Thursday, April 30, 2009

Are You Ready For Summer?

After a tough winter on many levels we are finally seeing the signs of Summer in the Northern Half of the Country and it's time to get your station ready.   Often we seem to push Summer off in radio programming.  The Summer book (if you have one) is usually not that important for business and the staff is usually taking vacations and laying back.  

But, Summer is one of the most important times for the audience and entertainment.  Radio has a real chance to shine as TV largely shuts down and our mobile medium has the advantage of being able to move with the audience.  As they spend more time outside radio goes with them to the patio, the car, out in the community and even to the beach/pool.  This is a time to hustle if you want to build your audience for the Fall.  

Here's a quick checklist of areas you can focus on to make your station shine in the Summer:   

  • Festivals and Community Events: Every area has their events of Summer and your station needs to be center stage at as many of them as possible.  Don't just show up with the vehicle - make it an on air event somehow.  If you look into any event surly there is something you can really get behind.  It could be as simple as a dunk tank with local celebs at the local fair, or maybe a raft race at a water fest, setting the fireworks to music, or a rib cook off at the food fair.  Twist it and make it unique and you can be the star of the event, but you have to plan ahead to win.   
  • Concerts: There are a lot more of them in Summer and it's time to look at your presence and involvement with the bigger shows.  
  • Music: There is more new music available throughout Summer.  Are you clocks and systems up to to the task of introducing more new songs - this can be exciting if the artists are big.  You also usually have a few new artists pop up every Summer - are your systems ready to see them bloom?   If you are more library driven (and even if you are not look at your library) consider that Summer means FRESH to the audience.  The Heat brings a different tempo to them also.  Is your music up and hot?  Or dull and boring?  
  • Think Mobile:  The audience moves around more in the Summer.  They spend more time in their cars, get out on the weekends, and get outdoors a lot more.  Is your team working this reality into their content, is the energy of the station matching the energy in the audience, and are you working in your imaging and presence to be with them as the get out?   
  • Services:  Weather and Traffic take on a whole new world in Summer.  It's more likely that the real issues in both shift from Mornings to Afternoon.   In the Winter we get snows and school closings and many of the issues revolve around Morning Drive.  In the Summer it's thunderstorms and a bit lower traffic in Mornings.  For a lot of the service info this changes the whole game - are you ready.   Also do you have a full plan for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and other disasters.  They are different in Summer - storms can pop up anywhere in Summer, for big snows we usually have some idea what's coming a day or more ahead.   
  • Sports:  It's moved outside and now the audience is more likely to be playing more sports also.  
  • Brighten the Station:  Enjoy the Sun and have more Fun with the audience.  Make the station sound bright and hot every day.  
Summer is special - make sure your station is special this Summer.  It will pay off in the Fall. 

No comments: