Friday, October 24, 2008

Radio and The Portable People Meter: Part 1

The new ratings measurement, the Portable People Meter, or PPM, is not magical or mystical, nor is it the greatest invention ever created to assist radio and its advertisers in separating consumers from their cash. What it will do is monitor passive radio listening, show increases, and help improve strategic marketing for businesses. It will, however, be a challenge for radio to learn how to manipulate the results of the new report card.


Arbitron Inc. is a media and marketing research firm, serving media, radio, television, cable, Internet streaming, advertisers, and advertising agencies in the United States. Its core business is to measure network and local market radio audiences, surveying retail, media, and product patterns of consumers in local markets. Arbitron provides software to analyze media audience and marketing information data. The company has now developed the Portable People Meter, a new electronic technology for media and marketing research and measuring radio.

Through the years, there have been few competitors. By default, Arbitron is currently a monopoly. Through a joint venture with The , Arbitron also provides additional media and marketing research services to television, newspaper, and online industries. Its marketing and research headquarters are in Columbia Maryland, and the executive offices are located in New York City.

Electronic Measurement

The new electronic measurement tool, PPM, is an excellent showcase for publicly owned Arbitron, which of course wants to show its shareholders that it can increase or retain its stock value through more advanced offerings. For years, advertising agencies and radio have been hoping for an improved way to measure listening. This new system is a researcher’s dream, but a headache for radio programmers, sales managers, and clients. The Portable People Meter (PPM) has its own language and provides measurement for traditional radio, streaming, HD, podcasting, and satellite radio. Arbitron has made excellent use of broadcast researchers to market this GPS-like technology to the radio industry.

Traditional radio is becoming a tale of two societies. The PPM will be completely implemented into the top 50 markets by the end of 2010. Markets 51 and higher will continue with the paper diary to measure listening. This older method relies on participant-written accounts of daily listening. Agencies and many radio pundits are excited about the new electronic measurement, the , because in theory, it will provide a more accurate account of listening.
Technorati Profile
Part 2 will cover the survey selection process and
necessary equipment for participation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Radio Internships Part Three

This is the last entry of a three part series on Internships at radio. Read the first installment by following this link.

For a review of "How to Become a Radio Intern", visit the above Internships link.

Prior to the beginning of an internship, make a list of what you want to learn and share it with the supervisor. Take time to learn each department and how each one relates to the on-air broadcasts. Check with your supervisor and see if other departments need help. Rest assured when others discover you are dependable, a bidding war would erupt for your services. Be courteous, pay attention and never complain.

Stargazing and sexual harassment are two areas of concern. Maintain a professional attitude when a celebrity visits the station. If you want an autograph, ask your supervisor how to go about it. Do not abandon an assignment and run down the hallway to watch someone being interviewed. It sends the wrong message. The same holds true for conduct with the on-air staff. There is more than enough time for fun, but let such opportunities take their natural course. If the station is involved with a concert or an event you would like to attend, quietly ask your supervisor if it is possible to get tickets. Never ask in front of others.

When it comes to sexual harassment, do not tolerate inappropriate behavior. If your immediate supervisor shares or initiates such action, inform his or her boss. However, be discreet when handling the situation.

A radio internship can lead to possibilities outside of broadcasting. There is a constant flow of business executives, civic leaders, political figures, and entertainers coming through a radio station. Therefore, remain alert for contacts and opportunities. An internship will strengthen your work skills, build your resume, increase marketability, and provide a professional references. It is the first step towards a foundation for the future.

To read the entire article click here. For a review of Radio Internships Part One and Two, follow this link, and see archives.

If you are a veteran broadcaster or have an ambition to become an announcer, visit the Radio Coach,

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Radio Internships Part Two

This is the second entry of a three part series on internships at radio. Read the first installment by following this link.

For a review of "How to Become a Radio Intern", visit here.

Once it is established where you would like to intern, it is up to you to make contact. Call the radio station's business office and ask for the program director (PD). The receptionist will transfer you. If you get a recorded prompt instead of a receptionist, select Programming. If you actually get the PD or an assistant, state your name, your school name, and your desire for an internship. If the transfer goes to voice mail, leave the same information and your phone number and wait a week for a return call. If it does not come, phone again. Keep trying every few days until someone responds. Polite persistence pays off. Stations usually react quickly to internship inquiries.

Interns are welcomed because there is so much work at a radio station and never enough hands to get it done. The first thing to do is to inform the station supervisor of your computer and writing skills. You’ll be an instant success. Try to intern for the Operations Manager or Program Director. Every department works closely with them. This will give you an overview of the entire work environment. It will also speed up the learning curve.

In the beginning, duties will consist of paperwork and typing memos. You’ll also be a foot soldier, delivering information throughout the company. It will seem like busywork, but it’s not. All work is important and serves a purpose. Focus on the assigned duties and earn the trust of others. In return, people will share knowledge. Good social skills lead to temporary assignments such as answering business phones, request lines, assisting promotions, or helping the music director. No matter how small, all tasks contribute. Social skills consist of politeness and manners. “Yes Sir,” “No Sir,” “Yes Ma’am," “No Ma’am,” Mr. Mrs. or Ms. It is little things like not openly sneezing into the air, covering your mouth when coughing, or cleaning up after eating. Everything reflects on character.

To read the entire article click here. For a review of Radio Interns Part One, follow this link, Radio Interns.

If you are a veteran broadcaster or have an ambition to become an announcer, visit the Radio Coach,

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Radio Internships Part One

Interning in radio can lead to employment. An in-house Internship Program would be an excellent way for a broadcasting company to prospect for and train potential future employees. Many stations have had interns become announcers, salespersons, production assistants, promotion directors, music directors, traffic managers, program directors, and general managers. An internship can be the best route to employment.

Internships and community volunteers share similar experiences, but interns receive high school or college credit for a class. Most internships are non-paid. They are either semester-based or seasonal. Requesting to be a community volunteer, as opposed to an intern, avoids stipulations such as age requirements or restrictions on the time of year. Sometimes community volunteers go on to do internships at the same place they volunteered.

Regardless, intern or volunteer, it's about learning and getting first-hand experience. From this point on, intern will be the only word used in this article. (Community volunteers do not get grades and their participation is not school-sanctioned.)

A student looking for an internship should check with a teacher, college radio supervisor, other students currently interning, and/or the Internet. If you have a mentor at a commercial station, inquire about internship. Do not be discouraged if the station of interest does not have an intern program. It does not mean that they are not open to the possibilities. In fact, you might be responsible for starting a relationship between your high school or college and the broadcasting company. In any case, make sure all necessary paperwork for academic credit is signed and in the proper hands. All music stations operate the same, regardless of format, but if you are interested in talk radio or sports, apply specifically to those stations for internships. To continue reading, just click interns.

If you are a veteran broadcaster or have an ambition to become an announcer, contact the Radio Coach,