The Vital Importance Of Charity

January 1, 2013

As we approach Thanksgiving, a vital charity season, it’s important to set the record straight regarding cause-related charity radio content and the effects on PPM ratings.

When the new electronic measurement first hit the scene as early as 2002, discussion began as to the negative effects of these events on ratings. There were examples of day-long radiothon events that showed a steep ratings decline. In these cases, a station would see the return of audience as immediate as the next day, yet the results created doubt in the mind of some programmers.

Just as fear and doubt produced a strong reaction among many of the radio masses, to exit from these events and create a safer experience, many had the steadfast courage to believe in what’s right. They heard the voice inside their head saying it’s right to serve their community and realize these cause-related events are an important part of the brand and what it stands for.

Sadly some of the programming strategists decided to go the safe route and make charity-driven cause-related activities a less vital part of their brand. In attempting to set the record straight, I applaud all of the great charity work that radio is currently involved in for Red Cross Hurricane Sandy relief.

Hearing this great work come out of the speakers while listening to the Greater Media properties I work with makes me proud. I applaud companies like CBS that I also hear very active in doing the right thing to help those in need in post-Hurricane Sandy relief. As you think of your own brand today, I ask you to reconsider your charity strategies and your method of execution so you CAN find a way to erase or minimize ratings paranoia.

Maybe you can not only develop some new best practices in this area but you can find a way to make these strategies actually enhance your ratings and your brand. Radio’s place is too important in serving our communities that we can’t afford to not reconsider our approach.

Buzz Knight is making Greater Media greater in his role as Vice President of Program Development.  This article appeared in Radio Ink.  Please visit them online at