• The Financial District

RMN NETWORKS SET TO INNOVATE AIR WAVES

Updated: Sep 27

RMN Networks is set to innovate the air waves, thanks to a massive two-year research that the 67-year old radio network has undertaken to determine what would make the media company relevant in today’s rapidly-changing world.

And credit for that two year commitment to understand its radio audience and better gear its offerings to what would resonate with its audience rests on Rico Canoy, executive vice president and COO of RMN Network, who is intent on morphing the broadcast firm into a total communications company.

That tough job of transformation is a challenging one for Rico but for someone who shepherded RMN Networks to the top of the ratings game in the Vis-Min area as vice president for operations in 2015, that herculean task is surmountable especially with what had been learned from that research.

“Our two-year landmark study has helped not only our stations but also our clients to adjust the communication and advertising materials of their brands to the intended target market,” Rico said, with that unmistakable gleam in his eyes from knowing how to execute ad materials for their clientele.

It is indeed a truism in marketing that to be able to reach your audience , you have to know what is it they are thinking about and then position your offering to reach out to their inner selves and forthwith win their heart and mind. And that is exactly what Rico sought out to do to further understand his audience.

As VP for Operations of RMN Networks, a year after being in the company, Rico was able to achieve the feat of achieving ratings dominance in the Vis-Min area to such a point that the company was able to “increase nationwide local sales three-fold from 2016 to 2019. “


This year would have been a great year for the emerging transformation of RMN Networks as a total communications company having an inner look into the minds of their audience because of what they spent for that two-year research.

“If Covid-19 had not happened, 2020 would have been our strongest operations in a non-election year, “ Rico said.

But the pandemic does not daunt this Blue Eagle who actually cut his teeth in the broadcast media a good three years before landing that number one rating in the Vis-Min area. “I started my career in 2011 managing a newly acquired AM radio station called dwww 774 siete siete kuwatro.”

Before that, he had a six-year stint in Hit Productions, an audio production company, a one year stay in top advertising group McCann Worldgroup Philippines and a two year sabbatical to pursue an MBA in the Asian Institute of Management.

Those stints grounded him to have a fresher look at the offering of RMN Networks, which now counts 61 radio stations, 19 of which are AM stations, 22 FM stations and 20 stations as affiliates. And with the way he succeeded in the Vis-Min area plus the output from the research that the company massively funded, the way was clear for what could have been this year’s huge success.

And it would have come at an opportune time as RMN Networks is set to celebrate its 68th year in the business on August 28.

It would have been a homerun, with bases loaded as the company tweaked the marketing thrust of the company making it a total communications company, in a reprise of a marketing guru’s take on the railroad business that the industry should have classified itself as a transportation business and not in the rail business for it to have survived.

But for Rico all is not lost. And that is what happens when you have a clear grasp of the airwaves and for him, the pandemic is just a radio interference, something that could be dispensed with just a little push on the buttons and the resetting of transmitters.

“We are fortunate to be living in a time wherein technology and the internet can easily connect us with one another,” Rico said, detailing how apps like Zoom, Microsoft Meeting, Google Meet allowed them to have meetings with clients and staff from home.


The said technologies, according to him, helped the business to survive and it has in fact benefited him as a leader of the company to be able to zoom in with their station managers and cascade instructions for possible changes that would touch base with their clientele.

Rico has great plans for a transformed RMN Networks and for him the challenge is to make “radio programs” relatable and exciting while expanding its reach through streaming apps or social media channels like Facebook.

He aims to come up with changes in the network to conform with the findings of the two-year research even as he sees to it that the stations adhere to delivering news not just faster than the competition but devoid of fake news or disinformation.

This is because radio, he said, is more trusted than television and for this reason, the station managers are admonished not to fall for false information as any kuryente or false news could “ruin a station’s credibility.”

Rico has set a clear roadmap for the company’s transformation and for him it is achievable even with the COVID-19 that he considers just a radio interference. He has set his sights on achieving what he had made in the Vis-Min area in Manila and Luzon where the expansion push is now centered.

And he has the tools at his disposal, the research that actually resulted in the radio network bagging more advertising revenues plus Rico’s mindset for RMN Networks as a truly “local” media network. “Our news, commentary, drama programs, public service, and entertainment are household names now in the Visayas and Mindanao and the pivot to Manila and Mindanao is just a matter of time.

“Unlike other networks that push the programming of their Mega Manila stations to the provinces, our station programs, backed up by RMN Research, always cater to specific listener markets even down to the specific dialect.”

And this is where RMN Network has its strongest suit.

For instance, there were several instances wherein “we had to educate clients to help them revise materials to better connect to listeners. He cited two examples: Clear shampoo in Cebu and Mindanao is pronounced as “Klurh” and Shield Bathsoap as “Sheld.”

Or that in Ilocos, Ilocano is best used for news and commentary orientated programs because of its serious tone and use by older listeners. Tagalog, on the other hand, Rico said, is best suited for younger audiences listening to fun music programs on FM.

And he enthused Hiligaynon drama programs are more suited to Koronadal being the only city in Mindanao wherein the language is used.

Asked by TFD’s Ardee Urbina and Mike Nolan Olalia what does he wish to be remembered for as a steward in the network, Rico said that he wants to leave a legacy behind as someone who tried to make RMN Networks “top of mind in all broadcast mediums (television, online, outdoor, satellite radio).

And that is not far off for this Blue Eagle who sees to it that he is a man for others elucidating the TFD’s Ardee and Mike on “a need for a little kindness, understanding“ for the many who have been hurt and displaced by the pandemic. Rico’s hopefully is not a lone voice of humanity.

For RMN Networks is now in the thick of negotiations with the Department of Education for the transformed total communications company’s foray into rolling out education modules for public school students.

When asked by Ardee and Mike about this, Rico’s mien turned serious :

“This is something we are very excited about because of the potential it has in reaching families that cannot avail themselves of internet-based learning.” [Lito U. Gagni]


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