“American Idol” for Public Radio

Want to be a radio star?

That’s the question posed by this site, one of the best radio marketing ideas I’ve ever seen and executed better than I ever would have imagined – and wouldn’t you know it, it’s from public radio.

In so many ways the public radio folks are out in front of their commercial peers, it can be downright embarrassing.

But the Public Radio Talent Quest is one idea that cries out for a commercial radio application.

Here’s the introduction:

To enter the first round of the Talent Quest, which starts on Monday April 16th, 2007, upload two minutes or less of audio that reflects your personality and uses your voice. That’s it. We want to hear who you are. Show the judges and the public the elements of your personality that make people look forward to spending time with you. It’s what we’re calling “hostiness,” and it includes people who are: Engaging, smart, curious, surprising, honest, intriguing, have sense of humor, clever, authentic, human, real, trustworthy, knowledgeable, maybe even someone you’d have dinner with. In short – it’s a lot like dating. You gotta make a great first impression to get past Round 1.

Check out the site and you will quickly see that it’s slicker than hell – exceptionally well executed.

They even have celebrity endorsements of the effort. See this one from comic Mo Rocca:


[If you’re reading this by email, click the post title to view the video]

Yes, it would be the very smart broadcast group that contacted the Public Radio Exchange to license their tools for a commercial radio version of their effort.

A very smart broadcast group, indeed.

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