I always wondered why Emmis Communications has been such a strong and early advocate for radio to be included in every cell phone and now I think I know why.
As a company with considerable international experience, I have a feeling that they've long been aware of what I just saw graphically proven on the Greek Island of Santorini, where the waters are as blue as you'll see anywhere and the docks are a great place to watch ferries, transportation and cruise ships take goods and people up to those white hotels, homes and restaurants up on the top of the rocky cliffs.
That is, unless it's 9:30 pm and the ferry is more than two hours late.
Then, along with several hundred other people, you stand - as I did last week - in the chill with not much information on when the boat is going to arrive and not much entertainment to kill the seemingly endless time.
That's when I was glad to watch at least half the crowd starting to reach for their cell phones and ear buds as radio after radio came on. Thanks to my HTC EVO Android phone, I joined them, feeling especially smug as I noticed that the young folks around me were the most likely to be using their cell phones as portable radios.
I know it's been a long, slow process with little visible progress thus far but it seems like a non-issue in most other countries, which puts to rest the argument for me at least that phone owners won't use them.
It's been six months since the very clever and effective Radio Ink-Orkin ads have been updated, but have you aired them as yet? If not, please do.
Perhaps the recent initiative announced at the Chicago NAB meetings including even HD Radio will add impetus to the campaign.
As I discovered on a cold night waiting for a boat, it's nice to be able to turn to entertainment at the touch of a button on this ubiquitous device.
Sooner or later, it's going to prove essential when the power's out, cell service is down and and radio comes to the fore once again to inform, saving lives.
Let's work to make sure it's there when it's needed most.
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