Positioning Statements and Odd Emails

I get quite a lot of ‘member club’ emails from radio stations, as one of the things we do at Folder Media is help stations decide what their stategy is for sending them – so i’m definitely not an impartial observer. However the one I got from Choice FM this morning was really very odd:

Choice Email News Letter

I think its the use of the phrase ‘straplines’ that seems slightly strange. Firstly i’m not sure that listeners really equate the fact the station often says the phrase “Number 1 for hip hop and RnB” with the reason they tune in – the presenters, the content and the music. Straplines like ‘Today’s Best Mix’ and “London’s Hit Music Station’ are there to bury into listeners minds something that a station does or is. However it is rarely the reason that listeners would cite about why they tune into a particular station.

There’s obviously nothing wrong with asking listeners what they think about something – indeed much of the successful bits of commercial radio comes from the radio stations’ understanding of listeners tastes. However i’m not sure asking listeners to come up with a phrase they’ll be repeating over and over again really says much about what the radio station thinks is important. Indeed if it’s the only thing that Choice wants to email me about this week/month then that really is a bit of a worry.

If Choice is desperate to get listener’s views on this topic surely there are better ways to bring it closer to the programming. Why not have one of the breakfast show presenters bring up the topic, maybe in response to the co-host saying the current phrase and suggesting other thing that they could say. This banter could then be turned into a request for listeners to get involved and then the email could come from that presenter saying “All this week on the Breakfast show we’ve been arguing about what we should say about the radio station. Tim from Southwark says x, Janie from Beckton says y, what do you think – prove me right that we need a new one and win some iTunes downloads…”

Mark Ramsay has some interesting stuff to say on positioning statements here.