This is part three of a four part series called “The Challenges of Marrying Radio and Digital. Read Challenge #1, Accepting Change, here. Click here for Challenge #2, Strategy.
Challenge #3: Staffing and Time
Radio may as well have coined the term “wearing many hats”. Because our industry has not been exempt from the effects of the declining economy, the jobs that once required three personnel now require one. Ask radio broadcasters about our jobs today compared to ten years ago, and many of us will explain (or complain about) the many additional “hats” we wear now.
Because radio employees (air talent included) are already heavily burdened beyond their primary responsibilities, the time investment for convergence is a problem. To begin, digital innovation takes time and manpower- conducting research, creating strategies that fit the brand, and developing the final products. On a daily basis, executing the strategies and maintaining the digital tools you’ve created takes time and manpower. You may have people on your team qualified for the job, but do they have the time?
When creating or fine-tuning your digital strategy, don’t forget the “who” question. Who will be appointed (or hired) to create and execute your plans? The challenge of staffing and time may be the hardest one to overcome, because it involves the bottom line. Often managers feel like merging radio and digital is a “damned if I do, damned if I don’t” situation. Refusing to innovate means being left behind and losing money in the long run, while executing a killer digital strategy means spending money to make money at a time when budgets are being decreased, not increased.