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ARTICLES >> 9-12-04

by Mike O'Malley
Partner, Albright & O'Malley Consulting

To excel in today's radio listening environment, you MUST be a proud brand, not just a name. A good talent with a weak brand will never break through to the degree that they can dominate a market. A good talent without any brand will live their career in virtual obscurity.

Here are five ways to tell if you're a talent that is closer to Bland or a Brand.

  1. Today's Talent Brand Definition includes these traits:
  • Real
  • Honest
  • Genuine
  • Different
  • Out of the box
  • Occasionally great rather than consistently good

Pretense, hype, and an attitude of self-importance are anti-brand traits.

  1. A Talent's Brand Mission is to "surprise and delight" everyday and create "must listen" behavior.
  • This starts with a thorough understanding of the targets' attitudes, interests, lifestyles and opinions.
  • Continues with a clear embracing of these values on air by the talent.
  • And results in the delivering of entertainment in content and style that is rooted in these values.
  1. Branded Talent scores well on a High Respect and High Love scale
    • Respect generates increased trial which evolves into repeat usage. Since repeat usage is a requirement for High Love, achieving High Respect is a prerequisite.
    • High Love happens when a talent converts regular users into fanatics. Again, this can't happen before Respect.
  1. Branded Talent supports the station as a whole and is NEVER an island
    • Branded talent understand the station target's AIO's (Attitudes, Interests

and Opinions) and, on the air, are the same type of people the station is trying to reach

    • Personally endorses what the station stands for (i.e., the STATION BRAND) and is an advocate for it. With a few rare exceptions, talent who do not make it apparent during their shows that they support the Station Brand will under-perform.
  1. Branded Talent is always busy BEING the brand. They personally embody these attributes:
    • Bigger than life shows
    • A personality that is fearless in the embracing of the audience's values and as such, is distinct and different from the norm
    • A "Carpe Diem" attitude that permeates their shows and is manifest in topically interesting/short shelf-life subjects, content that captures what the target is talking about right now or will be in the immediate future, and content that embraces both pop culture and listeners' values and presents them from the audience's perspective
    • Full exploitation of bits with OGM's ("Occasionally Great Moments")
    • Love for delighting listeners on and off the air
    • Listeners who are having more fun than anyone else in the market
    • Listeners who've also seen the talent's "heart" side

Jaye Albright and Mike O'Malley are radio consultants that help stations in the US and Canada grow ratings through programming strategies and talent development.

Note: While Jaye and Mike specialize in country formatted stations, they have trained talent for all formats and their seminar is non-format specific.


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Mike O'Malley 9 Desmet Avenue, Milltown, NJ 08850 Jaye Albright 7699 Fletcher Bay Rd NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110