There’s no doubt that many (most?) of us get traffic information from a smartphone or navigation screen in our vehicles, rendering radio traffic reports far less valuable than in the past.
In fact, an argument can be made to drop traffic reports entirely on all stations except those that specialize in news and local information.
Researcher Larry Rosin spoke about it at a DASH conference:
Sitting through long lists of traffic jams, crashes, and delays – most of which don’t address your particular commute – amount to poor service and bad radio at a time when consumers are looking for instantaneous, on-demand information that they can put to immediate use.
Rosen makes a case to eliminate traffic. But if that’s not a choice, and you’re you’re going to do traffic, it should be done well. And make it a key brand value. Traffic can be an integral part of the I in my GIFS structural strategy for personality brands.
But as long as traffic reports have revenue attached, a programmer’s appeal that management cancel the traffic service will likely fall on deaf ears.
Since it’s on the air, embrace it and make it the best it can possibly be. That means coaching the talent on how to deliver better reports, even if working a third party traffic service provider. Programmers may have limited time, and this task tends to be low on the list of priorities, but a session or two could have a dramatic effect on traffic delivery and success.
Here are four steps to fixing radio traffic reports.