The Olympics Overlook Radio

Posted on November 29, 2011


According to the Radio Advertising Bureau’s “Radio Marketing Guide,” our medium reaches 92.2% of all 12-24 year-olds each week.

Someone should forward that slide to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

A recent New York Times article details how the IOC is launching a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the games amongst 12 to 19 year-olds.

The campaign uses television and, “social media, user-generated content and other digital offerings.”

Notice anything missing?

The article goes on to describe the digital media components of the IOC campaign which sound pretty cool.

Visitors to can upload videos of themselves achieving a personal best.

People who upload their content are entered to win a trip to the upcoming London games and their video may appear in a follow-up television spot.

The site also has a “mash-up creator” where they can mix their video with footage from previous Olympic games.

Radio would be awesome at driving traffic to a site like that.

Too bad the IOC isn’t using radio.

The problem with our industry isn’t consolidation, Premium Choice, a shallow talent pool or our struggle to integrate social media with our programming.

It’s that we fail miserably at promoting our medium to advertisers.

Instead we complain ceaselessly about the lack of meters or diaries in our markets characterizing our ratings as unreliable to advertisers.

Instead we continually try to shut other stations in the market out of buys and steal their share instead of targeting dollars spent in other mediums.

Instead we alternately whine about how much Pandora is growing and then dismiss it as not effecting our listening levels which only makes us look scared.

Instead we publicly bemoan the death of local radio instead of embracing change and the idea that both syndicated programming and home grown content can deliver ratings and revenue.

We need a video of our personal best to upload.