage of the last disaster. Are you ready?

Create Your Disaster Plan

Tornado, oil slick, earthquake, hurricane…whatever the disaster, have a plan to cover the event better than any competitor. Don’t cede this service element to smart phones! See the Lund Disaster Stylebook – a how-to guide that details every step of advance planning, execution, and follow-up.

Reprinted from The Lund Letter.  Subscribe for free here.