“Everyone’s favorite radio station is the station that plays their favorite music.”
I cleverly put this sentence in quotes because it is the first thing I say when talking to a new station. After more than two decades in our format I can honestly say that NO ONE understands this fully at the beginning of the journey. However, all understand it later. If they are successful.
Why does this matter?
It matters because people love what is familiar, and what is familiar is what we love. And we work in a format that plays mostly unfamiliar music to the very people we’re trying to attract.
A few weeks ago we went to our first live concert in more than two years. Gosh, it was fun to be experiencing live music again.
The group is from Russia. Most of them don’t speak a word of English. Over 2,000 people packed the auditorium to hear them… a group that had NEVER had a hit record and hardly spoke the language.
What’s the deal?
One of the benefits of doing this talent coaching thing for a long time is that you learn how to appraise talent quickly. After just a couple of coaching sessions, one thing always stands out: the person with the learner’s heart is going to get better. The person whose ego gets in the way of learning isn’t going to progress much unless that changes.
So which one are you? Are you open to suggestion, to change, to experimenting? You can still have your opinions, of course, but to have that be a closed circuit just means standing still. If nothing else, getting thoughts from a different perspective from someone you trust will make your decision-making quicker and more certain.
Lebron James has a coach. So does Tom Brady. So has every Olympic champion.
If you want to get to know someone ask them about them.
If you want to build a relationship with someone ask them to tell you their story.
A successful radio station is one that builds a relationship with its listeners. The station understands who they are, what they care about, what connects them to others.
It’s called common ground.
It’s the basis of every affiliation in our lives. It starts with family. Then age and gender. It then branches out to school; then class (who was your first grade teacher?); then school groups. (I was a Thespian, don’t’cha know!) Then friendships develop.
Overwhelmingly, especially in Music radio, News sounds like News – the facts. (Boring.) And Information from a print source SOUNDS like it’s being read.
Here’s how to eliminate that: Don’t marry the Information; marry the STORY.
Any idiot can read the facts. But it rarely sounds natural. It rarely sounds conversational. And “print words” poison any exchange.
What happened, or is likely to happen? How would it (or does it, or did it) make people FEEL? Only when you plug into the core Emotion of the story will it really connect with people.
I start there. Then I strip away anything that sounds too “official” when it’s said out loud.
People don’t connect with facts. They connect with Emotions. That’s why some “stories” aren’t interesting or compelling. They fill the air with words, but don’t say much.
It’s not common sense to warn someone about using common sense. But that IS the point.
Successful principles of business, leadership, programming, or ministry aren’t common. They are the exception. Think about it.
Otherwise, all businesses would be successful, there would be no leadership challenges, churches would be full every week, all radio stations would have high ratings and we’d all have dated the prettiest girl in town.
Successful principles are the exception, not the common. There are 11,000 business books published each year. I looked it up. If these principles were merely common sense there would not be the demand for these lessons learned. A few years ago I had the privilege of being in studio when Bill Hybels interviewed former GE CEO Jack Welch for Willow Creek’s leadership summit. Nothing Jack said was common sense. It was deeper than that.