While providing training and other resources to members is a big part of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), job #1 is to raise the profile of radio to advertisers and bring ad dollars to the medium. RAB Chair Weezie Kramer tells RBR-TVBR there are some big announcements coming.
Kramer, Regional Vice President of Entercom, told us that RAB CEO Jeff Haley, Sr. VP/Business Development Tammy Greenberg and people from Katz Media Group have been leading the charge to convince major advertisers of the value of radio. “I’m not going to blow their horn on some of the specifics because that will be coming out later in March, but they’ve had some really unbelievable successes with some Blue Chip advertisers in their space that will, you know I think, make people stand up and go wow that’s really cool,” said Kramer as our interview continued.
Are we finally seeing the payoff from trying to get these advertisers interested in radio again?
“I think that getting people excited about radio there’s a ton of research out there. The Nielsen Study that was done and came out last fall was overwhelmingly complimentary to radio in saying that AM/FM radio is order of magnitudes stronger than any other audio that’s out there. This particular study was 2,000 people that were attached to consumers and taped and videotaped and followed their every move and that’s the thing that advertisers, I think, pay attention to,” said Kramer.
“We need positive research that validates how great radio is and we need all the radio stations and all the people that work at those radio stations large and small talking about and spreading the gospel of radio story, that radio’s reach is significant, it’s 93% of the population thirty-five million people, it’s grown over the last 15 years to 16% so our listenership is growing in spite of all the new technology, in spite of the competition for the consumer’s time. We know that radio delivers great results and that it’s reinventing itself in multiple platforms. I think that that’s up to all of us in radio, not just the RAB, to ring that bell. When advertisers hear that story I think we make a strong case and they spend money with us,” The RAB Chair said of radio’s message to advertisers.
Now as far as the new joint radio show with the NAB, what is RAB’s role going to be and what do you want to see come out of that?
“Well, there were a lot of folks involved in creating a joint show and we need to make sure that it’s really clear that it’s one meeting and not a mash up of two entities. We want people to see that it’s one venue, one meeting and its one opportunity for all broadcasters to come together with their entire teams to get killer content across the entire radio eco system. Many companies; like ours in the past have brought a whole team of leadership, a whole group of general managers, sales managers to a particular meeting so they can come together and learn and collaborate at one particular opportunity. We think a lot of people like that because its’ not a separate sales meeting or a separate sort of programming or engineering or regulatory discussion. It will be one meeting that can deliver all of this with one planning committee, not two people sort of doing thing side-by-side. We hope that it’s a rousing success and that people will bring all parts of their department heads to one setting to make this happen. What’s interesting is when they did a cross-section of who attends the NAB and who attends the RAB, there was only like a 10% overlap in attendance. We think that we can put on a really robust meeting filled with lots of content that will be great for everybody,” she said of the joint Radio Show coming in September.
There was a very recent announcement that Jeff Haley was going to represent the RAB as a board member on this startup company called Avenue Right. What does RAB see coming down the road from that venture?
“Jeff had talked to us about saying he might be interested in doing a board position as long as it was not in conflict with his time, duties and responsibilities of the RAB. This is a particular product used by ad agencies in terms of serving ads and the placement of ads, so it’s not in conflict at all. They sell to ad agencies and it’s a way for him to be part of new technology and learning about how potentially our clients may want to do business in the future. It’s a handful of conference calls and we thought it would be okay…it’s not a pure benefit to the RAB, but it’s something that we thought would be okay for Jeff to do,” the RAB chair explained.
As the interview wrapped up, we asked Weezie Kramer for her pitch to a radio station in a smaller market or even unrated market of what they’re going to get out of the RAB, why they should be supporting the organization?
“I think the same things that they’ve always gotten out of the RAB which is back to the areas that the RAB is focused on. I think they get unbelievable training in services. We have mentioned through the website, through the tools, through the available research that the RAB has commissioned and is available. I think they get communications teams spreading the good word of radio and I think they are benefited, maybe not in a direct sense by the business development work, but ultimately I think that trickles down to Main Street and the PR obviously that goes with that,” she said.
And her goals for this year as Chairman?
“Well hopefully to advance against these objectives and move the RAB into a stronger financial position and continue to deliver against these four critical objectives and grow the membership base and the revenues from that. If we have highly engaged users of the RAB and companies of the RAB we think the RAB can potentially expand again and we hope to do that by doing good work for the people that pay the dues,” Kramer said.
So radio’s back and the RAB is coming back?
“I think radio has always been back and I think the RAB’s always been,” she concluded.