March 24, 2014 by Colin Kelly
Rule Number 1 is you don’t lie to the audience.
‘This radio station has been seized’.
No it hasn’t.
It’s lazy, it’s boring and it’s been done a thousand times before. It doesn’t work either. Sure, the anoraks will chatter in the forums and a few locals will mention ‘that radio station’s gone weird’ to their pals who’ll reply with a shrug and something along the lines of ‘aye, haha, Radio 2′s the only one I can pick up anyway’.
These cheap, crappy marketing stunts are exactly that and only serve to make radio look small time, desperate and cheap, instead of a big sexy brand.
Want people to talk about you all weekend and tune in on Monday? Try one of these:
Replace the presenters with German speakers.
Play nothing but J-Pop.
Broadcast live from a local shop all weekend.
Let the presenters play what they like.
Play entire albums.
Go commercial free.
Replace the presenter’s links by having them read out Tweets verbatim that carry the station hashtag. Listeners (and non listeners who see what’s happening) will soon catch on and start Tweeting all sorts of incredible things on that hashtag. How far will you go? What will happen? You’ll get everything from downright abuse (some of it quite creative and amusing) to marriage proposals, shock confessions..who knows. Be bold and go for it.
Or – and here’s a crazy idea that’ll never catch on – make your change without fanfare (nobody is listening anyway – that’s why you’re doing a relaunch), wait until you’ve perfected the new sound and think you’ve got something utterly world class on your hands and THEN market the backside off it and get everyone tuning in.
All too often people that should know better get things back to front in search of a shortcut and end up in a situation where the ‘stunt’ was more impressive than the change it was supposed to promote.