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Buzz Knight

The Power of Local Greatness


(by Buzz Knight) One of our strongest assets in the radio industry is understanding and maximizing the power of local greatness. As we observe challenges in a disruptive climate that our content faces, Im convinced that realizing what our local assets are and growing their importance within our culture is a big step in the right direction. Here are some idea starters with a bit of a different approach that might benefit all of us in the weeks and months ahead.

For the purpose of my deep dive into the importance of local, allow me to use Santarpios Pizza, a landmark restaurant in East Boston is an illustration. They were established in 1903 as a bakery and began serving their delectable pizza in 1933 to the delight of locals an out of towners.
As we seek to always improve our local greatness, force your staff to get out of the building and reacquaint themselves with local iconic brands. Its not only an exercise thats fun, but it will give you a deeper connection to your market and to the local flavor. The rest of my radio take away points come from enjoying the Santarpios experience.

Keep your brand pure.
Even though the recipe is a guarded secret the key secret is fresh and pure ingredients.
Nothing store boughtall fresh!

Guard your secret! I witnessed a pretty funny event when I was recently at Santarpios, when a customer wandered mistakenly into the kitchen and the speed with which they were steered by the staff to their original destination (the bathroom).  It was incredible.
Hire original characters to do the job. At Santarpios, Lefty the bartender has been employed there for 42 years. If you were casting a movie in East Boston, youd have to have Lefty because hes authentic.

Your staff has to be connected, focused and motivated. The staff at Santarpios is a family and its totally obvious. The cohesion that exists within a local iconic restaurant is a marvel to watch and something radio stations should emulate.

In summary, take stock of your local market and force your staff to do the same. Sometimes when you live in a market, you take for granted the areas of local importance that you can learn from and positively embrace. 

Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Program Development for Greater Media and he can be reached at Knight was named among Best Programmers by Radio Ink Magazine in 2007 and 2010. He has served on the programming subcommittee of the National Association of Broadcasters(NAB) and is currently a member of the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) COLRAM Committee.

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Excellent insights, Buzz.
On a more satirical note, might I add:
Supply the staff with bus fare that they might afford to get out into the community.

- Ronald T. Robinson

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