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radio ad copywritingA Loyal Reader Writes:

“Our five-station cluster hired a full-time radio copywriter and was eager to see results.

“Most account executives tried her out and had good success but soon began shying away because they didn’t like taking the time to write everything down and explain it all to her so she could create a fresh idea.

“Gradually, commercial script requests came less frequently, even though the sales manager encouraged everyone to take advantage of her skills.

“Also, some AE’s often would rewrite her scripts to make them conform to the old ways the clients had been used to (e.g., phone numbers, business hours, street addresses, and the client’s name ten times).

“So, will a copywriter have any better effect with a CPCC” — Certified Professional Commercial Copywriter — “piece of paper waving from her cubicle?”

No, the CPCC credential won’t help in that situation. (The Loyal Reader is asking me because I created the certification program for the Radio Advertising Bureau.)

This person works for a very large radio group that spent over a million dollars producing several regional events with the stated purpose of helping its stations produce better commercials for their clients.

If those events were designed to produce publicity within the industry, they succeeded.

Perhaps they were designed to impress the financial community.

But it takes more than a couple of days of rah-rah motivation to change someone’s belief system.

The account execs this Loyal Reader refers to labor under the prevalent North American radio belief system:

“The customer is always right”


“Take the money and run.”

If salespeople are involved in writing (or rewriting) copy, they need to be taught how to create effective radio advertising.

Not buzzwords. Not pseudo-scientific jargon. Not a chauvinistic mindset that blindly declares, “Radio is great. All hail Radio.”

Anyone — account executive, owner, production director, creative director, copywriter, receptionist — who ever has anything to do with the shaping of a radio commercial should (at a bare minimum) be taught two things:

1.  The fundamentals of advertising.

2.  The fundamentals of radio advertising.

Very often the client’s idea of “good advertising” is deeply uninformed and incorrect.

If you’re in the business of selling commercials, then “The customer is always right” is a fine and valid credo.

But if you’re in the business of helping businesses use radio advertising to meet their financial goals — and business owners realize their dreams — “The customer is always right” is wrong.

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