In the discussion thread: How to hurt Rush, perspective from a radio insider. [View all]
Response to Fumesucker (Original post)
Sat Mar 3, 2012, 03:14 PM
calimary (41,395 posts)
55. FABULOUS advice, and I'm a former radio person myself.
There's all kinds of experience that reinforces this.
"If KFI in LA got a hundred letters with follow up phone calls..." This one's particularly interesting in light of some advice Paul Begala once offered - about how 100 paper letters would change the course of the discourse in the newsroom. Letters. PAPER LETTERS. Not an email. Not a tweet (although a Twitter campaign might throw a little of that proverbial "sugar in the gas tank" too). PAPER LETTERS. That someone took the time and trouble to sit down and write. And yes, it goes in the public file.
Also - it recalls, for me, something I read here during the bush years. A woman posted that she got results by writing her paper letter - AND CC'ing it to several other people of import. She wrote a letter of complaint to the New York Times, I think it was, and copied it to their biggest rival, the Washington Post, as well as several others of authority on the issue of her concern. The idea being: OTHER EYES ARE SEEING THIS. You can't just file it in the round file and consider it over and done with. OTHER EYES have seen it. Other witnesses have been brought in. Especially the rival newspaper that sees the complaint lodged rather shrewdly against its chief competitor and just might choose to exploit that in some way... (Gee, what could a big-ass big-city newspaper do to a rival newspaper that comes under some big grey cloud?) If other people are brought in, the complaint-receivers know this is not happening in a vacuum that they can simply ignore. Further, it makes more people of critical and relevant positioning aware that there's a pretty serious problem lurking.
And keep this in mind: When I was in radio, ONE paper letter sent in from somebody who liked my work made them stop and think again about laying me off with the rest of the newsroom people they wanted to downsize. ONE paper letter. Which was sent to the general manager, btw. 'Cause the first thing he did was show the PD, and his own secretary saw it and she was a major gossip so it soon spread all over the station. There used to be this thing called the ARB Talkback - which wasn't merely a diary that anonymous listeners filled out with whatever stations they listened to. It asked for comments. SOMEBODY - I'll never know who - but some listener got one and filled it out, and the only comment this person wrote about ANYTHING on the air at that station - was about me. "Entertaining morning news with calimary." Mentioned me by name. Every station subscribed, so every station saw that. That ONE mention in the ARB Talkback saved my job for a year!
CC'ing letters to something else, in this case the FCC!!! Granted the FCC has no teeth, but NEVER MIND! The overriding fact here is that you copy them in, which means it's not only on the record, it's on THEIR record. "Uh-oh, aw fuck, somebody alerted the government. Shit. Dammit, now we have to deal with this... Hey - how many of these have been coming in, btw? It will start pinching sphincters all over the building. And the FCC still exists, and eventually COULD be a factor somewhere. It hasn't been done away with, so it can be used to our advantage. After all - these ARE the PUBLIC airwaves.
One other point too: When I was in radio, it was mainly the big local rock stations (and one major Top 40 station at the time, too). These stations all had request-line operators. People called in and requested songs. And a count was kept. The prevailing opinion was that one call represented either 10 listeners or 100 or 1000. It always tended to be a factor of ten. The presumption was, and still is: ONE letter, or ONE phone call, or ONE listener input was always REPRESENTATIVE of many more - who were either too busy, too distracted, too apathetic, too discouraged ("meh, what's the use, they don't care about little me, why should I bother?") to write or call in, themselves. So imagine what 100 letters would multiply out to - in these people's minds? If ONE person cares enough actually to WRITE IN (especially since writing a letter takes a lot more time and trouble than picking up the phone or sending a text or email - so this writer must SERIOUSLY care about this), then this is something that we dare not ignore. It'll start worrying them because they're immediately gonna do the math and start trying to figure up what this means, how many people actually feel this way, how much of the listener base this represents, and do they REALLY wanna risk not doing something about it. This COULD be big. Hey, if this person feels this way, how many others do, too? Uh-oh...
Copying the local advertiser is SHEER GENIUS!!! You think they don't care about public opinion? They sure as hell care about the public opinion that drives people into their stores! You better believe they care!!! That's how they eat and put gas in their cars and stay in business.
GREAT ADVICE!!! Fumesucker, your post is, as we used to say in radio, a public service!
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Replies to this discussion thread
|Lifelong Protester||Mar 2012||#25|
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|Great Caesars Ghost||Mar 2012||#34|
|Lil Missy||Mar 2012||#35|
|PA Democrat||Mar 2012||#42|
FABULOUS advice, and I'm a former radio person myself.
|Arkansas Granny||Mar 2012||#73|
|Waiting For Everyman||Mar 2012||#82|
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