Mack’s Craic

Easy Does It

Easy Does It

New Orleans is pronounced “NOO-orlins” or “Nawlins”, but never “New -or-LEANS” as we Brits usually pronounce it. I’ve been reminded of this by the locals here a lot this week, they really don’t like you getting it wrong.

I’m in town for the annual “Talk Show Boot Camp” which is presented by Don Anthony’s ‘Talentmasters’. For twenty-five years Don has been running the ‘Morning Show Boot Camp’ for Breakfast radio presenters. With the popularity of talk radio in the USA growing (now the second most listened to format), he added this event for Talk Show Hosts four years ago.

This year’s Boot Camp was co-produced by Gabe Hobbs from Gabe Hobbs Media. He made a good point during one of his sessions. He said that when someone buys a ¼ inch drill, they don’t actually WANT a quarter inch drill. What they want is a quarter inch hole. His point was backed up by Jon Miller from Arbitron. They’re the company that compiles the radio ratings in the US. Jon said that a talk show is most effective when it solves a fundamental problem in the listener’s life. That problem can be as basic as telling you if you need to take an umbrella or not, or as complicated as helping you to understand a political story by condensing and packaging it in a way that makes it relevant. In America they take that to the extreme by telling you which way to vote. The irony is, most talk show hosts lean to the right but once again, a Democrat has been elected to the White House.

The question of talk radio, and AM talk in particular, continuing to broadcast a right-wing message was brought up after NooVooDoo Media’s Carolyn Gilbert presented the results of a new national study into radio listener’s interest level with, among other things, politics. The study asked people to describe their political leaning then grouped them from left to right as “liberal”, “somewhat liberal”, “moderate”, “somewhat conservative” and “conservative”. The study showed that the biggest group described themselves as “somewhat conservative”. Gabe Hobbs speculated that a potential growth area for talk radio in the USA right now could be stations aimed nearer to the centre-right.

There were twelve great sessions this year, here are a few nuggets and who they came from:

In the morning, there are more people listening to radio in New York City than there are watching cable TV at that time in the whole of the United States. – Harvey Nagler, Vice President of CBS News Radio.

Each member of your radio audience has their own audience on Twitter and Facebook.  Radio Personalities need to make their content easier to share. The most likely times for people to share news stories on Facebook are 9am, 1pm and 4pm. – Daniel Anstandig, CEO of Listener Driven Radio 

Only one quarter of your ratings are due to your execution. Three quarters of your ratings are due to your “position”, the thing that your station is known for. Your most loyal listeners only listen for an average of ten minutes at a time. They have five occasions of listening per day. To increase Time Spent Listening you need to get them to give you more occasions of listening NOT make them listen longer during those occasions. – Jon Miller, Director of Programming Services at Arbitron.

Don’t neglect the Radio station website, it gets MORE web traffic than the station’s Facebook page. Talk formats are the most listened to radio formats for in-car listening in the USA. More than half of all broadcast listening in the United States is done in the car. Seven out of 10 smartphone owners have downloaded a radio app. Half of all listeners to Sport Radio who are on Twitter follow their favorite Sport station or personalities. Women are more likely to share radio station content across the web than men. Women spread more “word of mouth” marketing than men. People who join radio station databases are more likely to be women. The most important occasion of listening to get from your audience is the first one of the day. – Fred Jacobs, President of Fred Jacobs Media

So I’ve learned a lot here including New Orleans’ nick name. It’s called “The Big Easy”, probably because it’s big and the people are easy going. Unless you call it, “New-or-LEANS”!

Craic on!

Check out the latest Mack Nuggets at .

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