Pending Business: The ‘Who Cares?’ Test

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Time to sharpen up, drill down and pass the “Who Cares?” test. This is where we take a hard look at how you present your on-air talent for host reads.

If you are like most sellers or managers, you look for a comfortable rhythm in your proposals that works for your style and now fits the cut and paste culture. There is nothing wrong with time-saving technique — except when the shortcuts take you to an outdated comfort zone. In radio sales we all get hypnotized by what worked for years. After all, we are creatures of habit and why mess with past success? It’s a challenging but important part of radio sales strategy.

Radio advertising is still a real-time, single-digit growth business and competitive change is an important daily dynamic that’s out of your control. In plain English, if you are to grow your income through ad sales it will come to you through one of two obvious sources: new business or your competition. Updating basic pitch features that drive your sales is mission critical. Let’s do a short starter list here. Check off what you need to re-evaluate.

  • Feature or fun fact? – This basic concept is the foundation of your host-read proposal. When was the last time you looked at your proposals and filtered what you considered to be unique talent features through the “Who Cares?” lens.
  • The magic of three – I have found that most sellers and advertisers can retain three basic features. Limit yourself to three unique sales points that make your talent different, better, and more valuable than the competition.
  • Ratings come and go – If your station subscribes to a ratings service, be smart about how and when you integrate metrics. Keep in mind one of the most important rules of sales strategy: Competitors aren’t dumb.
  • What’s new? – Have you integrated a more current feature that makes your talent stand apart? This can be a real-world challenge. However, you want your current proposals to have content that is relevant and timely. Push yourself to move beyond “same old, same old” or you make it too easy for your competition.

The most valuable electronic real estate available every single day on your radio station is the host-read commercial. Keep your proposals up-to-date and just like real estate the value will grow every year.

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: