Radio cited as precision instrument in campaign media toolkit


Democrat and RepublicanThe early reports from publicly traded companies indicate that radio’s political haul has been disappointing this year, but the presidential campaigns seem to get it. Radio is where the Obama and Romney teams can play to their base with hard-hitting and precisely-targeted messaging.

The report from the Associated Press notes that television is still the main tool for getting each candidate’s message out, but radio is being used extensively by both in plays for specific audiences.

Political consultants told AP that TV reaches a broad audience. It therefore requires a broader message.

Radio, on the other hand, can be micro-targeted, and messages that might play well with one group but not another can be targeted to those who will appreciated it while avoiding those groups that may be put off by it.

Christian and country radio is being used by Republicans to reach likely Romney voters, while Urban, Hispanic and Pop stations are urging minority and young voters to show up for Obama on Election Day.

Both campaigns are said to be buying adult contemporary stations to place advertising aimed specifically at women.

Even Pandora is getting into the act, according to AP, offering users sorted by zip code to allow campaigns to target the battleground areas.

The AP story notes that radio will come nowhere close to the $1B expected to be raked in by television stations, but notes that the presidential campaigns and their surrogates should be good for better than $20M by themselves.

RBR-TVBR observation: We believe that radio companies will need to educate political campaign planners on how to use the medium if they intend to get a bigger piece of the political pie. The time to start doing this will be as soon as possible after November 6, 2012. Don’t wait until 2014 to plant some seeds.