Not long ago I was pitching a TV project to a cable network programming head. It wasn’t quite the right fit, evidently, and he told me so. But then he asked a question I hadn’t expected:
“What else ya got?”
Um, that’s it, I’m afraid!
I had one project in mind and that was the one I was pitching. It never even occurred to me to have some kind of ace in the hole – a backup project in the event that my A pitch went down in flames.
I think this is a big problem in the radio space. We too often have one solution to every problem. We look over our shoulder to see what other broadcasters are doing even as they look over their shoulders at us asking the same question. You don’t get new ideas that way, just the same ones over and over. And don’t think listeners don’t know this – especially in an era when most radio stations in the world can be sampled from the gadget in your pocket.
Does your morning show need entertaining benchmarks? Well here’s a short list to choose from – one you can hear almost Everywhere, USA. What should we name our new station? How about Star – or KISS – or Fresh – or Mix…? What should our website look like? Well, how about what everybody else’s looks like?
There’s nothing wrong with using stuff that has been shown to “work” elsewhere, of course. What’s wrong is narrowing our vision to only those ideas, so that when the audience looks us in the eye and asks “what else ya got?” Our answer is: “Um, that’s it, I’m afraid!”
There are too many choices – too many fresh ideas – to lean on only those which have “worked” somewhere, some time.
If you want to sustain maximum attention (and consumption) from folks who have a bounty of alternatives to your brands, you have to be ever-worthy of that attention and that consumption.
There must always be something shiny and fresh and new.
So what else ya got?