“Learn the rules like a pro – so you can break them – like an artist” – Pablo Picasso
In case you missed it – or not a golfer – The Rules of Golf instated major changes to their rule book this year.
Seemingly silly things like – leave the flagstick in when putting – grounding your club in a hazard without penalty – after penalty drop knee high.
The number of single decisions had bloated to over 1,200 – many times confusing the brightest golf scholars.
Golfer are traditionalists – slow to change – slow to evolve.
We media types are much like golfers – we develop ‘rules’ through the years from well-meaning mentors without revisiting in our evolved world.
Holding dear to antiquated rules that clearly need – revisiting.
A few examples (among dozens):
Rule – You need at least 70 minutes on same artist separation (most defaults on scheduling software).
Reality – We know from digital measurement that the mean time exposed session in around 11 minutes – among successful and not so successful brands. Major groups have acknowledged this – with a handful now as short as 20 minutes.
Rule – All talk radio breaks need bumper music in and out of sets.
Reality – Bumper music was designed to rejoin satellite broadcasts. A music ‘pad’ so commercials or local talk isn’t squashed. When local shows use bumpers, they waste valuable time to provide content or another :10 seconds to sell.
(Related) If you insist on using bumper music – use the SAME music or audio ID every break. This creates an ‘aural signature’ for your brand.
Rule – You can’t air back-to-back female artists in a set.
Reality – Sure you can. If the songs have different textures – why not. Flip side – airing ‘like sounding’ male artists (or songs) back – to – back is poor scheduling.
Rule – Station ID should be the first – and last – thing the talent says during the break.
Reality –If you’re truly trying to build a relationship with the audience, the ID would come naturally in the course of the content.
(Related) Having talent say the station sell line also creates a barrier to relationship building. Comes off artificial and often ‘thrown away’.
Rule – You can gauge the impact of your topic by the number of phone calls you’re receiving.
Reality – Less than 3% of all listeners have called a radio station. There are thousands enjoying your content without any engagement.
(Related) Eliminate ALL calls – they are often hard to hear – and read response from your social media. YOU control the narrative, sound and momentum.
Rule – We need to sell :60 second ads as a part of the package. The client requires it.
Reality – When was the last time you sat through a :60 spot. On air – on TV – on line. The industry has talked about cutting spot length for decades – cut the :60’s and counter balance with shorter – harder hitting ads.
Take this moment to review your rules – either written in a playbook or in your head – over the next few days. Make it collaborative with your team.
This goes for anybusiness – ‘Why do we do that’?
Mostly likely the response – ‘That’s the way we’ve always done it’
Next Week: Service
Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by The World Wide Radio Summit Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. He is also a featured speaker to national groups and state associations. Kevin lives in Indiana with his wife of 33 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (317) 769-0583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.