Friday, September 05, 2008

Living Up - Authenticity Part 3

As we move through a series of thoughts on Authenticity In Radio the key for part 3 is LIVING UP. I don't mean living beyond your means but actually the opposite. Living Up to what you claim.

Once you pull out the hype and quit making statements and claims that you can't live up to you have to find selling points and claims that you CAN live up to. Also keep in mind that longer claims usually set off the Un Authentic Meter.

While there are many stations that stand out with high Authentic scores one great example to listen to is The Drive in Chicago. The main claim for the station is basic and simple - The Sound Track of Our Lives. Notice that they use 'our' not 'your' - which would assume that somehow they knew Your life.

The presentation is also low key. There isn't a big voice booming announcer making sweeping big balls statements. The avoid the laser shot gimmicks in the production and often rely on classic song hooks to showcase the 'soundtrack.'

And when you look at the results the Drive has pushed past the legendary Loop complete with Brandmier. They have also run past WXRT which likely had the 'authentic' Q-score before the Drive signed on.

Another tactic that works - a sense of humor. You can make big claims, but make it obvious that it's a joke. Just remember that humor has a limited shelf life.

Repeating it over and over is also a way that we often rely on the 'drum it into their heads' that often backfires. The more we bang the drum the more often their BS meter goes off. When you do hype it up or use humor watch out - don't overstay your welcome. Keep track of how many times you've run a sweeper or promo and consider that with most stations that have a TSL around 30 1/4 hours a week it only takes 40 plays of the sweeper to get over 60% of your cume hearing the message 3 or more times a week.

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