Radio attacks its PR problem – but is this the right strategy?

From today’s Radio Ink:

Radio Industry To Launch Campaign To Promote Over-The-Air Radio

Over the next six weeks, radio stations from virtually all major radio groups will air a series of spots featuring superstar artists as well as new and emerging acts, explaining how it was radio—not iPods or the Internet—that gave them their first break. The tag line used in all spots, which will be aired primarily on Urban and other alternative stations, is: “Radio: You Hear It Here First.” Stations programming to listeners on other formats, including Country and News/Talk, are expected to air the campaign when customized spots are developed.

Thus far radio groups have committed $28 million air time to run the 30-second spots, featuring such artists as Nellie, Ludacris, Ashanti, Avril Lavigne, Hoobastank, and others. Up-and-coming artists include John Legend, the Ditty Bops, and the Bravery.

My comments:

It’s way overdue that Radio sells its own benefits and attacks its PR problems head-on.

But I’m a little puzzled at this strategy.

Because if there’s any area that Radio is clearly and unambiguously weak on relative to iPods or even Satellite Radio, it’s in the breaking of new music. When we as an industry have so many merits to promote, why pick what many would argue is one of our severest Achilles’ heels?

The problem with such a strategy is that it will ring UNtrue to Joe and Jane average listener.

It’s a fundamental marketing truism: Don’t try to convince consumers that they are wrong.

The hearts are in the right place on this one, but where are the heads?

Want to hear the spots? Find them here.

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