A Lesson in Delight – Erickson Media


A Lesson in Delight

A Lesson in Delight

From Coke, no less…

I had the great good fortune to start my career at a legendary station, KIMN.

I’ve had the honor of working with other truly great stations: KINK, WABC, KILT, WJR, KHOW, WBIG, KDWB, WASH, KRWM, WJXA, NRJ in France, and others.

The experience spoiled me, because once you’ve worked for a station people really love, its hard to settle for clocking in at a utility.

What each of these legendary stations hold in common is not format, or marketing muscle, but listener passion. These stations are loved by the listeners who hear them.

Is your station loved?

What do you do for your listeners, for your community, that inspires love?

I did a station monitor and market analysis in a top 10 market for a major company last week. The station had no morning show at all — just segued songs with liners and spots placed between. The ‘talent” the rest of the day never spoke more than 3 times an hour, and even then said absolutely nothing that was either interesting or relevant to the lives of the listeners they hope to attract. Even the liners, “listener” testimonials (not real listeners, actually, but station voices and actors), and sweepers were generic and bland.

This is a new station, in a big, competitive market and those responsible for it are wondering why it has failed to gain any traction, why its ratings are anemic. Seriously.

How do you bond with a station that is basically an iPod with commercials?

I know PPM punishes jock talk that is boring and irrelevant, but the answer is not to turn into a music box; the answer is to hire great talent that understands preparation and brevity and fills every break with great content.

If your talent can’t bring remarkable, memorable content to their show for 3 breaks an hour, you are vastly over-paying them, even if they’re making minimum wage.

If your liners and sweepers aren’t eliciting some sort of reaction, why are they there?

Each of these contact points is an opportunity for you to grab listeners’ hearts, and if they’re being squandered, your PD is over-paid, not matter how little you’re paying him or her.

Do you know what brand love looks like? It looks like this..


Two and a half MILLION people have watched this video, and probably at least twice that many have then shared it on their blogs and web sites.

You think Coke got value for their investment?

The best part is, this cost Coke virtually nothing. You could have funded this promotion from your personal checking account.

This is about creativity, and finding a way to personally touch a few people with something so remarkable, so delightful — because it’s so unexpected — that those touched become evangelists for your brand.

So I ask again: Is your station loved?

If not, what are you doing — today — to change that?

Because passion, LOVE, is what you should be shooting for every day, and if you’re not, you’re over-paid, no matter what your salary.