On the morning of November 9th there will be hundreds and hundreds of campaign managers waking up, knowing that they’d done their jobs and the night before celebrated with their candidate in a hotel ballroom or VFW as the race was called in their favor.
I’ve always thought it would be an interesting to hire one of these out-of-work-because-they-did-their-job people and make them a Promotion Director. Because they helped to craft a message, keep their person focused, rally people to embrace and support their person, and got them marketed so that there was a sense of loyalty to their brand. So that a majority of people used a black marker to color in an oval for them.
“PPM has changed everything. Loyalty and top of mind don’t matter.” I would argue that when someone tasks me with wearing a drug dealer-era pager, that there are going to be some subconscious factors below the surface elements of Programming and Talent.
A big part of that is to pound the name. Over and over and over and over until the station is tattoo’ed on the cerebral cortex of the market. Social media plays a part in that. Traditional marketing plays a part in that. Having an overwhelming and visible presence in the community finishes it off.
About once a year a GM or Market Manager will attend a seminar on VIP Clubs or Social Media, come back and pull the stations off the street.
This has never ever ever worked. Being invisible is only beneficial to super heroes and 8th grade boys with dreams of infiltrating the girls locker room.
A big reason is that people don’t pay that close of attention. So defining and separating your station from the other candidates is kind of important. I have a friend from high school who was one of 55,000 people to attend a Kenny Chesney show at Target Field two summers ago and when she had recovered from sun burn and alcohol-related issues, I quizzed her on station presence.
It was clear that she listened to both Country stations here in town but that she didn’t know who was doing what on-site. One of the stations had a cut out. One of the stations was using pedi-cabs to bring people from the bars. But she was confused who was doing what.
That’s understandable but it also points out where some station could have really cemented themselves with something remarkable. “Remarkable” is a good litmus test for pretty much everything in life. Why would we not want to be remarkable? Why would we want to just blend in with everything else?
Radio runs for office 2 times a year, four times a year or always in PPM markets. There are lessons from all sizes of districts and campaigns.
Dan Lee was one of 7 people running for City Council in my little corner of heaven, Scandia, Minnesota. And he won.
He used social media to connect to and engage people. It was a part of his Trivial Pursuit pie chart grid dealie™. He had lawn signs. He went and met with people and communicated his message. He walked the sidewalk at Taco Daze and shook hands with 2000 potential constituents. He had an actual damn logo, and imaged himself as a cowboy. Not a guy in a polo shirt and Dockers. THAT stood out.
Meeting the electorate, engaging them and pretending you actually care about them. No algorithm will beat that.
We’re heading into a really interesting 3+ months with lots of lessons to be learned. Watch the campaigns. Watch the candidates. Watch how they work a crowd and where they are on any given day. They’re doing the same thing we do every day: running for our jobs.