Submitted by Dave Charles, President of MRI-Media RESULTS Inc.
The Covid economy has been tough on radio as the industry adapts once again to the realities of businesses being locked down due to the Omicron strain.
In my view, Radio has a very important role to play during this pandemic. Here’s my advice to radio stations looking for programming and content focus as the pandemic continues. My top 5 for 2022:
1. Be upbeat and balanced in your commentary. Let news cover the important Covid stats. Music shows should focus on infotainment and community information. Talk stations need to talk about those everyday heroes who are making a difference in their communities.
2. Focus on getting the word out about ‘Covid vaccination pop up sites’ in your community and more importantly where they can get FREE Covid testing kits. This part of the Covid rollout strategy has been terribly handled by local and provincial governments. Radio to the rescue! Our job is to update our listeners on the latest and most reliable information about all aspects of the Covid protection and recovery plan.
3. Shout outs to small businesses are very important. Give these businesses the opportunity to reach their customers with their status of operation. Offer them a package of advertising that keeps them top of mind with consumers. For example, Indie 88 (CIND-FM) Toronto won the OAB community service award last year by offering all retailers a ‘WHAT EVER YOU CAN AFFORD TO PAY’ ad campaign. It really worked.
4. Texting is a vital link to your listeners. This is a very important way to keep a two way conversation going. The beauty of texting your favourite radio station is that every text gets through. Programmers need to be mindful that people want to be connected during this time of uncertainty. Radio can do this best in a very personal way.
5. Music packaging is vital to building a positive atmosphere. No repeat work days, Maximum music hours and music packaging really cuts through the doom and gloom. Right now your station is playing someone’s favourite song. That’s very powerful.
Dave Charles is a well-known international broadcast consultant whose global radio footprint continues to offer the industry new perspectives on how to thrive in a complex media world.