Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Streaming: Two Things. First, as Rock consultant Fred Jacobs pointed out at the Consultant's Fly-In at Arbitron, we are facing a ratings issue as more and more of our listeners tune in to our streaming. The problem is that reported listening to streaming does not count in Arbitron ratings if your stream cuts or changes over the air commercials. Big problem. And I echo those who say we must resolve this issue.

Second, for those who stream, some are doing a great job on the internet cutaways, while others are not. Remember, that when listeners tune into your stream, make sure everything is up to date including fill music, promos, positioning, etc. There are other tips I have reserved for paying clients to help them maximize ratings during the stream. Bottom line: Sound great on and off line.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Symbolic Thought: As many of you already know, I'm a fan of the Wizard Academy's Roy Williams. The following is from his weekly memo, always a worthwhile read. This week he delves into four kinds of thought, according to Dr. Ricardo Gattass:

Verbal Thought is hearing a voice in your mind.
Analytical Thought is deductive reasoning that seeks to forecast a result.
Abstract Thought includes fantasy and all things intangible.
Symbolic Thought reconciles the pattern recognition of the right brain with the deductive reasoning of the left-brain to connect the unknown to the known.

If you will educate, encourage, or persuade, you must symbolize the abstract by pointing to a concrete thing that shares an essential attribute with the abstraction you're trying to describe.

This can be done using:

(1.) Words.
"Your life and her life have become intertwined like two ropes, joined in a knot. And that's a good thing. It gives you both something to hang onto. If you're in love, you know exactly what I'm talking about." These three sentences were the opening lines of a radio ad that sold thousands of a specific item of jewelry.

"What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade." Jesus gave the farmers of his day a glimpse of another realm by comparing it to a seed with which they were all familiar.

(2.) Pictures.
In his book, Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud uses graphic sequential storytelling to illustrate how we attach complex meanings to the way simple lines relate to one another. He's not talking about comic books. He's talking about visual symbolic thought. Grasp what he's teaching and you'll hold a lever that will move the world.

Buy the book. It's one of those rare, breakthrough books that will make you suddenly see things that have long fluttered at the edge of your consciousness.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Know Your Catchphrases: (from RBR Business Report) Fresh from the coiner of metrosexual is a list of ten phrases or terms which may get, and generate, buzz during the year ahead. It is of the utmost importance for those in the communications business to be ahead of the curve when it comes to language usage issues, and it's even more important, whenever possible, to be ahead of the curve on the cultural trends underpinning the evolution of the language. Here then, are the 10, from Marian Salzman, EVP and chief marketing officer at advertising agency JWT: Adultescence, Bangalore Envy, Brand Sluts, Churchonomics, Cougars, Gastroporn, Microgeneration, She-E-Os, Truth Lite, and Unilanthropy. The list comes from Salzman's "Next Now: Trends for the Future," written with Ira Matathia. Does the list have you scratching your head? Are you wondering what they're talking about but don't want to wait for the book? Click here to get the definitions:

Friday, January 05, 2007

Bring On The Stars! 2007 is starting with a bang, as three of the formats biggest acts are kicking off the year with uptempo, strong songs. Kenny Chesney's "Beer In Mexico", Tim McGraw's "Last Dollar (Fly Away)" and Sugarland's "Settlin'" are giving programmers extra reasons to celebrate the New Year. Carrie Underwood's "Wasted" and Rascal Flatts "Stand" sound like mid-tempo hits, too.

Is Country the new Top 40? Check out some of the 18-34 numbers the format is generating lately. What do you think?

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Resolutions: I thought it would be fun to start the New Year sharing the musings from some of today's current and budding Nashville stars:

Trace Adkins: "I quit doing that years ago because I never kept any of them. I said, 'Why keep humiliating myself and defeating myself?' "

Blake Shelton: "Lose weight."

Michelle Branch of the Wreckers: "To Drink More Water."

Eric Church: "To not have any more resolutions. If I want to change something, I'm going to change it today. And if I want to accomplish something, I should start trying immediately."

Nashville Star co-host Cowboy Troy: "My New Year's resolution is to take over the world one eardrum at a time ... you'll understand when the new record is released. Hopefully it will inspire each of us to be kind to each other." (