Pending Business: It’s a Matter of Trust

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Disclaimer: For the purposes of this column, please understand there is no hidden political agenda.

The headline for the January 16 article in The Wall Street Journal said it all. Paraphrasing here, “Trusted Local Voices Are Deployed….on Radio.”

The article describes the efforts of doctors and health officials located in rural areas to get the word out on getting the public to participate in the local covid vaccines initiative.

Here you have a simple example of how local communities perceive and use radio when the chips are down, the need is now and other options are not delivering the results. Local TV, newspapers, online, was not enough to push the residents in local communities in these rural areas and lower the concern of doctors and health officials.

Amazing, isn’t it? Trust and credibility — such elegantly simple concepts that translate so well on radio when questions and clear answers are important. Yet why is it so difficult to communicate these qualities in your air talent during a sales call? I’m not comparing the medical qualifications of a physician or health department official to your talk radio hosts (unless your hosts have unique credentials). There is an important concept here that is often lost on radio sellers. Trust and credibility are often neglected when it comes to the basics of news/talk radio sales. Here’s why:

  • Sellers are creatures of habit. Let’s face it, we take important local initiatives for granted as they blend into our daily lives. Does your media kit show your station/talent role in times of community need? Trust and credibility are built over time.
  • It’s all part of the landscape. So wrong! Our business is changing. Simulcasting with other media often replaces past performance. If your on-air talent and station are in a community crisis support role show it!
  • You can’t predict when your station or talent will lead the way in any critical community situation. It becomes a trust and credibility builder after the fact. Don’t lose it!
  • We all focus on making the month. Every one of us is accountable. We drive hard to deliver performance every month. Just don’t lose site of the year.

As I write this column, another blizzard is pummeling New York City, Boston and other portions of the country. Radio will be front and center once again earning the trust and credibility of millions who depend on us!

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: