EDUCATING CLIENTS, SALES
QUESTION FOR DAN O’DAY:
As a production director of five stations, I try to follow your advice
for the good of the client. I have preached to the clients, sales people
and anyone who will listen that phone numbers and clichés are harmful
to commercials, but each and every time they'll want that phone
number in a commercial.
I am also the copywriter and will write a good script, and the client will change it to say all the jibber jabber garbage. I'm a 20 year radio veteran who wants to see our business grow with repeat business...but the clients and especially agency copywriters think they are the best copy writers on the planet. How can we change the system to benefit all?
Sadly, the answer to your question is: We cannot change the system.
All we can do is build what I call Circles of Quality around ourselves
and our work.
And we can try, gently, to educate clients and sales colleagues when
possible. Before they can understand WHY retail phone numbers and
mind-numbing clichés are bad, they need to understand WHAT a radio
commercial is for and HOW it works.
Why don't you write up and print your own little booklet (8.5" x 11"
"gatefold") that you can hand or mail to your clients, taking them
step-by-step through the basics of effective radio advertising? The
station could trade out (or pay for) the minimal printing cost. Or if
they won't, YOU can pay for it...and start building your own Circle of
Quality around you and your clients.
If you don't want to invest the time & effort in that, order a copy of
my audio seminar, RADIO ADVERTISING: A CRASH COURSE FOR
SALESPEOPLE. It's cheap, and you can cycle it among the entire sales
staff. (It also will teach them how to teach their clients.)
Ultimately, your question really is: "My clients and salespeople have
never been taught how to craft radio commercials that get results.
What should I do?"
The only reasonable solution I can conceive is for SOMEONE to educate
them. If they're not going to educate themselves (they're not) and no
one else is likely to educate them (pretty unlikely), then I guess that
leaves it up to you.