We see several important trends happening in the industry right now that can impact the work that we do. The first is the prevalence of what we call “general assignment reporters.” Many stations no longer have budgets to employ reporters dedicated to a single issue or beat, such as the environment or healthcare. Increasingly reporters are expected to cover several beats. Pitching and message delivery to these general assignment reporters must therefore be developed with this in mind. So avoiding jargon or industry specific terminology is important from pitch to placement of a story.
There is also a major trend toward stations using social media and blogs to further their audience reach and engagement. It’s now standard practice for stations to place content on their websites, Twitter, or Facebook profiles to drive listenership throughout the day. Stations often run a portion of an interview on air, and then place the entire interview on their website as well. In addition, social media plays a key role in engagement. It’s used to help gather local stories, garner story feedback and inform a part two of a given story, build radio personalities and even conduct promotions.
We also see dramatic growth in the number of Spanish-language radio stations. In 2011 alone, from the spring to the fall Arbitron measurement periods, there was a whopping 21.3 percent increase in the number of stations. This trend is more than a demographic shift. The growth in this radio market provides an opportunity to reach this burgeoning population in their own language with messages tailored to them.