One of the advantages electronic news has over print is the capability to deliver information in real time “live from the scene.” As you might imagine it didn’t take long for this proficiency to migrate from the news department to the sales department, giving birth to the radio “remote broadcast.”
Remote broadcasts are traditionally expensive. But as advertising sales remain weak in this economy, advertisers are being offered discounted rates on almost all advertising, including remote broadcasts. And that prompts a critical question: is a radio remote a good investment of advertising dollars?
Like everything else in business, the correct answer is “possibly.”
The problem is there are at least four different people involved in the decisions effecting such a broadcast. Most of the time each has a different objective.
Those four people are:
- the Manager/Owner of the business,
- the Radio Sales Person,
- the Radio Program Director, and
- the Disc Jockey.
What do each of these people want?
The Manager/Owner wants buyers.
His objective is to sell merchandise in such quantity that he can pay for the advertising and still show additional profit for his efforts.
He believes his store offers value. He believes when large numbers of people hear about his offers, they’ll flock to the store to buy. This is usually expressed as “you get people in the door, and we’ll sell ’em.”
The Radio Sales Person translates this instruction.
“Get them in the door” becomes, in her mind, “your job is to attract a crowd.”
She will arrange all of the crowd drawing techniques at her disposal. These will include a clearly identified station vehicle in front of the store as an attention-getting device. It will be augmented with banners and sound system.
She’ll provide tee shirts emblazoned with the station logo and other station paraphernalia to give away to listeners who come to the event.
She’ll try to arrange to have clowns, balloons, and face-painting to attract kids, free food to attract their parents, and the ever-popular “register to win” entry box. (The prize will, of course, be provided by the customer).
The Radio Program Director will coordinate.
After determining there are no conflicts on the proposed broadcast date, the Program Director will assign a Disc Jockey as “talent.”
The Program Director’s job is to keep listenership high. She hates remotes, considering them to be interruptions to the programming (music), and potentially harmful to ratings. The Program Director will thus limit the number of reports from the scene, limit the length of each report, and do her best to disguise the reports by running instrumental music under the Disc Jockey’s voice.
The Disc Jockey will be expected to attract a crowd.
Feeling pressure from the Manager/Owner and Radio Salesperson, the Disc Jockey will attempt to bribe listeners. He’ll repeatedly emphasize “C’mon down. We’re having a great time,” and will list all of the free items they could win just for showing up.