So football fans everywhere are up in arms about these replacement officials. And our Ralph Cipolla – Bills devotee extraordinaire – is no exception. (Lori Lewis is still in mourning over Monday’s night’s Packers loss.) Today, Ralph finds a way to analogize these stand-in officials with a more common occurrence in radio. Game on.
When a media consultant watches a prime-time NFL game, what does he look for? Well, the same thing you do. A great game that goes down to the last few seconds and is ultimately decided by… (wait for it)… the players on the field.
Well, when we can’t have that, our minds wander to other things. Specifically, we ponder the interesting parallels that can be drawn between “Replacement Refs” and “Replacement Radio Personalities” a.k.a. “Cyber Jocks” or “That jock in another time zone that no one on staff or in the audience has ever met.”
Let’s go to the Jacobs Media Telestrator and see how they stack up.
This doesn’t mean that “cyber talent” is necessarily substandard or is the wrong move for your situation. Some syndicated shows, including many morning programs and some nighttime shows, offer a level of experience, ability, track record, and access to “big” entertainment content that is simply out of reach for many local stations.
However, not when there’s a need for real and constant connection, engagement, and conversation with the listener. Often, this need is even greater when a station starts the day with a syndicated morning show. The “live and local” advantage becomes a critical counter-balance to the high-quality but long-distance morning show that will never answer your studio line, update your Facebook page, acknowledge a P1 tweet, respond to a listener email, or shake hands with a loyal fan at a Home Depot appearance.
So after further review, sometimes a “cyber-jock” makes sense. But if you’re considering replacing local talent with a distant DJ, fill out your own “Local vs. Replacement” comparison chart. Make the right call. In some cases – whether it’s the NFL or on your playing field – hiring “replacement” talent in an effort to save money can be a real “game changer.” Just not in the way you may have hoped.