If you’ve wreaked in the radio business for any length of meter, fortunes are quite good that racing has played a role in your vocation arc. It’s inconceivable to know when the very first radio giveaway took place, but it was likely well before the advent of television.
And through the modern period of radio, struggling has played an important role in audience building and labelling. Holding away everything from concert tickets, family 4-packs, autoes, residences, and yes, tote bag, radio stations have often characterized themselves with their controversy signatures. The biggest corporations in radio almost all participate in “national contests, ” spreading the abundance across the thousands of stations throughout the country.
And when I look back on my occupation- as a researcher, programmer, and a consultant- the prowes of competition design and execution has been there all along.
Today’s post is the first of a two-parter – first, looking at why struggling has played an integral role in how radio has consistently been presented itself. And in tomorrow’s post, a storey of a struggle meltdown, laded with important assignments for all of us in radio.
But first, let’s take a look at the inherent possibilities an gambles that come with radio contesting.
Before forming Jacobs Media, I was consecrated to work for two incredible companionships. At Frank N. Magid& Accompanied, incorporated within the corn fields of Marion, Iowa, I learned studies and research tethers, working for some of the biggest broadcast media companies on countries around the world, and alongside some of the smartest the studies and sell minds.
Then I was honored to join ABC during the days when their radio group was a powerhouse. I was surrounded by an elite group of programmers and dynamic ministerials who mentored and instructed me, placing a great example for radio broadcasting excellence that I’ve tried to bring to my consulting efforts. Both Magid and ABC Radio supported the excellent footing for eventually launching my own company.
One of the areas in which us PDs were required to excel was in contest design- their integrity, rules and construction. And ABC had a legal bureau whose point was to ensure none of us jeopardized the station licenses in the process of passing trophies apart. Back then, firms were limited to owning only 7 AMs, 7 FMs, and 5 Tv terminals. Those cases of article from the FCC were considerably more valuable and prized then they are today.
ABC’s battery of lawyers worked with us programmers, preventing us from getting their stations- and the mother firm- in misfortune. We were learnt the aged saying- “It is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission”- was not an acceptable philosophy at ABC. “Legal” emphasized that our every move “wouldve been” investigated if something went wrong. So, it was paramount to get out in front of anything that are capable of backfire or appoint damage.
There were two young, aggressive, and smart-alecky ABC advocates who counseled us, challenged us, pushed us, and at times stymie us- but we learned the law as it pertained to broadcast. Chris Hikawa and Letty Tanchum were our go-to legal advisors, the ones who answered our bawls whenever we had a query- or a problem.
As someone who took the LSATs formerly but decided not to go into law, I ended up learning a ton about contest intend, powers, procedures, and key requirements like cost, occasion, and consideration from ABC Legal. Before you picked up the phone to ask Chris or Letty about a proposed promotion or giveaway, you were wise to think it all through in advance. Otherwise, you lost a little “face” along the way.
Like all good legal advisors, they were inclined to respond with a “no” to questions that weren’t smart or well-formed. And so you rapidly learned the questions to ask, as well as the likely natures “legal” might challenge your acceptances before engaging them.
I have carried those readings with me all these decades later. To the working day, I challenge the programmers we consult about games, poking the occasional loopholes in their logic, and always intimate they “run it all by legal.”
Contests are misunderstood by numerous in and out of radio. When you present the inventory of things radio listeners care most about, contests and giveaways commonly be brought to an end at or near the bottom of the heap. We apparently deplete most of our attention on the upper calls of the “Why Radio? ” hierarchy in our Techsurveys. But as I’ve spotlit below as main reasons why purchasers listen to broadcast radio, “winning prizes” finishes last out of 22 different potential assets among core radio listeners.
Based on data like this, investigates who have never programmed or simply follow the numbers might conclude that giveaways are exactly no place on broadcast radio- ever. Numerous years ago, I had a long( baffling) dialogue with a newly minted radio manager who came from outside the broadcast business. He had encountered data for his marketplace, registering rivalries testing exactly above prickly heat and root canals as alluring abstractions. It was hard to explain to him why tournaments were fixtures on so many stations.
And in fact, virtually every radio station engages in contests and similarly frivolous followings at one time or another, despite study advocating this makes absolutely no rational sense.
So, why do they do them?
Because. They. Work.
And we’re not just talking about Top 40 stations or radio programming aimed at teens. Even All News terminals typically boast tournaments as part of their programming- these days, numerous are engaged in those “national contests” I mentioned earlier, offering currency multiple times a day.
If you think public radio is exempt from these types of shameless bribes, see again. Every pledge drive and fundraising episode is almost always replete with premiums, prizes, attractions, and yes, bribes. Oftentimes, the most generous givers are fixated on new trophy gives they’ll receive if they give particular levels of support. Public radio insiders know It totally matters what types of premiums, come-on, incentives, and carrots are offered on the eventual success of these critically important efforts.
Us programmers know that when you are insular about understanding public research, you miss the psychological elements that often accompanies radio listening. That’s one of the reasons why we’ve always recommended a mix or coalesce of qualitative investigate preceding the statistical- to hear fans and even informal listeners talk about what they value and why. Rarely do you see this in black and white spreadsheets or colorful tart and bar charts, but focus and L.A.B. groups often reveal certain truths- whether we’re looking at commercial, public, or Christian radio listeners.
And then there’s the matter of ratings. Those of us who have been doing this a while have met what appears to be an evident connection between the types of parties likely to fill out a diary or carry a rhythm, and those prone to play radio competitions. That tie-in may even be more important in the largest PPM marketplaces, where panelists are incentivized to participate for as long as a year- or two- with currency and other goodies designed to keep them and their families engaged, content, and compliant.
Contests are as much a part of radio- here in America and around the world- as music, temperaments, bulletin and report. At one time or another, just about everyone has tried to be that elusive 9th caller, attempted to win that trivia contest, or even moved for grabbing one of those 99 keys, one of which that might start that brand new car.
In tomorrow’s post, I’ll tell you an amazing legend about a radio game repair very wrong. It has just taken place in a radio market far, far away from us here in the U.S ., but its readings are important and relevant, especially in today’s recreation environment.
One of the key element in contest layout- beyond coming the law department’s OK- is to pressure-test a giveaway by relentlessly considering a key question 😛 TAGEND
What can possibly go wrong?
And that’s the question that is often the cause of so many contest disappoints- peculiarly the epic ones.
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