By Scott Lindy, Futuri Media
Country Radio Seminar’s return as an on-location event is a big hit with everyone here. Being in the same physical space with hundreds of country music fans who also happen to be addicted to the radio biz is, quite honestly, thrilling. Even though we’re still socially distanced, we’re together. There’s electricity in the air at CRS ‘22.
My expectation of hearing profound statements from panelists, presenters, and new artists was exceeded before lunchtime on day one. Country Radio PDs come to CRS to learn what’s new and hear what the experts (and their peers) are doing to overcome shared obstacles.
One of the most extraordinary things about CRS is when that happens, even if a panel isn’t directly related to programming. In this morning’s Albright & O’Malley & Brenner pre-seminar session, the first presentation centered around sponsorship integrations. Lindsay Bertelli – President/Owner of REACH, offered two pieces of advice that Country Radio program directors can use:
“Listen more than you talk.” This is the foundation of every great interview, ever. Reminding talent of this is a good start. Actively coaching talent to keep their focus on the person they’re interviewing is imperative. Think about it. Your top talent is most likely outgoing, gregarious, and has strong opinions. Being a great listener is rarely instinctual for that personality type. Coach, teach, rehearse.
“Do something fun and interactive.” If your on-location team is stuck in the “promo tent, table, prize wheel, register to win, etc.” days, end them. Now. Country radio stations employ some of the most creative minds in media. Dedicating some time to brainstorm fun, memorable listener interactive activities will pay off. Steal this idea: shopping cart ‘curling.’ You get the idea. Cause a commotion.
I’ve always told my colleagues, even before joining Futuri, that any conversation with our CEO and Founder, Daniel Anstandig, will leave you more intelligent and inspired. That effect was in high gear this morning when Daniel shared insights and key takeaways for reaching The Next Generation of Connected Country Listeners.
Futuri’s research studies and white papers referenced in Daniel’s eye-opening presentation this morning are genuine ‘must have’ knowledge for today’s radio professionals. You can download them here.
Another reason why CRS is so valuable for Country Radio program directors is the opportunity to witness a new artist perform a song that hits you like a lightning bolt. PDs hear new music all the time, both live and recorded. I’m not saying that can make you jaded, but sometimes it takes the energy of a gathering like CRS to create an atmosphere where the words and music reach your heart as well as your ears.
BMLG’s Laci Kaye Booth (pictured above with yours truly) did that at CRS this morning, for me anyway. When she performed True Love, a song that hasn’t even been recorded yet, her lyrics paired ‘Abilene” and ‘Diamond Ring’ in a way that made me remember that the best singers and songwriters aren’t concerned with making sure their lyrics rhyme. They’re more focused on creating a connection as Laci Kaye Booth did.
That’s what’s come to be known here as “a CRS moment.”
Before I close, on behalf of everyone at Futuri, I want to send Becky Brenner a huge congratulations on being selected to join the Country Radio Hall of Fame! The news was announced this afternoon here in Nashville. Becky, currently a Consulting Partner with Albright & O’Malley & Brenner Country Radio Specialists, has been a force of intelligence and passion in the Country Radio world for decades. We couldn’t be happier to see this well-deserved honor bestowed upon someone as deserving of the recognition as Becky.
Scott Lindy is a Marketing Content Specialist and Partner Success Specialist at Futuri Media. He works with a select group of stations to drive their digital efforts forward, while also creating compelling marketing content about Futuri’s audience engagement and sales intelligence solutions. Prior to Futuri, Lindy spent 30 years developing an impressive programming resume at companies including Cumulus, Clear Channel, Lincoln Financial Media, and SiriusXM. He has also served on the boards of directors for several industry organizations, including the Country Music Association and Country Radio Broadcasters.