One of the things that has always drawn me to Radio 3 is the radio by community concept. I sorta laid all this out back in July of 2007 in the communications by talking to people post:
Radio 3 through their Blog, Facebook Group and on air is building a community. Many of the people at R3 are active participants in an ongoing discussion, along with musicians and fans, about music. Think of it as a 24 hour phone-in show, without call screeners or tape delay. True, occasionally people will be rude and you'll have to cut them off, but they won't hurt you. R3 listeners (however they listen) feel like participants rather than spectators and that is how you build an audience for the million channel universe. It is the difference between friends and fans.Steve Pratt, head honcho at R3 apparently agrees with this assessment.
Fans may like a program, channel etc., but ultimately they know that if they switch the channel no one will know, or really care. Friends feel more of a sense of ownership. They feel some responsibility for the well being of the program and they feel that they are participants and part of a larger community - that their involvement and participation are important. Notice the groups I started on MySpace, Facebook etc., are called 'Friends of the CBC'.
So how does today’s branding work? You actually have to provide value for your audience or your customers. If you give them a stellar experience, they will tell others. If you give them a bad experience, they will also tell others. The word of mouth about your content or product IS your brand...The point is, you don’t get to choose. The audience creates your brand with every click of a mouse, every content rating tool they use, every comment they make about your content, and every link they send to their friends.The departure of Amanda Putz was a blow to that community. After all, as a regular host she was one of the community leaders and I feel safe in saying that the 'community' wants her back where she was - on the morning show, on Radio 3 and it is not just me. As I said yesterday Said the Whale has weighed in. Casey Laforest of Elliott Brood weighed in back in November though he may not have known what he was weighing in on.
Best Radio Personality: Amanda Putz (CBC) She started out with Fuse and is a huge part of Radio 3's success. My guess is she will be a household name in the near future. Watch out for this one!. There is this person in Ottawa as well. I've talked to others, some you will have heard of and some you won't but I won't post anything here until/unless they are ready to speak for themselves. I will say that after just three days the Amanda Putz Fan Page has 127 fans and there are more every time I check the number. The Radio 3 Fan Page up for considerably longer than 3 days has 1,101. So again, what I'm saying is that the community - the audience is sending a message. This is something of a test of the 'community building' / 'the audience is in charge' approach.
I do not envy the people who have to make these decisions but making those decisions is the job they applied for. I do not envy Vish Khanna who has taken over from a very popular host and, though he may be very good, cannot be Amanda Putz. I bear none of these people any ill will, but I can also say that this isn't going away. I'm contemplating ideas to ratchet things up a notch - I've talked to alot of people who are pretty angry about it and have actually had to calm people down.
So, for now, I'm going to guess that anyone reading this to this point has already sent an email to email@example.com, I'd also urge you to contact CBC Audience Services http://www.cbc.ca/contact/ and let them know you want Amanda back on the air where she belongs.
I'm sure there will be more next week. Stay tuned.