February 2011
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Month February 2011

Valerie Geller on Making it Count

If you had only ONE person listening — and use your mind, your heart, along with your craft, people will know ‘excellence’ when they hear it. That’s WHY it’s important to MAKE EVERY MINUTE MATTER. Our audience is giving us the most precious thing they have on earth — their time! MAKE IT COUNT.

— Valerie Geller

Cleaning Out the Clutter

Kipper McGee’s official title is Chief Media Brandwidth Specialist at Kipper McGee LLC. To me, he will always be known an innovative program director and a great teacher. I had the chance to work under Kipper at WLS-AM for about a year and consider it to be one of the most valuable years in my professional development.

Kipper wrote a piece over at Radio Ink that should be instructive to any PD looking to clean up some of the clutter than inevitably develops on a radio station. He reviewed a survey of radio listeners in Ft. Myers and came up with five tips to add more listeners. The most powerful tip of the five, for me, is, “Don’t waste your listener’s time.”:

If radio as an industry invested as much time, effort and energy on creating valuable, targeted CONTENT as cutting CLUTTER, we’d all be better off. One listener noted “too much talking”, and significantly, “most of the time it is stupid things they are talking about”. Clearly, the content is not well positioned for this listener. “There is too much redundancy,” another noted, “…announcing what they are GOING to do, what they are DOING, and then what they DID!” Hitting a nerve noted by many who took the survey, another articulated this pet peeve, “Long ads with a lot of repeated phone numbers.”

Chief Media Brandwidth Specialist at Kipper McGee LLC

Gawker’s New Design Kills Traffic

When I saw the preview for the new design that was coming for the Gawker blogs (Gizmodo, Lifehacker, etc.), I immediately knew that it was going to be a tough pill for most people to swallow. I loved the old design, and thought it struck the right balance between form and function. It was readable and clean, but packed a lot information onto the page.

Well, the verdict is in, and the new design has been a short-term disaster for the sites. How bad? How about losing nearly 50% of your traffic … just by altering your design!

The takeaway seems to be that audiences develop expectations, for both content and design. Once you establish those expectations, keep meeting them. When you have repeat guests checking into your hotel, don’t move the swimming pool because you think it would look better somewhere else.

Learning from Justin Bieber?

Guy Kawasaki wrote a piece at the American Express OPEN Forum entitled, “What We Can Learn from Justin Bieber.” The title will likely give you pause, but in the piece, he really explores some of the tremendously effective ways that Bieber has used a combination of social media and old-fashioned hard work to become the phenomenon that he is today. So you if don’t want to spend the ten bucks to go see Bieber’s new movie, then you can read this piece and learn something.

Science of Social Media

Dan Zarella calls himself the “Social Media Scientist,” and he performs his experiments at HubSpot. He’s written two books, including The Facebook Marketing Book. He tends to focus on research-based metrics for social media, which is an immensely helpful perspective for anyone trying to sift the bluster and BS of so many so-called social media gurus from the truth.

This presentation is excellent and is worth the hour you will want to dedicate to watching it: (via Mark Ramsey)