Popular postings at Rushton On Radio pt 1

Last week my blog went ballistic when I posted a youtube video on my page. I got almost double the number of hits in one day. Here are some more of my posts that got a bigger than normal hit rate!

Call us on…

March 20011 I was talking phone numbers!┬áIt seems to be one of the most controversial issues at my work place at the moment. I have heard that “Simon doesn’t allow phone numbers” which is not true. I don’t want them in an ad where is does nothing for the client, no one will remember it, or you can’t actually do business with the client over the phone. I just want people to think about it. Good radio advertising sales people don’t just take money from clients… they try to get the ad to work, so that the client wants to give them more!

Hello Mary!

Also in March last year we met the “Two Women on a Bus”. The first idea many clients have for their radio ads. Those women seem to know a lot about our advertisers. Oh, and I found a photo of the ACTUAL bus!

The Customer is Always Right… yer right!

April 2011 we unpacked the statement “The Customer is Always Right” If they were, there would be no need for experts in ANY field. If doctors used this expression we’d be in a lot of trouble.

You want to voice your own commercial

May 2011 I think a lot of clients have great voices. But it’s not a way to get a “cheaper ad” Trust me, you’ll have to work a lot harder. Sometimes it’s worth it. Other times…well here is an example.

I hope you enjoy reading the blog. If you have any ideas of other topics I could cover, please let me know!

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What we try to do as Radio Advertising Copywriters….

I was in a traning session yesterday with Tracy Johnson… author or the “Morning Radio” series of books. He showed a number of videos.

This one just struck me as what we try to do as radio advertising copywriters. Especially when the client comes to us with self written radio advertising messages.

I just wish they’d recognise that we’re trying to help them!

Sometimes you hear clients who have written an ad say “but it’s working!” And you think.,.. “Yes, but we could make it work so much more!”

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Have you got an idea for…

I hate being asked “Have you got an idea for (X category Client)?”

I hate it on so many different levels.

First of all… it assumes that ideas are pulled out of nowhere for a particular client. Or that you have a database of script ideas that can be applied. I used to have a client who thought I had a file of scripts that I used for “Motor Dealers” or “Double Glazing”. I do keep all my scripts, and sometime look back at them for inspiration. But it’s very rare. I need to know what I’m trying to achieve before coming up with an idea.

The second reason is, it’s the first stop for a lazy salesperson who doesn’t want to take a brief. Let’s go back to them with an idea to get them on air! NO!! Lets go back to them and find a way to help their business grow through radio advertising! Lets help them see how radio can work for them. Let’s go back to them with an idea based on where they currently are, where they need to go. The second stop is the “Category Demo Showreel”… where the client hears a dozen ads in his category and then choses one… because he thinks it’s a menu.

There are books written with ideas for scripts and promotions. They contain prescripted ideas you can even go to a website, book your airtime, enter your business name, business category and location and it will send you a “script”. Frankly the scripts are OK… but they are not meeting the clients exact business requirements. How can they? If it’s a script for a plumber the script only says “Come to us, because we’re a plumber” Not very dynamic advertising. They may be creative and sound good on air, but what is it doing for the client? On the whole, very little.

I love Dan O’Days Bad Commercial Generator… and it’s amazing how many people think it’s a genuine useful tool! But there is no short cut to writing good radio advertising. The books will help you as a writer to stimulate your mind… but it’s not a bespoke solution for a client.

As Mike Bersin says.. “The reason you see copywriters staring blankly into space (or more often, Facebook) is not that they are trying to come up with an idea… they’re trying to work out what they’re trying to have an idea about!”

I can come up with great ideas for a client.
But I need an great brief in the first place.
Give me that BEFORE we “go back to the client with some ideas”.
Then give me the time and respect to work on it!

Can you come up with a great idea for a removal company?

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Salesman Balls pt 10

Client – “You know, this radio thing is all new to us. What will our commercial sound like?”
Exec – “Don’t worry. Andy will lead you through the whole process hand in foot”

“50% will stay and the other 75% will go”

“I’m available anytime Tuesday morning after 12”

“There’s no such thing as the public service association, so i rang the
public service association and got onto them straight away”

“It’s a two man horse race”

“Here’s a brand new concept that started a while ago”

“This guy tries to buy radio like he buys his vegetables”

“Stock Barrel and Dice”

“Let’s put together the biggest Christmas hamper that God ever put breath

“Look I’ll only tell you once … then I’ll tell you again”

“I’ve been running around like a bull arsed fly”

“Here comes the fire ambulance”

“It’s my birthmark, i’ve had it since i was born”

“The car park’s broken”

“They used cars like yours as cricket bats”

“You’ve been carrying on like a two bob goose”

“By Memory I can’t remember”

“Radio does work, look what it’s done for Bill Clinton”

“If they don’t like it they can hump it”

“Now you’re talking my tune”

“You have to keep killing them until they’re dead”

“I was born at one stage in my life also”

“Those two are as thick as wolves”

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all.

2012 is looking like an interesting year for Radio in general, and for Kenyan radio specifically. It’s an election year here, so many politicians will be turning to the advertising medium that reaches more people. But they will probably be making the same mistakes they made at the last election… and many radio stations will be doing the same.

Radio stations need to keep themselves as neutral as possible. Journalists need to be above reproach in reposting on politics and stations must resist the temptation to “sell” their programming time to people with deep pockets.

I’m all for letting politicians “advertise”… but for me that means spots… which the listener understands is paid for and doesn’t represent a political stand point of the station itself.

It’s quite hard to get the right balance in a country where politicians have bought frequencies for the simple purpose of furthering their political ends, where people on fairly low salaries could be paid to suppress or highlight stories. I am happy to work for a company that has been big enough and smart enough to try to remain neutral… but commercial.

For the politicians… it’s time they spoke to experienced advertising practitioners, and used the creatives to get their messages over. In the noise making of politics here it’s refreshing to hear someone with a clear, precise and believable message to the voters. In politics here I find it hard to know what anyone stands for and how they would make a difference.

It’s a simple formula. Tell people what you want them to do… give them a good reason to do it.

The hard part is finding that good reason, and making it believable.

I hope you have a great year, I pray that economies improve and that clients throw large bundles of cash at radio stations and get amazing results for their products or services.

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