My friend and colleague Doug Zanger of Xhang Creative has launched Small Plate Radio, a new media platform that allows communicators to use the broadest of mediums (radio broadcasting) to reach the narrowest of niche audiences. Huh?
Leave it to Zanger to realize that what attracts the masses to radio (entertainment, convenience, immediacy, interactive potential, etc.) can also be used to attract and communicate with targeted niche audiences, just like so many websites, blogs and twitterers.
Say you’re holding an important meeting, a press conference, a concert or some other event where there is great interest but limited access. Many folks would like to participate but few are able to. Through Live Podcasting, interested listeners can tune in live on the internet and even send in questions via instant message. Small Plate Radio will set-up a Pop Up Radio Station on the site of large events like conventions so that luminaries can stop by for a quick interview. All content can be listened to live on the web or archived for later podcast listening in the comfort of your car, office or hot-tub.
Radio is a great medium in that I can take it with me wherever I go (even while driving) and listen even while multitasking. A former boss called radio “theater of the mind.” I’m glad the theater is now open to even highly targeted, niche audiences.
<!– ckey=”20CBA385″ –>
Recently, my work in the radio industry and my interest in mobile marketing have crossed paths.
Thanks to my colleague Doug Zanger at Small Plate Radio, I’ve found myself in several radio industry posts. I’m on the radio jury for the London International Awards, I’m the moderator for the Radio Suits group on the radiocreativeland talent pool and I handle media relations for the soon to be launched Good Radio Stories, an online PR service showcasing the charitable acts of radio stations across the country. GRS is a Radio 2020 project commissioned by the Radio Advertisers Bureau, National Association of Broadcasters and HD Radio Alliance.
The more that I play in the radio world (I have a broadcast journalism degree) the more clearly I see synergies between radio and mobile marketing. As I pointed out in my post “Drive to Mobile,” one of the best attributes of mobile marketing is the ability to “capture” an audience no matter where they are or what they’re doing.
Where people can often be found is listening to the radio in a car, at home, at work or in someone else’s store, gym or drycleaner. Radio therefore is a perfect medium for Drive to Mobile because it is ubiquitous and can be accessed from anywhere (just like mobile phones).
This fact is not lost on mobile marketing providers. Companies like HipCricket and Spark Network Services offer radio stations turnkey mobile solutions to further relationships with listeners and provide stations with an additional revenue stream.
HipCricket has also just signed a deal with the Spanish Broadcasting System to build loyalty groups via text. I know from my work in the Hispanic market that Hispanics are a great target for text campaigns.
When it comes to building Drive to Mobile campaigns, radio is a terrific medium.
Recently my colleague Doug Zanger was selected as the first ever Radio Jury President for the prestigious London International Awards. Shortly thereafter I was appointed to the Jury with 22 other folks, tasked with judging radio creative from around the world. Last years’ winning radio entries were produced in Johannesburg and Hamburg. It’s been sometime since I worked in radio, but I’m looking forward to being part of this process.
Doug has set up AmerWeCan Radio, a hilarious push to get more American radio stations to enter the “Conceived by Radio Station” category of the LIAs. Apparently no American radio station has ever won this award, and AmerWeCan mouthpiece Brett Britland takes great umbrage at this horrific oversight.
Doug is also pushing the IDA (It Didn’t Air) Awards to recognize great creative that never quite made it past the “creative review” process and onto the airwaves. I look forward to hearing what almost was (or what never had a chance).
As founder and CEO of Xhang Creative, a Portland, Oregon-based radio and audio content creative agency/consultancy, Doug Zanger is a leading voice for creativity in radio. Doug’s other ventures include pOne partners, a radio-station/company-centric business that serves as a full creative resource for radio stations and groups and Small Plate Radio, an online audio content creation group that has been running “pop-up” radio stations for advertising and industry trade events. Doug is also the mastermind behind Good Radio Stories, an online PR service dedicated to showcasing the charitable works of radio stations and companies around the country. Good Radio Stories is a Radio 2020 project commissioned by the Radio Advertising Bureau, National Association of Broadcasters and HD Radio Alliance.
“Dr. Z” also blogs on Advertising Age’s Small Agency Diary and is an adjunct professor at Mount Hood Community College in Oregon, where he lectures about the importance of radio and advertising.
He is also an active donor for the Freeplay Foundation, a non-profit organization that distributes hand-cranked and solar powered radios to remote areas of Africa with the purpose of delivering content and messaging that helps stem the tide of poverty.
I’m probably missing several things, but I think that description is sufficient. When does Doug ever sleep?!
UPDATE: After judging nearly 150 spots, I’ve listened to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.