Special Delivery

This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Consultant Tips” series, written by Charese Fruge on February 2, 2021 

It’s not a new concept in radio that it’s “all about the delivery.” And it used to be that all we had to care about is “what it sounded like on the air.” Now, there are so many choices and platforms, competition is everywhere. There are so many extensions of the brand and out of the box ideas on how to capture and keep an audience. If you thought we as Americans were lazy before the pandemic hit with the invention of things like Amazon and Amazon Prime, imagine how lazy we’ve become in the last year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nowadays, “Delivery” on every level is everything.

Now, we don’t have a choice but to let the world come to us thanks to lockdowns, social distancing and the closing of everything we knew as normal. Our groceries, alcohol and marijuana (if it’s legal) are delivered with the touch of an app. Everything is done online. You can bank online, attend virtual doctor appointments online, participate in virtual exercise routines online, hell, you can even buy and/or sell a car online and have it picked up and delivered. The closest thing you might get to getting out and about these days are drive up food banks, vaccination locations or COVID-19 testing.

There are times when I haven’t gotten in my car in a full two weeks in the last year. If I could have my gas delivered, I would do that too, but I wouldn’t need it that often. (On a side note, there is actually a Vegas (where I live) casino that will find your car in the parking garage and fill it up with gas at the touch of an app these days.

The point is, our lives have become a pattern of constant delivery, which means that to be in touch with a radio audience, and keep them engaged, we need to mimic delivery strategy, and we need to do it in a way that makes your brand special and separates you from everyone else. I could go on and on comparing Uber Eats to Door Dash to Postmates, or Instacart to Amazon Fresh etc. There’s not enough space in this column.

I can tell you which of these are my favorites and why I choose to use the same ones repeatedly. It’s because they have adapted to the day-to-day changes of the current pandemic and they go above and beyond to provide me with excellent friendly service, while at the same time delivering everything I want or need safely to my doorstep.

In last week’s column I talked about the importance of creating a “community” radio brand. It’s too easy these days to get lazy with all the consolidation and voice tracking happening, but that means it’s also too easy to lose to yourself. It’s all about “what and how” you deliver compelling content that will make a connection with your audience. It’s all about the “little things.” I just watched the movie “The Little Things” with Denzel Washington, Rami Malek and Jared Leto on HBO Max. It’s a murder mystery and the overall message of the movie, from a seasoned detective (Washington) is that in finding a serial killer, it’s all about the “little things,” the details.

Here’s a good example of applying the little things to radio. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s the first Pandemic Valentine’s Day American’s have experienced. Right now, we are all jonesing for any kind of excitement or special treatment.

Especially if you are in love. What a great opportunity to work with an artist to give a listener the chance to treat a loved one to a virtual romantic serenade? If you want to take it a step further, use Door Dash or Uber Eats or whatever you choose, to deliver all the necessities of a romantic dinner to them. You’re supporting a local business and providing an exceptional experience to a winner/listener, and they don’t even have to leave the comfort of their own home. The entire experience is delivered to them on a silver platter.

You can also do things on Facebook live like a virtual wine tasting for a group of friends who don’t have a Valentine. Like I said, anything can be delivered. Have the wine delivered and the virtual host walk them through a tasting. Throw in dinner, or some chocolates. Flowers can also be delivered. What about couples on the brink of splitting up? Have a romantic experience delivered. Be the hero. Whatever it takes. There are so many sponsorship opportunities for these things/events as well.

I could continue to expand on the idea of “special delivery” for days, but it’s time for you to get creative. With everything going on in the world today and home schooling and working from home, it’s easy to forget about the little things. Don’t let the opportunities pass you by. Make sure your delivery is special, and you’ll set yourself apart from the rest, and ensure that the next time you get ratings, you’ll be getting a “special delivery” as well.