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Chris Brogan on Social Media Strategy for Radio – Part 2

Yesterday I ran Part 1 of my conversation with one of the world’s best known social media advisors, Chris Brogan. Check that out and you’ll also find the complete audiocast of our conversation.  In that part of our chat, we discussed how radio can use social media and what digital metrics mean for the traditional way radio is bought and sold.

Here’s the final portion of our conversation.

Where do you see online radio fitting in to this equation, vis-à-vis terrestrial radio and all other kinds of media?   Online, obviously, has the ability to get to that kind of accountability that you described.

To me there is a real opportunity here.  There’s going to be a little laboratory space, and there’s going to be a bit of pioneering, and there’s going to be some opportunity to falter; but to have taken the stance for the last several years that we can just stand pat is, of course, going to lead to nothing but bankruptcies.

So does that mean that you see online radio as a rising force?

I think it can be.  But here’s my caution:  There will be a lot of people who are thinking “just because I can create radio online, it will be good enough.”  And that’s not necessarily true.  “Good” is good.  “Just because I can” isn’t.

The other thing I see happening is that there’s going to be some time where we’re still trying to use the old formats over new technologies.

For example, you see a lot of stations broadcasting live video shows on Ustream.  And what do you see when you’re looking?  You see a guy with his big cans on standing behind the soundboard sticking his face into a microphone – just swallowing it.  And you see either the back of his head or the front of his head.

That’s ridiculous.

And the banner, don’t forget, there’s a banner in back of him.

You’re totally right – and some product placement – some good Dunkin’ Donuts  coffee in front of the mic.  So yeah, we’ve seen it.  It’s almost cliché at this point.  I can go to any radio station in America and it’s that exact same thing – and usually crappy lighting on top of it all.  It can only get better.

So you’re saying it’s not just about being on all these platforms, it’s what you do on them that is appropriate for those media.


You know, my parents were both DJs.  My dad was the morning news guy on a very popular AM station in Augusta, Maine. And my mom was the nighttime sultry request music-line lady, and that’s how they met.  Because she would be leaving in the morning after playing crappy romantic ballads all night, and he’d be coming in to read stupid news about Augusta, Maine.

Things changed as their careers progressed.  The way the DJ’s talked back then – if I talked like that today on a modern station, you‘d punch me on the face.

Look at guys like Adam Carolla and what he’s accomplishing, even what you’re doing, Mark:  You’re looking at new formats and new methodologies and I think this is how we’re going to get to where we need to go next.

So my caution is that simply showing up and punching the clock using these new tools doesn’t mean you’re nifty.

For more about Chris Brogan and some great rules-of-thumb for social media, visit him here.

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