Industry Views

Monday Memo: Improving Results from Endorsement Spots

By Holland Cooke

imThe stations I work with make big money with live endorsement spots delivered by familiar local on-air personalities. Remember them? With most AM/FM broadcast hours now robotic or non-local, your relationship with the listener is precious and can be leveraged… carefully.

Quality vs. Quantity

The more products or services you endorse, the less special each pitch will be. You’re asking the listener’s trust each time, so asking too often can sound insincere. So back-to-back “I’m [name] for [account]” is verboten, and that can happen when spots you voice air outside your show.

 “Tell me a story”

 When the late, great Don Hewitt – the father of “60 Minutes” – spoke at a NAB convention years ago, he told us that he was often asked, “Why is this the most successful TV news show of all time?” And he said, “I can tell you in four words: ‘Tell me a story,’” which every piece did.

Describe your personal experience with the advertiser’s product or service in before-and-after fashion – problem was, problem solved – in a relatable way.


 OOPS!  Do you say, “I haven’t sold you yet?”

Often, these are long-standing advertiser relationships.  Two cautions:

If you’ve been touting an advertiser for a while, DON’T say so. “For years, I’ve been telling you about [name of business]” = “…and I haven’t sold you yet, have I?” Instead, keep the pitch fresh.

And keep it customer-centric rather than talking about a store. In one spot I heard, for a sewing supply retailer, the well-intentioned host sounded awestruck as he recited the store’s inventory (“over fifteen hundred bolts of fabric!”). That’s the store’s problem. Instead, solve the listener’s problem: “Imagine the money you could save if you made all your kids’ back-to-school clothes this year?  [advertiser] will give you free lessons!”

Avoid saying…

 “MY GOOD FRIENDS AT [name of business],” which sounds phony.

“All-new:” Say “new,” if it IS new, AND if newness is a listener benefit (and say why).

“…AND MUCH MORE,” which means nothing. Weed-out stuff like this, and you’ll give copy more time to breathe.

“Needs,” as in: “FOR ALL YOUR [product category] NEEDS” (the ultimate “BLAH, BLAH, BLAH”).

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books. Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke

Industry Views

Pending Business: Father’s Day

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

imYou have still have six weeks to make Father’s Day your sales success. Stop taking for granted, this always undersold 100-plus-years-old celebration.

Father’s Day is a $20 billion business that rarely dominates a radio sales meeting. Did you have a full sales meeting devoted to selling into the Father’s Day gift giving cycle?

Your most valuable sales asset, your on-air personalities, can be helpful in brainstorming, collaborating, even creating unique sales opportunities. They know their audience.

The National Retail Foundation projects only an $80 difference in the average gift spends between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Still the typical radio ad sales team rarely takes the time necessary when it comes to brainstorming this annual opportunity. Unlike Mother’s Day where “natural” categories like flowers, candy, dinner, spa days, even jewelry make the annual target list, what does your target list look like for Father’s Day? How creative is your Father’s Day planning… especially since neckties are still out?

Could it be because Father’s Day was hatched in Spokane, Washington as a complement to its senior partner, Mother’s Day?

It really doesn’t matter. These takeaways may help guide your thinking as you approach any holiday marketing. Let’s start with a Father’s Day profile that should broaden your thinking:

— Forget the old school. Consider this: 81% of gift givers are looking for “unique” or “experience” oriented gifts. A true opportunity to open your prospecting targets. Would Dad enjoy a weekend staycation?

— Like it or not online shopping is becoming the norm, yet when it comes to Father’s Day, nearly 50% are still shopping at retail locations. Another reason to freshen up that prospecting list.

— Despite inflation, 76% of Americans will celebrate Father’s Day.

— The average spend is projected at $171. Not exactly Christmas numbers, but welcome income to any retailer.

Sellers and managers often overlook obvious income opportunities that could come easily. Chances are your local talent have a connection to Father’s Day that could make a difference on a sales call. Don’t overlook the opportunities right in front of you as you approach the next sales call.

Happy Father’s Day!

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: Steve Lapa will be moderating the “Generating Revenue” panel at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University.


Today’s David Grapples Goliath with Problem/Solution

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS magazine
Managing Editor


TAMPA — When we profiled WRVA, Richmond’s Jeff Katz in this space last week (TALKERS, Wednesday, 3/9), the afternoon drive talent echoed one particular concern shared by many of his peers regarding talk radio’s future.

Specifically questioned was the depth of news/talk radio’s farm system and the source of the format’s next wave of great on-air personalities.

One budding star though might very well be developing in Central Florida: That’s where David Gornoski has been paying his dues as a podcaster and station talent, using “A Neighbor’s Choice” as his program’s unique umbrella title.