Staff view of Regional Radio

AMT has recently had comments on various articles from announcers and other station staff. In this report AMT looks at the current situation in regional radio from the point of view of the staff. If you are managing a station it would be wise to check whether your staff and your advertisers share these views. If you agree/disagree with any of these points please email AMT and contribute to the discussion:

* Profits and supplementary licences

“The supplementary licences were a fantastic way to increase revenue, but unfortunately many stations didn’t increase their budgets or change the way they do things. Clients expect more response from two stations, and they didn’t get it. New clients and new business people are more demanding generally, they won’t settle for substandard product, in any part of their business including their advertising. they demand to be serviced they demand to have top quality work for the money that they pay , and in some cases they dont get it. When they don’t get it they turn off radio as a medium.”

“The suplementary licences should have been an excellent way for radio as an industry to grow, and progress. Competition usually results in a better product, however in a number of markets there was a negative effect. They now only had to compete against themselves, and forgot they were still competing against other media forums. They became slack and sloppy in their work. the sup was launched – whoopdi doo daa. Standard of broadcasting on both stations . They forget that listeners can turn off the radio. And with them goes the clients. I believe that nearly every market in this country needs a third station – one not owned by the duopoly. that would put a firecraker under ’em!

“One of the constant excuses I hear is that there isn’t enough money in the market to ask big dollars. BULL SHIT! This kind of remark usually comes from a sales rep who used to be a bartender or a mechanic and has no idea about radio. They have no value or appreciation of the value of the product they are selling. So they just give it away. 9 times out of ten if they say there’s not enough money in the marketplace – they’re not looking hard enough – or not looking in the right place.”

“I think the problem of potential clients and current clients turning off radio as a medium needs some attention. Since 1995 I have been speaking to business people – sometimes when on holidays in strange places, sometimes just around town wherever I may have been living – about their business and what works for them. I have always found it fascinating how many business people will recommend against radio advertising as an effective marketing tool. That ideal is now ingrained into their psyche and it will take a great deal to change.

* Station Morale and how to keep it high without spending a fortune

“It never costs any money to keep station morale high. Station morale is a feeling, a buzz – if they work together and have fun together then morale just comes with it. It is the job of a PD and the GM to keep morale high –

* by not allowing your jocks or other staff to pull you down, but
rather getting the staff member out of their own depression

* by creating an environment where it is hard to bitch – ie, they’re
too busy, or whatever you find works with your staff.

* by knowing your staff and involving them in the future of the station – so many more things happen when you just let them try out an idea, or if they think that maybe they can do something – let them try. If you let them try and never discourage them or insult them for not
succeeding then they will keep on trying.

* Discretion is the key. what ever you do, do it politely and not in an egotistical manner. Don’t go on power trips and don’t ever favour any jock more than the others.”

“Every now and then you will get in your station what I call a miracle. That is someone who is not necessarily management but they are someone who lifts the spirits of an entire building. I don’t know how, but they just do. They now exactly what to say and what to do to lift everyone’s hopes and aspirations – at the same time lift an entire stations morale to the point where the station is unstoppable.”

* Listeners in regional areas – are they becoming more sophisticated and more choosy

“Yes, Yes, YES! Listeners are getting more choosy and demanding a better product everywhere. they demand a superior service from everything and everyone – not just radio. Ever read Hugh Mackays “Generations”? If not you should. It explains just how picky my generation – who Hugh call the “Options” generation are. We demand choice, we demand variety and we demand perfection. because we want to choose what is right for us.”