If a listener hears something on the radio that interests them — whether it be a station event, a giveaway, a reference to something funny that the on-air talent is wearing — the first place they are going to go for more information is the station's website. If there is not a way for that listener to quickly and easily find what they are looking for, then it is very likely he or she will not return again. When that happens, you have lost a customer, and your website has failed.
For this reason, we at Broadcast Company of the Americas (BCA) think it is vital our website serves as the perfect complement to our on-air product, which means keeping content fresh and relevant to the message listeners are hearing. Often times the webmaster will keep things updated, but in most cases, the show's producer is responsible for making sure that any references made on-air can immediately be found on the website.
The unique needs of our radio station's website, as with other stations', are met, above and beyond, by the team of technical geniuses at Platformic. Not only has Platformic helped us design two great-looking websites, www.walrusfm.com and www.doublex1090.com, but the Platformic toolset enables us to keep our content dynamic and current, because just about anyone can use it. Now, instead of an on-air producer sending the webmaster something to get on the site (at 6 a.m.) and then having to wait for the webmaster to arrive to work (at 8 a.m.), the producers are able to get it up themselves at the moment of reference.
|Performance at a glance|
Drag-and-drop video and audio encoding
Multiple user manager
Built-in RSS feed creator
Embedded content tool
Radio is an extremely powerful complement to the Internet. When our on-air guys give our listeners a compelling reason to check something out on our site, we watch traffic skyrocket immediately. At BCA, we see it as our job, to not only make sure that listeners are able to find what they are looking for right away, but to also give them plenty of reason to stay on the site, and then return again and again. Platformic's tools give us the opportunity to provide content in a variety of medias, and we are currently offering content in the form of blogs, video, audio, RSS feeds and, of course, print.
We have worked with Platformic for several years and the company continually upgrades the tools available to website visitors as well as backend users, and are excellent at keeping us up to date with any new products it brings to the table. This was why we initially decided to undergo the redesign of our sites; we wanted to create a site that was flexible enough to accommodate all of the company's new bells and whistles as soon as they became available, and our initial site was not built with this flexibility in mind, because we actually relied on an outside graphic designer to do the layout and not Platformic themselves. One thing I learned through this process — layout first, design second!
Platformic has launched some tremendous other sites — both radio and TV. In fact, when designing our site, I went through many of its other sites and was able to pick out different elements we liked and, in turn, create a completely brand new site that fit our unique needs.
Eric Broadwater, director of professional services at Platformic was an immense pleasure to work with and was able to provide very important direction in the design of our site.
In regards to some specific tools Platformic offers, the Feed tools are by far my favorite, as they enable us to not only keep content organized with a neat and professional presentation, but also to present this content via many different platforms throughout the site.
Another way for us to present content to our listeners is to capitalize on some of the relevant RSS Feeds available. Platformic's RSS Feed pull tool is easy to use and works great.
Platformic also offers a drag-and-drop video and audio encoding tool that converts all original video files to flash so any user can watch the video. It removes the need for us to convert the code to flash. This is just one of the several ways Platformic has made the back-end user's experience a lot more efficient.
And finally, one of the most important things to me when working with any company is customer service. In regard to customer service, the guys at Platformic go above and beyond. I actually had to contact Eric on a Friday night around 7 p.m. (the day before his birthday) and he not only responded to my question immediately, but fixed the issue for me within minutes.
I would strongly recommend readers talk to Platformic for all website needs.
Gonzalez is director of digital media, BCA Radio, San Diego, CA.