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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