Tag Archives: TV

Social Media’s Weatherman

This morning, severe weather including high winds and tornados are passing through central Indiana.  Local TV has, of course, jumped on the opportunity to show off their high priced radar toys.  Radio, for the most part, will quickly fit the latest information over the intro to a Lady Gaga song (except when the EAS requires longer interruptions).  But, some of the best local weather coverage will come – surprise – on the web.

Paul Poteet, a well respected national meteorologist and veteran of Indianapolis TV & Radio, is providing real-time updates via his Twitter/Facebook – including quick replies to specific local weather questions from his fans.  His website features the latest forecast, warnings, radar, and his podcast.

If you want to see an example of how social media can provide critical information to specific users immediately and on demand, check out what Paul’s doing … and remember, the “future” of content and information delivery is here now!  In fact, as I’m typing this post, I just saw a tweet from @StephMc5 who says “@paulpoteet I’m in my car and keeping an eye on your tweets to keep me informed! Thank you for the updates!!”  Notice she’s not listening to Paul’s reports on WZPL’s Smiley Morning Show – she’s reading his posts on her phone.  Welcome to 2010.

Paul Poteet:  Twitter | Facebook | Web & Podcast | YouTube

Conan Checks-in on Foursquare

Fresh on the heels of my post earlier today urging radio, artist management, and labels to come up with ideas to integrate location based marketing into your social media strategy comes news from TBS and Team Coco promoting his return to late night on November 8.  Jennifer Van Grove filed the story for Mashable.

Team Coco, in partnership with AT&T, has launched the The Conan Blimp into the skies above Philadelphia. The orange eye sore will travel all over the east coast for the entire month of October; Conan fans who spot it can check in to the blimp to unlock a special Conan badge on FoursquareThe Conan Blimp also has its own website complete with a live cam and an always-updating map. True Conan fans that don’t want to miss their chance at the badge can also follow Team Coco on Foursquare and Twitter for updates on the blimp’s whereabouts. 

The campaign is as transparent as they come — those blimp checkins will get distributed to all corners of the social web and spread the message that Conan is back. Still, it’s a massive undertaking that is both strange and fascinating. The month-long east coast blimp trip is sure to be one giant spectacle, and it seems fairly safe to assume that it will attract a fair amount of stares — and possibly even Foursquare checkins.  The blimp-badge partnership is also an interesting indicator of how location, checkins and entertainment marketing can go hand-in-hand. Foursquare tells us that the startup’s participation in the campaign was orchestrated by Jonathan Crowley, sibling to Co-founder Dennis Crowley and the man at the company handling media partnerships of late.

Do you think it’s as brilliant an idea as I do?  Share your comments below.  And, come up with a way for our brands to get on the field.

WKRP in Cincinnati … and the world!

In conjunction with Hulu & IMDB, thirteen episodes of the classic radio drama WKRP In Cincinnati are now available for online viewing!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH

WKRP was the creation of Hugh Wilson and MTM Productions, airing for nearly four seasons on CBS starting in 1978. It is a classic for those of us in the broadcast industry who can relate to all of the characters and most of their misadventures.

WQXI/Atlanta is most often cited as the basis for WKRP. And, on a personal note, I’ve had several people tell me that former QXI Program Director Jan Jeffries was the basis for PD Andy Travis and my uncle, WSGN/Birmingham newsman Les Coleman, was the basis for Les Nessman … although, I’ve never been able to confirm it.

You can see reruns of WKRP every Sunday night at 7pm ET on WGN America.

PDs take note of MSNBC

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a fan of Fox News Channel.  It’s on 24/7 in my office and at least one of my TVs at home.  The reasons are obvious when you watch this, this, or this great segment from Comedy Central.  But, tonight I watched the official network of the Obama campaign, MSNBC.

Why?  I was sucked into the feud between Keith Olbermann and Joe Scarborough.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Morning Joe has become increasingly vocal in his discontent with the liberal network’s support of Obama.  I mean, all the networks are in the can for the chosen one, but no one is more blatant about it than “MSDNC.”

Okay, before I go on a political tangent, let me stop because this blog is not about political beliefs.  And, if you respect mine, I’ll respect yours.  But, I do want to point out this developing on-air feud between Scarborough, Olbermann, and some of their other pundits.

It started on night one of the DNC’08 Convention in Denver when Olbermann made a comment without realizing his microphone was live.  Watch it here.  It spilled over to the next morning, as you see in this clip.  And, those are not the only instances when the animosity between Scarborough and his more liberal colleagues is evident.

And, it’s exactly why I watched MSNBC instead of my beloved Fox News … I wanted to see if there were any fireworks tonight.  I was disappointed, but I bet I flip back and forth for the rest of this week and during next week’s GOP gathering.

Conflict = Drama = Engagement = Ratings

My fellow program directors, commit that formula to memory.

Conflict = Drama = Engagement = Ratings

This doesn’t mean your air personalities have to hate each other; but, even the smallest of conflict may be exploited to create plot lines that will bring listeners/viewers back for more!  I’m not recommending music stations create a serious political feud between morning and afternoon shows; but, any conflict over who is the better dresser, better kisser, cheers for the best high school football team, or has a favorite pizza joint can be put in the spotlight for more engaging content.

Bring your key personalities, include minor cast players, and find out everything you can about their likes and dislikes … look for potential conflict around which you can build recurring themes and serial content.  If you do, the result will be more appointment listening, “must hear radio,” and higher ratings.

Take that to the bank!

Disagree, leave me a comment … and watch our conflict attract more participants on the blog 🙂

Points vs. Perks

Loyalty Marketing has been around for several decades now. The radio industry first tasted success with the concept through “Listener VIP Cards” in the 70’s & 80’s, and now through online rewards programs offered by vendors such as Enticent (Stickyfish) and Mass 2 One. It was airlines who truly capitalized on the idea with their frequent flier programs. Unfortunately, they’re becoming far too commonplace today as I see consumers in line with a wallet or purse full of membership cards to every pharmacy, grocery store, airline, gas station, and electronics store in town — not to mention new incentives offered by credit card companies or the still popular “Marlboro Miles” program.

Radio must find innovative ways to make our listener clubs more relevant to brand users for increased participation that benefits advertising partners and helps achieve programming objectives. The “earn points for prizes” strategy just won’t cut it today.

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Off to an underwhelming start.

The first advertising revenue figures of the year are now coming in with the January 2008 Miller-Kaplan report. New York City posts a 7.5% drop at radio. But, as bad as radio may look to outsiders, things are worse at print where the New York Times just fired 100 people. Magazines are feeling the pinch from lower automotive and financial services buys. And, the Writer’s Guild of America strike will certainly affect TV revenue for Q1 & Q2. The big number to watch, though, is the subprime mortgage rate – the first indicator for a national economic recession, which has everyone spending cautiously at the moment. The good news is radio looks much better for February and March.

The opportunity now is for radio to present a uniform message to advertisers that our medium is the most cost-effective means of reaching the most consumers, with high frequency, and specifically targeted campaigns. Our value is clear when compared to the TV and print.

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