The Southern California Broadcasters are mad

…about the recent Forbes article on Radio and how the Radio biz in general is treated by the national media. And in this open letter, the president of SCBA replies.

Read the SCBA letter via the link above. Here’s my take on their take:

The Radio industry is being overrun and overwhelmed by a few factors which we fail to come to grips with:

1. Reporters report on what’s new, fresh, and exciting because that’s what interests them and their audiences. If you want to get this kind of coverage the industry must act in ways that make us worthy of it. How exciting is “Less is More”? Who’s gonna read that article? Now compare that to “Howard Stern moves to SIRIUS.” Which is going to get the ink? Which deserves it? Radio, do exciting things and the media will reward you with glowing coverage. Keep playing “not to lose” and nobody will reward you.

2. Reporters respond to what’s on the plate in front of them. If we complain that scores of PR firms are stoking the media’s interest in Satellite and other new technologies, so what? Life is not fair, nor are the priorities of the media. That, my friends, is why PR firms exist in the first place – to get you and me a better seat at the media’s table. If Satellite has a better seat it’s because they have a PR machine and we don’t.

3. Radio’s attempts at defense are too “defensive.” They sound and feel like the last cry of a drowning victim rather than an exciting vision for the future of one of America’s most loved and revered industries. “You heard it first on Radio” spots? Please. “Our advantage is local”? You’ve got to be kidding. As an industry we need to lift our heads out of the sand and speak to the media with integrity, vision, and enthusiasm rather than Sales Rep Song-and-Dance 101.

4. The best defense is a good offense. And by “offense” I don’t mean attacking iPods or Satellite. I mean aggressively communicating a vision for our future which is inviting, exciting, and – God forbid – newsworthy.

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