I've been pretty impressed of late with how Melbourne talk-back radio station 3AW has been approaching social media.
As a rule, broadcast and print media outlets have struggled to get their heads around the nuances and dynamics of the social web. Understandably, I suppose...it's the antithesis of what they've been about for decades.
If you look at commercial radio, it has been such a successful and well-entrenched business model, I mean, why change?
Well, of course you do need to change if you want to adapt to, thrive, indeed remain relevant, in today's hyper-connected marketplace.
Which is why 3AW - the conservative and well-entrenched entity that it is - is starting to stand out like the proverbial.
Several things have caught the PR Warrior's eye of late:
The station's main Twitter account (@3AW963) is a joy to follow.
Where virtually every other media-based Twitter account I've come across is all one-way traffic with zero interaction with fellow tweeps, @3AW963 is not only timely and informative but also funny, incisive and inclusive. Interaction blended with headlines, a really good mix.
The station's main Twitter account - driven by Ben Wise (@benwisemelb) - also manages to bring its on-air talent into the equation but not in a way that's overtly promotional.
Another indicator of getting amongst it on Twitter? The station - which is followed by 4327 people (at time of writing), follows back 3422. By contrast, Radio 744 Melbourne (@744melbourne) has 18,500+ followers (I believe it's been going a lot longer though) but only follows 935.
The station's heavy-hitting talent has also embraced social media, specifically Twitter - check out:
- Ross & John Breakfast Show (@RossAndJohn) - initially dismissive of Twitter, the high-rating pair are starting to find their feet, albeit in one-way fashion; some more interaction from the fellas would be great.
- Neil Mitchell (@3AWNeilMitchell) - still very one-way broadcast mode, but his tweets are generally interesting sharp bursts of opinion.
- Derryn Hinch (@HumanHeadline) - Hinch is really getting into it after (if I recall rightly) being somewhat anti-Twitter in the early days. His tweets are hard-hitting, questioning, often amusing...and he's pretty good at interacting with 'the great unwashed'. Also, loved the Derryn Hinch Caption Competition (below).
The competition had its own hashtag (#hinchpic) - check out the responses here.
But wait, there's more...
Other 'social media elements' 3AW is incorporating into its mix include:
- blogs (reflecting content from specific programs, albeit they're a bit hard to find on the website);
- podcasts (of each show so people can catch up if they've missed their favourite program)
I also like the video below - a behind-the-scenes look at the 'work' that goes into making a 3AW Breakfast Show on-air promotion.
Social media is not just about the tools and the technology. It's not just about having a Twitter account or a Facebook page.
It's about the spirit in which you use such platforms. It's about the content you create and share, the connections you make, the relationships you build, the interactions you have with your network, the broader community in which you operate, and broader still, the online world generally.
Importantly, it's this social media spirit that appears to be permeating the walls of 3AW. I shall continue to watch with interest but suffice to say, there are huge opportunities for the radio station should it go further down the 'social path'!
NOTE: I believe the ABC generally has led the way in terms of social media adoption; they're very good at packaging and distributing content but not as good - as far as I can see - with loosening up and interacting with the public. Unless I have missed something?
What are your thoughts about the media in Australia and their attitudes towards the social web?
Would love to hear from you :)