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What can we learn from the CBC?

This past June the CBC didn’t renew the rights to the much loved ‘Hockey Night In Canada’ theme music, and most people at the time thought they’d made a huge mistake.

Well, it doesn’t look like a mistake now, and even if someone at CBC did fall asleep at the switch, they made a brilliant recovery by launching a contest to find a new theme. The contest attracted 14,871 entries from young and old in all parts of the country.

What lessons can we learn from this experience? For starters, change can be a good thing. Although the old theme is known by almost all Canadians, this contest generated excitement all over the country, including groups who wouldn’t otherwise be interested in hockey, or the CBC.

Secondly, it drove all kinds of people to the CBC website, and when they got there, they realized that this wasn’t their grandparents’ CBC anymore. In fact, the CBC isn’t just pushing news headlines on it’s website; it has recently launched a bunch of new Internet-only radio streams that appeal to a wide variety of tastes. They’ve embraced the new medium and are evolving in new and exciting ways because of it. They aren’t just using the Internet to advertise their television and radio programming, they’re delivering service through the Internet.

The challenge then is this: how can we use the Internet, not just to GET business, but to DO business? It’s a question that I ask myself and our clients all the time. Sometimes they have the courage to try something new; sometimes they aren’t ready to leave the old ways behind. It’s an important question to keep asking.

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