Thursday, April 24, 2008

"The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of work." Sarah K. Bolton

"The fact that people do not understand and respect the very best things, such as Mozart's concertos, is what permits men like us to become famous." Johannes Brahms

"When I die, I'm leaving my body to science fiction." Steven Wright

Today's image: Atardece el sol by Hernan P. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

Good reads: Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Burnoff. (Amazon info, blog) The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler (WikiNotes, free PDF download). Both highly recommended.

Congrats & cheers: Steve Safran bows MediaReinvent now in Very Beta. Add it to your reader.

A call for disclosure and transparency
Promise vs Performance

The NAB, RAB and HD Radio Alliance have joined forces to create the Radio 2020 initiative. The HD Radio Alliance is now in the second quarter of their third calendar year of efforts and running their second campaign of radio creative ("Upgrade") so far this year.

Opinions of the ongoing efforts by the HD Radio Alliance and early judgments of Radio 2020 are mixed. For the purposes of this post let's stipulate that the goals and objectives of both Radio 2020 and the HD Radio Alliance are the stuff of noble ambition. Further, let's agree, without objection, that the magnitude of resources being invested is not insignificant. Therefore, it seems fair and reasonable to ask "What's the ROI?" My thought is - absent all of any industry feel good generated by these endeavors - what measurable results are being produced? It's time for some pragmatism about execution.

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely - S.M.A.R.T.

Radio 2020 and the HD Radio Alliance will each benefit by establishing goals and openly sharing those with industry.


Once goals are established related scorecards should be created.

Let me suggest scorecards be behavior focused and employ standards. For Radio 2020 a number of metrics are now available including ratings and share of ad spend. For example, should the goals of Radio 2020 be to improve 18-34 listening levels and increase share of ad spend, performance against these goals can be tracked. For the HD Radio Alliance we'll need retail sales data (e.g., NPD) to determine if the current drive to upgrade is working and if so how effectively.

Perceptual research involving consumers, customers and industry can be valuable in gaining a better understanding of expressed behaviors. Additionally research could help "course correct" initiatives providing insights into any patterns, trends or changes in perceptions, attitudes, values and beliefs.

Accountability separates the schnapsidee from the serious.

We need to be able to recognize and differentiate activity and progress. We also need to be able to grasp the true context of any progress. Therefore, leadership of Radio 2020 and the HD Radio Alliance should commit to nothing less than full and complete disclosure. Transparency will ensure a more robust and honest industry discussion. Moreover, transparency will provide a clarity of focus and the safeguards needed to lessen if not prevent ineffective investment of valuable resources.

It is in the best interest of all involved that leadership be held accountable for producing results. For this to happen we have an urgent need for specifics, a need for the deep detail; we need to know the goals and we need to know the results being produced. We need to have a serious and open industry discussion about what's happening and what's not happening. The work of Radio 2020 and the HD Radio Alliance should be work that matters, work that makes a difference.

Let's agree, the potential benefits of this work merit nothing less than full and complete disclosure.

Transparency will more fully engage an industry, promote a deeper, richer creative collaboration and it's the right thing to do.


Jason Kagan said...

David, excellent post. Since you didn't get specific on specifics heres some. NAB, RAB and HDR need to disclose their financials on these projects. Who is being paid and how much? This goes to practice. Before contracts are let do we have a good RFP procedure (with reviews) in place? The scorecard idea is terrific but we need some discipline here. What happens if goals are missed? Who will hold the bosses feet to the fire if we end up off the rails and in another ditch? Thank you for kick starting the dialogue on this one.

Anonymous said...

Dave you are ever the optimist. Remember RABs Radio Is Red Hot? Or the last Eddie Fritts NAB radio promo You Hear It Here First? These ideas are about keeping NAB and RAB membership happy they are what you said FEEL GOOD thats about it. Same can be said for the Alliance spots. My two cents is these kind of spots have never worked and the new ones are doomed. Rehr, Haley and Ferrara use these spots to say THEY are DOING SOMETHING. The Vegas odds of getting accountability are no way good but you should be thanked for giving it a shot - thanks.

lauren said...

disclosure and accountability? what a concept!!

110% correct

you hit the nail squarely on the head

thanks for adding schnapsidee to my vocabulary ;)

Anonymous said...

applause on the post your heart is in the right place but your brain is being affected by the thin air of taking that high road anyway you rock dude

Anonymous said...

come on dave stop taking all the fun out of it don't you know that trade associations and things like alliances do not play by the rules of business. bravo

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. Good thinking, practical suggestions. Dedicating resources w/o keeping score would be malfeasance. R202 and the HDR should be accountable. We must demand integrity in these activities. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

David you are either one of the smartest guys on the planet or an idealistic rube. My guess is rube. The powers that be will eat you for breakfast after they declare you a fool and village idiot. You'd be better off taking your own advice from an earlier item and launch a full frontal attack. Get real and start following the lead of Delcolliano, Gorman and Ramsey. They know the enemy and speak up for doing the right things.

radiopro said...

how dare you make sense

how dare you fail to pile on

how dare you refuse to play the games of insult, personal attack and ruthless bashing

how dare you offer a thoughtful idea

how dare you

who do you think you are a professional that cares about the business???

chaz22 said...

logical, sensible, prudent "fair and reasonable" how could this possibly work? cheers on a fine idea

blog on!