Kid Talk, Is It Time Yet?

This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Consultant Tips” series, written by Charese Fruge on June 10, 2020

Kid Talk Radio, is it time to bring it back as a format or regular podcast, or at the very least a regular feature for radio stations and social media brands that cater to parents and kids? Hear me out, okay? I’m not going to lie, I watched both of CNN’s Sesame Street Town Hall Specials on Racism and COVID-19 for kids and families and I loved it, and I learned SO MUCH. And it was extremely kid friendly. I thought it was brilliant.

I was part of a cluster in Las Vegas that tried “Kids Radio” years ago. But it was mostly music content, not necessarily local or exclusive, and on an AM signal. Times were very different then, too. Pandemic issues, economic failure and racism were not on blast the way they are today. So it didn’t last very long. And yes, I know that we have Disney Radio, but it’s hard to cultivate exclusive or local content that would be helpful in addressing issues like these while making a connection with kids and families in the community.

I’ve seen a lot of social media posts from parents wondering how to address such serious topics with kids, especially in the last few weeks. One in particular caught my attention. It was a tweet from a white man, married to a black woman, asking what he was going to tell his daughter when she asked him what he did wrong (perception is everything), after the worldwide backlash from the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer? As a white man he felt as if he couldn’t even begin to understand what a person of color experiences in the world today and he would feel like a hypocrite even trying to address it because of “white privilege.” There are millions and millions of people experiencing the same feelings right now. How great would it be to have a platform that could educate both parents and children on how to handle such sensitive topics.

I have so many friends with kids of all ages asking the same questions. Questions that only experts know the answers to. They are also wondering at what age to start having difficult conversations with their kids about COVID-19 and more importantly, racial injustice. And what approach to take when doing so? Their biggest concerns are that their kids are being exposed to what’s going on in the world via social media and television and asking lots of questions that parents simply don’t know how to answer because it’s somewhat baffling and all new to them as well.

If I had the platform, this would be the perfect time to launch a Kid Talk radio station, staff it with kid friendly personalities, teachers, medical experts, therapists, characters, etc. All of whom have the ability to engage children of all ages, and the experience to know how to approach serious topics with them. Of course, there would be different content and approach for different age groups, which would allow for enough content to keep things moving forward. But imagine how perfect this would be for parents to have at their disposal. It would definitely take some of the pressure off them. Particularly when the experts are addressing topics that parents are uncomfortable discussing with their children. They can listen or watch together and then address further questions later. The key to success though is that it has to be people who can engage children.

Anybody can have an expert on, but if there is no entertainment value for the kids, no one cares.

There are other opportunities for kid friendly content and education as we learned with the onset of working from home and maximizing social media outlets to extend content on digital brands. There were so many successful personalities doing Facebook Live or Instagram Live story telling or game night for the kids during the lockdown. Why not do the same with educational content. Hire characters (who will social distance, of course) to help. Or feature a local school teacher. These could provide additional sponsorship opportunities as well. You could even use it as an opportunity to mentor kids by using those who are artistic enough to help and teach them how to deliver and discuss kid content.

Think about it, it would definitely be safe radio, and like television, you would have parental control. If something is coming up that is age inappropriate for your child, you can always turn it off. I’m not suggesting anything that’s never been attempted before. I’m just saying that now would be the time to do it, especially since we are learning new technology every day to produce and deliver content. And sometimes it’s as easy as doing it from your phone.

So if you are having a hard time coming up with a solution for an underperforming signal, or looking for quality content for your socials and brand extensions, I would look in to Kid Talk. Even if it’s just temporary. At the end of the day an underperforming station playing the same thing as everyone else in the market that has no hope of gaining ground is much worse than an engaging, educational, family friendly station that offers unique content and exclusive sponsorship opportunities that separate your brand from everything else in the market, and takes a load off of every overwhelmed parent out there trying to deal with the reality of everything that has happened so far in 2020.