Saturday, January 7, 2012

Creating Creative Creativity

Those of you who regularly see these diatribes know that one area of technological change that I often consider is the kind that directly relates to media.  More and more, people demand the entertainment, information and companionship previously only available in traditional media like newspapers, radio and TV to be delivered on multiple platforms.  nd that comes at a time when the nature of the business of those traditional media is changing dramatically as well.

And you regulars also know I think traditional media has its head firmly up its arse in response to this technological and basic-business revolution.  It pains me.  I'm a radio guy.  I still think radio--however we define it nowadays, and my definition may not be the same as those guys who hold the licenses and own the towers on the mountains--is the most intimate and potentially powerful medium there is.  It can still be intensely personal, stunningly effective as theater-of-the-mind, and about as portable as any delivery mechanism can be.

A recent blog post by researcher Mark Ramsey deals well with the two stories traditional radio broadcasting is telling these days.  One is reactionary and, if I do say so, pathetic.  The other is far less prevalent but it is what broadcasters need to not only heed themselves but preach.  One sentence from Mark's post sums it up nicely:

The more radio attracts engagement across platforms (including the one called “the real world”), the more we take back the time radio alternatives have stolen from us.

There it is.  As long as radio relies on its legacy by saying, "We are in every car dashboard so no other platform is going to hurt us or our advertisers," then the more certain it is that the medium's days are dwindling and it will never be the factor it once was.  But if those who are in a position to take advantage of all the means of providing something its audiences and advertisers need--and doing it by CREATING CREATIVE CREATIVITY--then the medium we have known as "broadcast radio" can be as big or bigger than ever.

It's not just about the technology, though customers will expect all the things they want from media across all available technology.  Broadcasters need to be leading the way in providing their programming that way.  It is about leveraging what radio has, at times in its history, done best.  Entertain.  Inform.  Provide companionship.  Create "tribes" of listeners who are loyal--to the "stations" (think of "stations" as "brands" and not spots on the radio dial and you will be closer to how today's media users see it).  Those listeners/users will also be even more important to the advertisers who desperately crave the ability to efficiently and effectively reach those "tribes" who are targeted potential customers.

Create creative creativity, across all current and future platforms, and you will win.

Don Keith N4KC

No comments: