Creating an Effective Digital Strategy for Radio: People

Posted by Paul Miedzik

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Nov 25, 2015 1:12:37 PM

The people needed when building a digital strategy for RadioThe Digital Era is here to stay. There’s no turning your back on this reality. Digital is the gateway to connect with your biggest fans. Thus, the future belongs to those radio brands who are switched on for digital. Your success depends on whether you are prepared with a strategy and tool kit to thrive in this space.

Successful organizations infuse digital in their culture & throughout the foundation of the "4Ps": People, Platform, Policy, and Process.

Today, let’s focus on where you stand with respect to the “PEOPLE” in your organization and how prepared they are to tackle the digital world. In order to effectively create a digital strategy for radio, you need to ask yourself:

Do you have the resources, expertise and internal commitment to drive digital results effectively?

As you implement a digital strategy for your radio brands, successful execution of this strategy will be highly dependent on the people tasked with driving digital development and revenue and their commitment to embracing it.

There are three areas you should focus on to help foster the right culture and enable your people when building a digital strategy for radio:

1. Ownership of digital across the organization

Let's face it, digital has added a new and relatively unexplored layer to the radio industry. We all know there’s opportunity in the digital space and many of us have started to yield results, but let’s be frank – it’s been tough adding this digital layer to your team’s workflows because it’s still a growing part of our business that isn’t as lucrative as terrestrial. However, more of your ad partners and audience are expecting to be served digitally and this cannot be ignored.  In order for your 2016 digital strategy to be successful, you need to ensure that you have:

  • A strong organizational buy-in on the importance of digital
  • Dedicated resources assigned to manage your digital activities and assets

2. Staff has the proper training

Now that you have your team believing that terrestrial radio can thrive in the digital era by embracing digital, you have to make sure they have ability to execute effectively in the space. This might take teaching old dogs new tricks. You’ll need to ensure On-Air talents understand how to engage audiences outside of the phone lines and amplify the station’s voice in social media outlets. It also means your sales teams understand how to upsell and cross-sell digital offerings to your advertising partners and are equipped to sell in the modern landscape. In short, your 2016 digital strategy for radio needs to make sure that

  • Your sales team is trained to sell digital ads and sponsorships
  • Staff members receive regular training on digital & best practices
  • You have a foundation of high performing people that are maximizing their strengths

3. Accountability for success metrics are set for each role

Lastly, success for radio in the digital age is going to be dependent and holding your people accountable for driving digital success at your stations. You must effectively measure and analyze the performance of digital output individually and at the company level. Be sure that digital your goals and results are clear and effectively communicated to every area of the organization, from sales to on-air. Most importantly, be sure that digital successes – viral posts, hitting digital sales goals, online membership quotas, mobile app downloads etc. – are celebrated when they’re achieved just like you celebrate and communicate ratings achievements and milestones. Teams should meet regularly to collaborate and share new digital trends, best practices and new learnings and experiences. This will keep everyone competitive and prepared for the inevitable ongoing shift of radio broadcasting in the digital age.  Some specifics to consider that will help you drive your digital strategy:

  • You have formal goals for each department related to digital 
  • Digital leads are encouraged to drive change within the organization
  • Report on metrics and assign new team goals to strive towards
  • Ensure there is alignment between each individual’s strengths, their work and the goals of a team to have a foundation for digital for success

As the progression of radio in the digital age continues, Radio brands preparing for digital success need to recognise that the structure of the traditional radio station org chart may have to change and their people need to evolve with it. Your stations and people may have to adapt and learn new skills to fill roles as new engagement and revenue opportunities open up and present themselves. Additional investment in hiring and training will be required, but ultimately, your people and how you prepare them to drive digital success are going to be critical, so it’ll be well worth it.

Are your radio brands ready for digital success in 2016? We've created an awesome checklist so you can review where your brands stand digitally:

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