The NAB, RAB and industry publications are focusing on digital technology. Our industry must now embrace these platforms to be successful. We caught up with news veteran and co-founder of AlertMe, Adam Shapiro, and asked him to offer tips on how technology will enhance radio’s success.

Keeping up with the latest technology can be difficult, how do you suggest radio sorts through it all to find what works best?

It’s not easy for anyone, so while it can feel overwhelming at times, keep your eyes open to what’s out there, and then use a very strict filter before diving deeper: Does this technology create a better customer experience, or does it only help me? Providing value is the best magnet for repeat traffic, not gimmicks, and if you can make the customer’s life better, they’ll be loyal to you to a point only short of naming a child after you.

How important would you say the role of technology is in media audience engagement? Do you think radio can be more efficient in their use of technology when it comes to audience engagement?

Radio can be more efficient, but it’s hardly alone. Few use technology to the fullest extent possible. To make it work, try not to just plug in some tools and hope for the best. Really dive into the data it provides, and just accept that things change fast; a brilliant concept on Monday might be obsolete by Friday, even for Zuckerberg, so you’re no different.

What would you say are some of the greatest benefits media companies have to gain from increasing their digital presence?

A strong digital presence helps a publisher become a brand that is irreplaceable to the customers. In some ways, that’s staying connected on what’s relevant to them.  In other cases, it’s thinking bigger. 

For example, Reid Hoffman didn’t know more about business than the team at the Wall Street Journal, Fortune or Forbes.  He just developed a concept in LinkedIn that anyone in those big corporate offices didn’t think to explore. 

Use the assets you have and think about digital products that can be built with them.

What tips do you have for radio companies looking to expand their digital presence without getting lost in the available technology?

Use AlertMe. Ok, beyond that …

Look at your site the way a user would. Is it useful enough to get their attention in the future? Is the sports news better than the local newspaper site? Are your audio clips any different than what’s on the air? Is it littered with sponsor logos and Taboola/Outbrain links?

If the answer is yes, don’t forget that your listeners are besieged by 1,000 media options every day. Earn their loyalty and be top of mind for coming back.

What led you and your partner to create AlertMe and how do you expect it to translate to radio?

We built AlertMe on the theory that if you give value to readers, they’ll become more loyal to a brand and be grateful you’re looking out for them in an overwhelming media world.  

Almost 40% of the alert links we send out drive site traffic, and it’s all because readers self-select what they want more information on. It’s a simple concept made realistic with the help of artificial intelligence, and if that can help strengthen the power of a local station, we’ve accomplished something to be proud of.

For more information or to reach out to Adam, contact us at alertme@envisionnetworks.com

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