“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts,” John Wooden often said.
Many of the happiest times in life are associated with learning. I remember my friend Dan Heidt teaching me how to fingerpick on my Taylor 310 guitar. It was great fun learning to fly during college in my friend Bob’s Cherokee Citation. My career took a new trajectory because of the remarkable mentoring in programming by the legendary Alan Mason.
Learning seldom happens alone. The exchange of ideas is often the basis of longtime friendships.
Here’s the real key to everything you do on the air: EMOTIONAL content. No matter how factual something may be, you have to remember that the Listener doesn’t really bond with the radio through the left side of the brain (the logical, mathematical side). The Listener bonds with you through the right side – the emotional, artistic side of the brain. I touched on this in an earlier tip, but people tend to think that only “big” things require emotion; Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Memorial Day, etc.
Even in something as simple as a contest or some station information about a concert or website feature, plugging into my EMOTIONS is key. Manage your emotions to win at the casino. That’s why your trivia contest or overly wordy weather forecast doesn’t really click. We’ve covered trivia before, but that “clear to partly cloudy with southerly winds 5 to 10 miles per hour and a 30 percent chance of rain’ stuff is really boring, too. The Weather Channel app on my iPhone can give me that – AND show me the satellite picture right over my house. But if you said, “no wind to speak of, but we could sure use that rain,” I might actually put some value in your doing the weather.
It’s said that our format has a higher percentage of fans than other contemporary music formats. If we have so many fans, why is there so little cheering?
Recently I read…
“The act of cheering for a sports team, player or event is inherently illogical at its very core; yelling in support of your team doesn’t actually do anything to affect the result. But we do it anyway. We do it because it makes us feel connected to what’s going on, because we want something happy to happen, because hoping for something to happen from the very beginning makes it that much more thrilling when it actually does happen. We invest ourselves in an activity that has nothing to do with us. It’s the basic foundation of being a fan.” Will Leitch
Despite a higher percentage of fans, too often our stations remain invisible around town. It’s rare to see any Christian station bumper sticker on the highways, but no less rare on the bumpers in the church parking lots, home of our season-ticket holders!
We sell time, we fill time, we announce the time. Whether the vernacular is time spent listening or average weekly time exposed we in radio are in the business of time.
Roy Williams recently wrote, “People don’t trade money for things when they value their money more highly than they value the things.”
Your listeners won’t give you their time if they value doing other things more highly than they value giving it to you.
Even when they finally give us their time, we often waste it. Too much chatter. Songs they don’t love. Information that isn’t relevant. Traffic reports for traffic they’re not in.
Give your station some time right now and listen to what you hear. You’re either giving your listeners something of value or your wasting their time.
One time we’ll waste their time one too many times and they won’t come back.
To paraphrase baseball legend Yogi Berra, if somebody doesn’t want to listen then nobody is going to stop them.
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C. S. Lewis
It’s Mother’s Day, not only a day of celebration but a day of reflection. It’s amazing what mom do for us, and how they teach us. One leadership lesson I learned from my mom was humility. She thought you’d never be a great leader if getting credit is the driving force behind what you do.
My mom was a foster mother for dozens of kids over the years, but only the ones no one else wanted. That’s why I was raised in a household with American Indian babies, blind kids, ones with cleft palates, and African American babies.
I heard someone play the violin this morning in church. I love the violin, but for a different reason than most. I love the violin because my mother played the violin. All through my Wonder Years I happily followed my mom around while she played in the orchestra for shows like “The Sound of Music”, “My Fair Lady”, and “Brigadoon.” Growing up in a musical family has given me a worldview that has shaped even my professional journey.
“Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is if they are showing you the way.” Donald Miller, “Blue Like Jazz”
“Each person has a different set of biases and values and assumptions, and those world views are influenced by their parents, their schools, the places they live and the experiences they’ve had to date. Their worldview is the lens they use to determine whether or not they’re going to believe a story.” Seth Godin
We see this demonstrated every election season when one candidate’s signs are abundant in one neighborhood but his opponent is prominent in another. We see it on Super Bowl Sunday, Christmastime, and the 4th of July. We also see this played out at our radio stations.
I’ve actually never seen one but I hear about the magic bullet almost every week. We yearn to embrace solutions that are simple and don’t require too much thinking.
Run a new contest.
Change the deejays around.
Run more traffic reports. Run fewer traffic reports.
Play more Toby Mac.
Let’s change the voice over guy!
Breath in a bag, hon!
Now don’t get me wrong, in certain situations it might be good to consider one of these tactics. But it’s fascinating how perfectly reasonable people accept a magic bullet without hesitation. We want to believe the simple. Perhaps it’s because everything else is hard.
Lose twenty pounds in a week!