Pending Business: Sell Carefully

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — As I write this week’s column, events in Russia, the Ukraine, and around the world are driving the content on news/talk radio stations everywhere. Whether it’s all-news, a local talk show, or a nationally or regionally syndicated program, the world is talking, watching, listening, posting, tweeting, documenting and sharing.

The news cycle is in hyper mode and if you sell, market. or promote news/talk radio, your on-air talent are your critical part of the mix. As history unfolds they will work hard to be informed, focused, and most of all, relatable in an information- and opinion-driven environment that can change faster than your computer’s processor can handle.

But most importantly, the loyal audience base your station has worked hard to develop will lock in regularly for information updates and the clarity your air talent can bring to a complex and intimidating situation that could affect everything from the price of gas at the local pump to a roller coaster ride in their stock portfolio.

Here are six steps to help you market during this historic news storm:

  • Opinions count, leave it to your talent. Careful of oversharing your personal opinions. Your air talent are professionals, so leave it to the pros to own the opinion stage.
  • Since the cavemen first followed smoke signals, we want to be connected in times of crises. Nothing works better than news/talk radio to feel the community vibe in real time. That loyal audience will check in many times and engage with your talent.
  • Radio is instant and free. Those are just two of many advantages often undersold when instant information is critical.
  • Chances are your air talent have reported on and talked the audience through previous events that changed the course of history. Your listeners appreciate and trust credibility earned the hard way.
  • Play the long game and look to your manager for guidance on packaging and value-driven opportunity during this unique window.
  • Do your homework. Any unique local community connection that could give this conflict even greater importance?

News/talk radio has an opportunity to engage a more diverse and demographically appealing audience that is looking for clarity and engagement as geo-political events drive the news cycle. It’s up to you to adjust your marketing profile to meet the challenge.

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: