Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Trust is the foundation of long-term relationships that matter. You trust your best friends. You trust your husband or wife. You trust your mom and dad. You trust God. If you commit precious time each day to listen to a radio personality, it's likely trust is a big reason.

Sadly, trust is becoming a rare commodity. The list of things and people we don't trust seems to be growing. We don't trust politicians. We don't trust "the media". We don't trust our bosses. We don't trust many of the people we work with. We don't trust salesmen. We don't trust advertising. I could go on and on, so could you.

Consumer skepticism about advertising has made live-read personality endorsement commercials increasingly popular with radio advertisers and radio sales people. Advertisers know they gain instant credibility from the trust relationship successful radio personalities have with their listeners. Radio sales people love live-reads because they produce great results and repeat business from their clients.

While personality endorsement commercials are great making money tools for advertisers and radio stations, Jonathon Brandmeier reminded me that live-reads pose a real dilemma for radio personalities concerned about keeping their listeners. During his recent presentation at TalenTrak 2008 he told the audience, "I don't like live-reads". He explained, "Listeners know when you're faking on the air. I can't read a commercial for something I don't care about or believe in. I can't compromise." Therein lies the difficult choice for radio personalities. Do you go for the money or protect the trust relationship with your listeners?

The right choice in this dilemma is contained in the old adage, "short-term pain produces long-term gain". Trust is becoming more rare and more valuable each day. Guarding the trust established between radio personality and listener preserves this essential element of their relationship and increases the likelihood it will continue for a long time. Protecting this trust also ensures the ongoing value and effectiveness of live-read personality endorsement commercials.

There are plenty of money making opportunities for radio stations and personalities contained in the products and services personalities really love and actually use.

1 comment:

Bill Mc said...


My name is Bill McMahon too, not that that means anything. I am in the music biz out of Minneapolis. Most of us McMahons are related (for better or worse). I grew up listening to Larry Lujack out of Chicago.

Nice blog, best of luck...

Bill McMahon