Dear Broadcasters of the EBU,
I'm taking the liberty of addressing myself directly to you as sixteen of you will compete for ten spots in this year's Eurovision Song Contest tonight. I think your viewers tonight will enjoy the show coming from Malmö - they will like some things, be less fond of other things, but hopefully they will feel entertained and smitten and feel the urge to cast a vote (regardless if your country is voting tonight or not).
It's a shame to leave things to chance, though.
You know the preview clips that the EBU sends out to you every year? Little clips - a live performance or a music video - where every country has presented their song? You can show them on your channel free of charge. It says in the rules.
Some countries do that, you know. They put on a little show of some sort and present the songs to their audience as a little warm-up. To remind people that Eurovision is coming and give everyone an opportunity to find a personal favourite already beforehand.
If you gather a little panel and let them judge the songs in a simple but stylish set, you can even turn it into an entertaining show that will engage your audience without really costing any serious money at all. In some countries, shows like these have even turned successful with good ratings.
Entertaining, good ratings, low cost. You quite like the sound of this, don't you?
The best part of the pudding is still this: if your audience like the preview shows, they are more likely to want to watch the actual eurovision shows as well. They are also more likely to find a song they like, and that makes them more likely to vote.
So everyone's homework is this: plan a preview show for next year. You won't regret it. And drop a message in my inbox if you want advice on how to go about it.
/Tobson in Euroland