At least, it shouldn’t be.
Some of those running consolidated Radio describe it as a “utility,” something listeners use without thought, like the water company; something they take for granted, like the electricity being available when you turn on a light.
Agencies and our own ratings service do everything possible to make Radio a transactional business, pushing stations to offer advertising at ever-lower rates if they hope to get business, like the airlines. Cheapest fare usually wins.
If that’s true of your station, shame on you.
My water company never plays a song that takes me back to my first kiss with my first love.
My electricity company never shares stories with me of people in my community who transcend unbearable loss, or those who, through their personal courage, sacrifice their lives to save my neighbors’ kids.
Airlines want nothing from me except my money and the quicker I’m on and off their plane, the better they like it.
If I can listen to your station today and not feel any different than I do when I turn on the faucet, or board my Southwest flight, or buy a pack of gum at the 7-11, shame on you.
Because you start off with advantages no transactional business has and if you never use them you are wasting your license.
You may only have a playlist of 350 songs, but many of them are the very ones that evoke the deepest emotional response when heard.
You may only be able to speak 4 times an hour, but that’s 4 opportunities to say something that touches my heart, that reflects pride in my community, that makes me feel better about myself and my future.
Radio is not a transactional business, at least at its best it never should be.
Use the unique strengths of our medium, for God’s sake. Connect. Challenge. Command.
Make me feel, or surrender your license to someone who will.