The Changing Sounds of Radio

Those who attended the Community Service Public Relations Council (CSPRC) luncheon today heard straight talk from Kelly Hatmaker, the managing editor of KMOX Radio. He was part of a three-person panel that focused on how to work more effectively with radio stations and do a better job telling stories through radio. It’s sort of a tradition to have a media panel at the August luncheon and the three-year rotation covers print, television and radio.

“Journalism is reinventing itself,” Hatmaker told the group of approximately 50 nonprofit marketing and communications professionals. “This is especially true in radio and television. We really won’t know what this is going to end up like until we get there.”

You must appreciate a gentleman who possesses the honesty and courage to tell you no one knows what the future of radio is going to be like. However, the fundamental principles of using radio to tell your story remain the same.

“Your job is to think like me,” Hatmaker said. “You have to put yourself in my place and convince me by showing passion for your story.”

Hatmaker was joined by Laura Bond, the Director of Marketing and Promotions at CBS Radio in St. Louis, and Mary Edwards, who is in her fourth decade at KWMU.

Bond presented thorough information on the audiences of all of the CBS stations in St. Louis and how to develop relationships and partnerships with the stations. She distributed a handout with “dos and don’ts” for getting your story told.

Edwards said she often looks first to the nonprofit community for resources and guests for KWMU’s talk shows, like St. Louis On The Air. The show is very issue oriented and seeks out experts on particular topics.

Of all the conferences and presentations I’ve attened in the past few years, Hatmaker’s handout was the most memorable. He printed out and entry from Hugh MacLeod’s blog and website, gapingvoid.com, and the entry that is the focus of his new book, Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity. I believe it was Hatmaker’s way of telling the group, “Don’t be too focused on what worked in the past. Make sure you’re prepared to tell your story now. There will be opportunities to tell your story through radio. Don’t squander them.”

CSPRC luncheon topics for the next few months are set. I’ll attempt to write about each within 24 hours or so of the evemt.

(Disclaimer: Joe Mueller is the 2009-2010 President of CSPRC. Want to become a member? Visit http://www.csprc.org/join.html.)

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