These days as I listen to the almost-daily samples of very creative and solid country station imaging that arrives via email from the many excellent voices and contemporary approaches now available I am often reminded of how just a few years ago it seemed like just a very small handful of voices understood the impact of generational change in our target listener.
So, yesterday, when I clicked an online demo and heard a gruff basso profundo saying "Hey, K-104, how about a friendly little game of 'we kick your ass?' in a station montage, I couldn't click the "stop" button on the media player fast enough.
It reminded me of a Blair Garner story of one of his affiliate stations some years ago that edited one of Blair's series of self-deprecating country artist drops poking fun at himself, which said "Hi, this is (big star). When ever I am in (town), I never listen to "After Midnight With Blair Garner."
Instead, they had the star sounding like he was saying that they never listen to the "other" country station in town.
The majority of the station's listeners probably scratched their head and wondered what that was about.
The star's management got very upset at the offending station, of course, and meanwhile the competition's programmer probably smiled each time it ran, saying a silent "thank you" for the mention of his call letters in such a mean spirited manner.
A friendly reminder: "image" is the picture of yourself that you hope listeners have of YOU.
Opportunities to create a great one are rare, so make the most of them.
What purpose does it serve to send messages which make listeners feel like you're about as likable was the wicked Queen in Snow White?
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2 months ago