Alright, alright, alright!


As purveyors of the Classic Rock format, we really have to try harder. Just like the old ad slogan adopted in 1962 by rental car giant Avis.

I was listening to a satellite station the other day. The female radio host dropped a comment about Matthew McConaughey and mispronounced the final syllable of the actor’s name: KEY instead of HAY.

It sounded odd, especially on a Top 40 station, which would normally be perceived as hip and current. The gaffe probably had no ill effect on the product at Sirius XM.

If one of us had made that same mistake after back-selling a Led Zeppelin record, we’d be called “old” or “out of touch.” Probably also get hammered on Twitter.

The incident and my resulting realization only emphasized the necessity that we try extra hard to get everything right (“Alright, alright, alright,” to borrow McConaughey’s famous line from Dazed and Confused) on OUR station, when it comes to delivery of information, social media usage, and other basic skills.

Formats with predominantly younger demographics have built-in advantages when it comes to this stuff. They generate followers on platforms like Twitter and Instagram without even trying.

Like it or not, we are wedded to (for better and/or worse) the labels associated with our workplaces. A satellite station known as The Pulse, playing current hits, has a generational head start on a hipper image compared to a Classic Rocker.

That doesn’t mean we have to throw in the towel on being perceived as cool. We just have to try harder, be better.

Packaging helps.

Depending on packaging, the same material can score with audiences of different ages. Beth’s daughter Jill loves playing Trivia Crack on her phone. Put trivia questions on an app and call it crack, it’s cool. Have that same 14-year-old walk in while Jeopardy is on television and it’s What are you watching, grandpa?!?

Same trivia. Different packaging. (Side note: in 1982 I wanted to name a regular feature The Sports Fix, but was told the drug connotation was too negative for radio!)

So anyway, a couple of weeks ago we played a trivia game on the air and gave away Billy Joel tickets. But we didn’t call it trivia. We called it The BJ Game, and delivered it with lots of double entendre.

Sample clue: You might enjoy this BJ in the office. Answer: BJ Novak, from NBC’s hit TV show The Office.

Same old trivia. Cooler packaging. Alright, alright, alright.

Dave Coombs for two years sidelined at The James River Corporation and wrote trivia questions and answers on Dixie Cups.

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