What's It Going To Take...?

General Radio News and Comments, Satellite & Internet Radio and LPFM

Re: What's It Going To Take...?

Postby pave » Tue May 01, 2018 9:17 pm

Radio Supporting Print?
In my previous piece, I dealt with the generally unknown or, in some cases, disregarded factors that constitute the significant differences between the print medium and all other electronic media. Please appreciate that “print” includes newspapers, billboards, bus boards, brochures, pamphlets and inane, but entertaining bumper stickers. Electronic media includes, radio, TV, digital devices, computer screens and telephones. I’m not sure about Dixie cups and stretched, waxed string.

A brief, generalized review: Our brains/minds are more efficient at processing(understanding) information and content when accessed through a print medium. Retention (memory) of the material is also enhanced with hard copy.

Electronic media, however, have a direct line to those aspects of our selves that process and respond to material, primarily at emotional levels. Should the presented material also contain emotional elements, all the better, especially for radio.

Further, and this is critical: Not only does the print medium access our capacities for critical thinking, electronic media bypasses that – leaving us more credulous and more gullible - more open to being influenced! We are more apt to believe the material that gets injected into us electronically.

Over the years, my main premises have been about how radio has been presented to audiences by way of on-air talent, and in the writing of commercial copy. To be more effective, a different and unique set of linguistic approaches and methodologies is required. More emotional/creative elements would be a bonus benefit. But the priority is about the more effective language patterns that are not being applied on the radio.

Meanwhile, I am going to suggest there are as important and yes, even sinister factors in play. A demonstration of that would be the last American presidential election. For the greatest majority of the electorate, the influential materials, both electronic campaign advertising and electronic media coverage were the elements to which most citizens were exposed. Emotionalism reigned supreme.

I mean: Would anybody with their critical thinking faculties engaged accept the garbage that was foisted off by the candidates? What they got was a bombastic, bellicose, baffled bully whose main attribute was the ability to deliver bulls*** by the truckload. That was what was accepted from a perceived and preferred alternative candidate.

A wall paid for by Mexico. Believable? Tax cuts exclusively for the wealthiest promoted as a tax cut for everybody. Reasonable? Equitable gun laws. Rational? Functional health care programs. Desirable? Not to those members of the population who were being indoctrinated almost exclusively by electronic media. Many who were enraged either recoiled or bailed out. The rest got sucked in by electronically delivered, mind numbing, but very stimulating nonsense.

Given the amount of time we spend ogling or listening to electronic media, we could be accused of voluntarily giving up our capacities to consider material and have some organized and critical thoughts about that to which we are being constantly exposed. The neurology of our brains leaves us wide open to manipulation.

Encouraging people to read more papers and books would, I believe, be of significant benefit to our societies. With that in mind, I include a radio script that could be provided as a PSA – at no charge to the management.

"Here at Poodle 96.9, we appreciate the loyalty of our listeners. Plus, people enjoy hearing us while engaging in other activities like – surgery! Tuning in, particularly while driving, is entertaining, informative and, it is safe. We say, “Whoopy!” We also understand that listeners can be even better informed when they also get their information from the print medium. So, we are urging Poodle 96.9, listeners to do a very smart thing: Get the paper and - read the paper."

Without providing an explanation of the neurological distinctions, any station that runs such a promo is still doing their listeners and their station a significant service. The exercise will gain more credibility for the station - a very nice bonus.

It is, certainly, too late to expect anything resembling a full recovery from the overwhelming intrusion of electronic media, but yet, this may be an important effort. The trend towards any further obliteration of the print media carries with it extremely severe consequences to any democracy. It may be that serious.

Ronald T. Robinson
Advanced Member
Posts: 1423
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 12:22 pm

Re: What's It Going To Take...?

Postby pave » Thu May 17, 2018 3:52 am

Whatever Doesn’t Work…

Radio is not particularly unique in some of its approaches to, in our case, audiences and advertisers. When I was being trained to do behavioural counselling, one of the presuppositions that was presented is the following: “People, and the organizations they develop, tend to: Find out what doesn’t work – and then, do it harder!” A simple example of that would be the PD or manager who speaks to a staff member. When the response is unacceptable, they yell. When that doesn’t work, they yell louder.

While that is a standard-issue, psychological truism as it applies to peoples’ behaviours, radio has been living out the concept in other ways. Even as significantly pertinent information has been distributed throughout the industry, radio has been digging in its heels by either failing to apply the new developments or by making all efforts to disregard it. This avoidance strategy hasn’t been working, so radio does what it does best, it avoids it all the harder.

I believe I will get no reasoned or articulate arguments for the following: Twenty-five years ago, radio was producing better on-air presentations from “live” personalities and better, more interesting copy, especially for local advertisers. What radio has been doing harder, with admirable persistence, is crippling both of those components of the radio broadcast model. What is still left standing is: Sales. That is what gets the attention, and it is Sales that is supported, but only in some cases, some of the time.

I am also of the opinion that commercial radio is the least exploited medium in our culture. But then, that would be the case anyway, given how radio continues to, with intention, mangle the communicative aspects of the business by slashing budgets for talent and commercial production.

So long has this been the M.O. of commercial radio, it would be feasible to suggest that radio management no longer has any convenient access to Talent – mostly because the majority of skilled people have been drummed or starved out of the business. Of greater import, radio is no longer in a position to identify Talent, if and when it was available. So pervasive is this situation that I speculate radio’s management groups have been getting together only to find they really don’t have much else to talk about other than how to generate greater sales – without incurring more expense.

The disgust with this situation has become palpable within the industry. Commentators are registering their disdain more often and with more vitriol expressed at ownership and management than at any other time in our history. Those who make the attempt to defend the business and its sordid attempts to quell the folks who are registering bitter complaints can only provide maudlin and pathetic justifications for the status quo. It’s really quite pathetic when they scramble for examples of where everything is just rosy.

Radio is in a position, right now, where it is sliding into a miasma of indifference – demonstrated by the lack of enthusiasm from listeners and from advertisers. Radio has, for the most part, stopped providing the products and services that would begin to have an impact on such a shoddy circumstance.

Even as the strategies and methodologies are available that would quickly fire up a significant radio turnaround, owners and managers are having no truck with any of it. Too many have already thrown out their boilers or sold them for scrap. Too bad, as that is where the coal gets shovelled.

Governments, meanwhile, are going about the business of abdicating their responsibilities to the public and, instead, are futzing around with the regulations that will make for greater radio property acquisitions. This would have the effect of allowing broadcast corporations to do more of what they are doing, that isn’t working – and to do it harder!

So, where then, might there be opportunities? It would take an extremely forward-thinking organization to: 1. Realize they are playing a game where they will be the ultimate losers. 2. Search for and identify the strategies that will get, at least their own outfit, out of the glue. And, 3. Determine to execute those strategies. Otherwise, much of radio will continue to be the architects of its own, eventual demise.

Ronald T. Robinson
Advanced Member
Posts: 1423
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 12:22 pm


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