Industry Views

Monday Memo: Be Known for Knowing

By Holland Cooke

“STIMULATING TALK.”  Like much of radio’s imaging wallpaper, this frayed 1990s promo cliché was station-centric, rather than a benefit statement explaining and assuring how habitual use is… useful.

“Stimulating” was an immeasurable claim. And won’t THEY be the judge of that? If our talkers – of any political stripe – are stimulating, their work speaks for itself.

“Talk” itself has baggage. Say “talk radio” at a backyard cookout populated by non-radio people, and someone will roll their eyes. Rush Limbaugh personified that “crazy uncle at Thanksgiving” who became the format caricature.

imAnd when what’s-talked-about sounds too much like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, it works against what ratings people call horizontal maintenance (same-time day-to-day tune-in). No names, but his first six words when I tuned in were “…and it will only get worse!” Stimulating?

Commercial Copy 101: Sell benefits, not features. Almost any station can sound instantly more-user-friendly by simply projecting “you” and “your” early and often in promo copy. “Because ONE traffic jam can jam-up your WHOLE day…”

News will save news/talk. Mass shootings du jour, deadly severe weather, inflation, Trump, Hunter’s laptop, and what-next has listeners wondering, “What NEXT?” Be known for knowing, and you will stimulate more tune-ins.

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 the E-book and FREE on-air radio features Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins;“and Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books. Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke