The Medium Is Still The Message

“Platforms will change & shift. What goes in them are stories. Invest in great storytelling.” Wendy Clark, Marketer


There’s a lot of talk in the industry right now, but I’m not sure we’re all singing the same song. What I hear revolves around supporting radio, and that may be missing the
point. Let’s be clear: I love radio. It’s given me a career that I would have never had otherwise. But things actually do change, whether we like it or not. You can’t fight change – if you do you will fail. The future is about all media, not just radio. It matters less what you’re doing now than it does what you’ll be doing in the future.

As I look at today’s successful radio, and the changes and needs in real people (as opposed to radio people), it’s clear we can have a future if we want. We just can’t have yesterday’s future. That’s really a rough statement, because the people in charge of radio fight change. It messes with what we’re been familiar with, and what we’ve built our success on.

Here’s the deal. People will not stop consuming media. But the media they consume will change. If that’s not true AM radio and 8 track would still be king. Our conversation should be less about radio, and more about the future. Instead of clinging to a media that is popular now, but on the cusp of waning, let’s focus on what will be coming in the future. We all love the Wayne Gretzky quote skating to where the puck is going, until it relates to us.

Am I being redundant? If so, it’s just to help us understand that future media will be about the story, not the media. Do any of us say, ” I’m a move fan so I go to see all kinds of moves?” Or do we enjoy movies with a great story? When a great listener calls in, is it to make a point, or to tell a story? Are our best bits about facts, or are they about stories. When a radio listener tells you about something you did on-air, is it about a contests, or a story you told?

Do you think people talked about the theory behind electricity, or that they saw light? Does the story about you favorite car have to do with mpg or the story of how it made you feel?

Great media, be it the movie ET or the wreck at Daytona, has to do with the story. And if the story is the difference, the media is secondary. I’ll bet whatever narrative your station has is more important than the media, and that the story can be told on many different media. It’s the story that counts. not the medium.

If you look at media as the medium for the message, then the message becomes more important than the media, and you’ve made the leap from radio to media.

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