Leveraging brand advocates is a popular management topic and a readily agreed upon corporate initiative, but where does that journey begin?

In recent articles in the Harvard Business Review and by 1 to 1 Media they each take a distinct approach, but reach the same destination with a focus on the necessity of employee training and engagement.

Fortunately for radio, the air talent generally understands the importance of super serving the audience and their brand engagement is high. In fact, the Marconi Awards in Atlanta this week will pay honor to the best in the business.

In addition, for many stations, naming their top advertisers is easy. However, when it comes to identifying their top listeners by name, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Let’s start in the lobby.

Does the person at your front desk know when a contest winner is from one of your Hot ZIPs? Does each new hire on your promotions team receive the Target Listener Profile for each station? These are simple fundamentals that success and engagement are built on.

At the Cleveland Clinic, they’ve been tapping into the desire of their employees to help patients, even to the point that janitors aren’t there to clean up. They see their role as keeping patients safe.

Compare that level of engagement with a recent job description for a full time station promotions team member, which lists the following skills: “entry-level event planning experience for a full time position in our Marketing and Promotions Department … Availability to work weekends, evenings and holidays is a must.”

Although this description might paint a realistic picture of the role, another realistic description would be, “In this role, you will engage and connect with the most valuable and passionate fans of each station. As a brand ambassador, you will partner with our on-air talent and advertisers as you plan and execute station events and promotions that provide one of a kind experiences for our audience members and advertisers.”

Everyone in radio started working entry level jobs on nights and weekends, but that’s not what initially attracts and retains talent. It’s the passion and enthusiasm for the product, our audiences and our clients that makes this industry great.

Your Brand Advocates

When it comes to attracting brand advocates, or Amplifiers as we call them, 1 to 1 Media says, “above all else, honesty, transparency, authenticity, and trust stand as the core pillars of advocacy.”

Further, Sarah Simon at Confirmit says that brands with the greatest number of advocates have these 3 traits in common (with perspective added on how each applies to radio).

  1. Integrity: This is at the heart of serving in the public interest, convenience and necessity.
  2. Membership: People inherently want to belong to something beyond themselves and radio provides the opportunity to be part of a local tribe. It’s also why stations regularly see heavy consumers of radio joining the VIP club and following your talent on social media.
  3. Fun: It’s what radio does best. According to a study done in Britain, when consuming radio, happiness and energy scores increase by 100% and 300%.

In a world where ad-blocking continues to grow, the ROI of live reads and on-air testimonials is unmatched. In large part because of the relationship we have with our Super Fans and Amplifiers.

Whether it’s Advertising Week in NYC or the Radio Show in Atlanta, it’s a great week to build on radio’s momentum.

Interested in identifying your Super Fans and Amplifiers? Send us an email and we’ll schedule a conversation.

Thanks for reading. – Andrew Curran, President and COO, DMR/Interactive.



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