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Radio: Is Anybody in Charge of your Fans?

It was my first visit to the Sundance Channel, and I was met with this visual:

Not so much a “pop up” per se as in invitation to deepen a relationship which was at least strong enough to bring me to the page in the first place (and it didn’t “pop” during my second visit).

Does your radio brand have such an invitation?

One that invites consumers to give up their email in exchange for information of real value? One that says “we want to connect with you personally”?

I was struck recently when I read a piece by David Siteman Garland (who will be appearing in my blog soon) on his great site The Rise to the Top that argued we spend too much screen real estate pitching our third-party social media assets (Facebook, Twitter, I’m talking to you) and not nearly enough inviting email relationships.

“Should you get rid of the social media icons on your website?” David asked.

And his answer – in his case at least – was “yes.”

Not only did his email subscription skyrocket, but his social media activity rose as well.

In other words, by leading with an invitation to a relationship he increased social activity, rather than by trying to increase social activity first as some proxy for a relationship.

In general, radio folks make far too little use of email with their fans, and too often when email is used it’s for something that does not support or nurture or reward the relationship the consumer was seeking in the first place.  I, for example, have signed up for station emails only to find that I am suddenly getting emails from sister stations I have no relationship with. What is that about? Or consider the fan who wants an actual relationship with your station – not the prize pig who wants the remote chance to feed at the contest trough or the sucker who is given away to your clients as added value.  What about them?

What about insider information? What about fan exclusives? We know who’s in charge of your product, but who’s in charge of your fans?

Consumers today have a never-ending array of distractions battling for their scarce attention.  If you have a relationship with your consumers you have what my friend Seth Godin has always said is that most precious asset of all: Permission.

But if you talk “at” me rather than “with” me, you will one day be talking to yourself.

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