>We Got Jacked

12 Jan

>Welcome back to The Sports Ace (sarcastic comments typically kick off these posts. Look for them in the future)…

Welcome to the New and Improved “The Sports Ace.” For those who may have found your way here via Twitter or something else, I’m glad you stopped by. Come on back soon.

The Twin Cities radio community got Jacked this afternoon…as in Jack 104.1-FM. For the past few days, we’ve heard teasers on the station that “the end is coming on Monday at 5 p.m…get ready for our happy ending.” The frequency has had a history of format changes and turmoil in the never-ending search for advertising dollars, and the smart money today was on a similar change.

So, like any good radio channel flipper, I tuned in around 4:57 p.m., just in time to catch some of “The Last Song.” The perfect send-off, I thought. And then, at 5 p.m., the big voice came on. The verbiage (probably not exactly word for word, but it’s close):

“And now, it’s time for our happy ending. This is the end…”

a 10-second pause (very Sopranos finale-like)

“…of commercials during your drive home! Beginning today, we’re offering one hour commercial-free during your drive home. What…did you think we were changing format or something?”

The local media are in a tizzy, because they also anticipated – and devoted ink to – a format change. I belly laughed for a minute and loved every second of “Viva la Vida,” the smash hit from my favorite band, as the station’s first song as a…commercial-free one-hour drive-time provider.

This is just the latest example of one of the common denominators of PR, in my estimation. Among the best tools in a PR person’s arsenal can be a well-coordinated stunt, and a well-coordinated reveal ranks up there on the stunt list. Already the blogosphere is atwitter (pun intended) over this, and I can’t wait to read more in the morning. The buzz the station created for an otherwise relatively minor programming change…wow. I dare you to calculate the ROI on that.

I’m out like both #1 seeds in the NFL playoffs.

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