Be watching www.mcvaymedia.com for an upcoming article being written right now by AC boy genius/McVay Media consultant Daniel Anstandig.
One of the folks he asked to contribute perspective was A&O's Jaye Albright:
1. In a few sentences, how would you describe STATIONALITY?
JA: Bringing your unique brand values to life in a way that target listeners feel (and I do mean FEEL, emotionally) like the station has been built (perhaps even by them) for them.
2. What radio station(s) come to mind when you think DISTINCTIVE STATIONALITY? Note: These stations don't still have to be on the air today.
JA: Alliance's Young Country stations in Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco and Seattle as designed by Rick Torcasso. In reality, I think their stationality was superior to their programming, which is why none of them exists anymore. The best recent one for country was KPLX, Dallas's relaunch as "99-5 The Wolf" several years ago. One of the architects of that project was Brian Phillips, who is now doing equally innovative things at CMT.
Before that, it was "KFRG, Kay-Frog" in San Berdardino when Keymarket launched it. It was so distinctive that it's being copied now, but few of the copies are as good as the originals.
Some of the best ones that I have ever been associated with were: "Bob 100 FM, in Minneapolis," "Kay-Duck," the very first Young Country station in the world, which went from nothing to almost a ten share in just two books and Froggy 99.9, which took KVOX-FM from worst to first in two books in Fargo because the entire air staff - all of which had been with the station before the rebranding - really embraced and executed the concept flawlessly. They didn't even change the call letters, yet the audience almost immediately 'got' Froggy 99.9 FM and still does, thanks to brand continuity and great personality training and consistency.
3. What one or two things do you believe contribute most effectively to creating a unique stationality? Why?
A totally unique brand name and a creative plan to make that NAME come to real life listeners can hear almost immediately by personifying the values the name stands for.
4. Is there a format that you believe has done a better job than the others in creating "formatality?" :-) If so, what has helped them?
I think that there have been great examples of formatality in literally every type of station.
Rush Limbaugh brought it to AM radio, WEBN and K-Rock do it in rock. KIIS, LA has evolved very successfullt in CHR. Jack in pop rock. KVIL in Dallas under Ron Chapman. Smooth Jazz, classic alternative, Hot Talk to Al Hamm's Music of Your Life, Chick Watkins' AM Only and many more have created target-specific stationality. Cluck Blore, Bill Drake and Rick Sklar were masters of the art.
Bonus Question: Is there a brand outside of radio that you believe has a distinct personality?
Ben & Jerry's, Starbucks and Amazon.com
I'll bet Daniel would welcome YOUR responses to his questions too! Click on his name and send him an email.
Want to hear some examples? K-Rock, New York's new "Ours is Bigger" campaign. Or, click on http://nickmichaels.com/ and go to "philosopy" to read how Nick does it and then "radio" to hear some examples of "a whisper becomes a scream" created for The Drive in Chicago (artist ownership and station imaging), WFLA in Tampa and several others. Call (Jaye) 206 498-6261 or (Mike) 732-937-5757. We can recommend LOTS more stationality pro's.
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