ClearChannel And Jennifer Lopez Bungle Big Radio Announcement

July 14, 2011

I Heart Radio Music Festival: September 23 & 24 in Las Vegas

ClearChannel radio tapped Jennifer Lopez on Monday to make what should have been the biggest announcement of the summer.

Not only is ClearChannel entering the online radio market with 10 times the music found on competitor Pandora, but it’s also putting on a two-day music festival featuring some of the biggest artist in the world. The I Heart Radio Music Festival, named after ClearChannel’s web-based radio site, features performances by Lady Gaga, Coldplay, David Guetta, Sting, Carrie Underwood and more.

The only issue? If you were watching the “Today” show on Monday waiting for Jennifer Lopez to make her BIG announcement, the last thing you wanted to hear about or really heard about was the I Heart Radio Music Festival. Everyone, including host Ann Curry, was speculating and hoping that the announcement was related to “American Idol.” Five seconds into the interview, Ann cut to the chase and asked Jennifer to share her big announcement. With America leaning towards the television with big eyes, Jennifer responds, “I’m here to announce I Heart Radio’s launch with their new concert. Me, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Steven Tyler…”

She continued to stumble through a few more key messages before Ann cut her off and called her out for tricking America. Taking control, Ann did not allow the conversation to return back to the subject of the festival, talking instead about Jennifer’s latest album, family life and movie career. An amazing opportunity for ClearChannel, destroyed by speculation and dishonesty.

I’d like to offer some suggestions for ClearChannel, or anyone else looking to use a spokesperson for an upcoming announcement:

  1. Find a spokesperson who has something timely and interesting to talk about in addition to your announcement, to fill in any additional time in the interview. Do NOT find someone who has too much to talk about, leaving no time in the interview for your announcement.
  2. Find a spokesperson who has the time and desire to learn your key messages. Do NOT find someone who is too busy or does not care to take the time to rehearse your key messages. A great booking is nothing without flawless message delivery.
  3. Don’t trick the media. Mystery may get you in the door, but the outcome will not be what you wanted if you have been dishonest. Hell hath no fury like Ann Curry scorned.

You can watch Jennifer’s announcement here: