An Open Letter to Radio,
While the generosity of charitable giving is viewed through the lens of “America at its best”, which undoubtedly is true, radio listening will be held by some to a different standard.
Critics and skeptics will contend that while radio listening increases during and immediately after a disaster, it goes away almost as quickly as it came. In some cases, radio’s role moving forward is predicted to be “perhaps only existing as emergency frequency.”
Nothing could be further from the truth.
As people in Texas, Florida and other areas hit by these hurricanes benefit from an enormous outpouring of nationwide support, does anyone believe that people merely “rediscovered” generosity? Of course not.
We all know that America is generous 365 days per year. Our charitable spirit simply gets magnified in times of disaster and crisis.
The same is true of radio. 24/7 we are operating in the “public interest, convenience and necessity” and the audience knows it. In their cars and at-work, radio usage by Americans is unrivaled. Radio is their preferred destination, not an option of last resort.
When a natural disaster strikes, people don’t “rediscover” radio anymore than people “rediscover” generosity. Instead, they double-down and magnify their daily media habits, which means listening to more radio.
Hearing a trusted voice is even more important during times of crisis.
Another important connection between generosity and radio is employment. You cannot donate money that you don’t have.
The same is true with radio. People don’t listen on their couch at home. The vast majority of AM/FM listening is driven by employed persons.
We know all of this to be true about radio – the challenge is having the courage to believe it.
Despite the current political climate and variety of mobile audio platforms, the role of generosity and AM/FM radio in the lives of Americans is not only secure, it’s vibrant.
Here’s to celebrating what’s right with radio and the world.
President and COO