In 1996 we knew that the Internet was some place broadcasters needed to be. Of course, “what” we needed to be was still far less certain as to “where” we needed to be. One man set Radio Media Group on the path to where it is today.
The manager of a local industrial zone in our city made the comment that he wished he could keep up on what was happening back at home while he was away on is many business trips. We decided to put the headlines from the day’s radio newscasts online for him and others to see each day. From those beginnings we started looking for the correct mixture of information and promotion for the radio product. Over the years we tried many different combinations and may different website designs.
The other complication was that with six radio stations in our cluster it was getting very hard to keep all six site updated with current content. Our consumers were not getting enough from any one of the websites to want to keep them coming back. We knew that was an issue many radio stations were facing. Out of necessity we made a decision that changed the entire course of our Internet strategy – both in terms of consumer usage and revenue.
We made the decision to turn our individual radio station sites into vehicles by which we could heavily promote and compliment our on-air product. We began using these sites to “connect” with our listeners and allow them interact with our staff. In a word, these websites were all about “fun.”
There was still something missing. That’s when we had our “ah hah” moment. We needed to develop a website that could compete directly with our local newspaper by providing original content in the form of news stories, sports, weather, milestones, classifieds, etc. And, it needed it to be its own entity – not an extension of our radio stations. We needed it to be able to stand on its own.