Building Relationships with Radio

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

“In relationships, the little things are big things.”  No truer words have ever been said as these by Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  Building and nurturing relationships is important for any successful person or business.

There are other quotes that can help frame the approach for opportunities:

  • “Make a customer, not a sale.” – Katherine Barchetti, founder K. Barchetti Shops
  • “There is only one boss.  The customer.” – Sam Walton, founder of Walmart

Each of these individuals were successful retailers and, like Stephen Covey, they, too, understood the value and importance of relationships.

We can look to radio as inspiration for how to build and nurture relationships.  Radio provides listeners within the local community with news, traffic and weather information, sports updates, great music or thought-provoking talk.  As we know, radio is also a very large part of the local community.  Radio unites its forces in times of disaster or need – ranging from fundraisers, to clothing or food donations, honoring local heroes and helping in so many other ways.  Through these efforts radio develops, builds and nurtures its relationship with the community.

As marketing partners, radio works hard to understand the nuances and challenges of the brands on those stations.  Like all good marketing partners do, sellers and account executives at radio stations consume and experience the advertiser’s brand or service – to help educate themselves and as a sign of support for the advertiser because it’s “the little things.”  Here are some examples of the little things that great A.E.s do to build and nurture the relationship:

  • Beverage Distributor – an invitation to lunch means making sure that the establishment serves the beverage he/she sells and ordering it with lunch
  • Auto Dealer – if you don’t drive the nameplate that the dealer sells, parking the vehicle elsewhere than in the dealer lot
  • Quick Serve Restaurant Franchisee– stopping by for a quick bite on the weekend to just say hello
  • Local Retailer – sharing an article on some of the current retail trends in other markets

Similarly, radio station personalities work hard to build and nurture relationships.  There is no stronger connection than the one between the listener and radio personality.  The radio personalities work hard to build and nurture those relationships on-air, online, via podcasts and across social media platforms.  DJs take the time to build and earn the trust of the listener because what they do makes a difference.

Radio is all about relationships – with the community, listeners and advertising partners.  If I hadn’t read that the following was a quote from Jeff Bezos — founder, chairman and CEO of Amazon — I could have easily mistaken it as a quote about radio:

    “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”
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