Two sections over at Dodger Stadium a stranger waves at me. We seemingly have nothing in common other than the red St. Louis Cardinals jerseys we wear. But in a sea of Dodger blue we see each other.
The loudest ovation at a recent Houston Rockets’ game wasn’t for the players on the court but for the six airmen honored during half time. They didn’t cheer because they were basketball fans; they cheered because they were Americans.
The deeper the connection the louder the applause.
“We buy what we buy to remind ourselves – and tell the world around us – who we are. We even choose our service providers based on how closely they mirror the way we would run their company. We’re attracted to reflections of ourselves. A salesperson points out this reflection, “That’s you, isn’t it?” and then gives the intellect the facts it needs to justify the purchase. Win the heart and the mind will follow.” Roy Williams
Facebook knows this. They simply create ways for us to see a reflection of ourselves (a few years younger perhaps) and we’ll gladly share it with the world without even being asked.
Facebook knows that the more we see ourselves the more we’ll engage.
If someone was to tune in to your station right now what would they hear that is a reflection of themselves? Would it be in the words you choose? The perspective on life you share? That you focus on things that really matter?
Facebook knows it. Maybe we should too. The more your listeners see themselves the more they’ll engage
This tip is specifically for team shows, but it applies to anyone who has someone else in the studio, whether that’s a partner or an interview with someone.
It’s really boring to tune into a couple of people who start a break (or a segment) by only talking to each other. It makes the listener feel like he or she is outside the house, looking at the party through the window.
There’s an easy fix for this, but you have to do it EVERY time: Talk to ME (the listener) first, THEN talk to each other.
Here’s an example from years ago, when I worked briefly on the morning show with one of my dearest friends, “Brother” Jon Rivers in Dallas at KLTY. (You’ll also hear our newsman and Producer reacting.) It was on a Monday. I had taken the previous Friday off to go work with a station in Orlando, but instead of turning to me and saying “So how’d your trip to Florida go?” listen to how Jon started it…
Note: If you listen closely, you’ll hear Jabba the Hut’s laugh as I mention him. The laugh was Jon’s idea, and he loaded it into the computer before we got on the air that day. Just another example of Jon’s brilliance. Production Values – even for something that small – can add an extra dimension.
When they asked Michelangelo how he made his statue of David he is reported to have said, “It was easy. I just took away everything that didn’t look like David.”
That profound simplicity is one way to approach programming your radio station.
If people come to your station for encouragement just take away the stuff that isn’t. Then while you’re at it… just take away songs listeners don’t love; just take away everything that isn’t relevant and meaningful to their lives; just take away everything that isn’t friendly and welcoming.
“…anticipate and answer your customer’s unspoken questions. Don’t blather on about the things you wish they cared about – even if those are the things the customer really ought to care about – until you’ve first answered the question that’s on their mind.” Roy Williams
That involves knowing why they tune to your station in the first place.
If you’ve worked with him, or even just read or seen some of his stuff, you already know that Mark is always grinding away, looking to the present only as it applies to the future, and helping stations refine what really connects with listeners.
One of his most engaging thoughts is how essential “memorable moments” are to creating fans of your show (and the station). All the best Consultants’ minds have their own takes on this, but as you may have noticed, I focus on EXACTLY HOW things work.
So, if you want to get on the fast track to creating those Memorable Moments, here’s the foundation in coaching terms:
It’s all about Emotion and Opinion. You HAVE to give an opinion to be remembered. And ALL memorable radio comes from an Emotional place. (The same as great books, great plays, great movies, and great music.)
People NOTICE it when something comes from the heart and reveals something about not just what you think, but also what you FEEL.
Here’s a great example, from my friend Norm Hitzges on The Ticket in Dallas:
We radio folk love to connect the dots. Even dots that don’t connect.
The CHR in town plays 21 currents and their share went up. Let’s do that!
They have a red-headed female on middays and they won Station of the Year! We should do that, too!
We have new jingles! That must be why our cume went up! (Consider the illogical correlation of non-listeners’ behavior being affected by something they don’t hear).
I commonly hear otherwise smart radio folks confuse correlation with causation.
The GM loves that new one hour Saturday morning fishing show and the station’’s ratings go up. Better prepare yourself for his next brilliant programming idea!
The more emotionally invested in a concept or feature the less likely we are to discern its causality. Just because two things occur together does not mean that one caused the other, even if it seems to make sense.
Need to prove something you already believe? All you need are two graphs and two events.
“People are drawn to black and white opinions because they are simple, not because they are true. Truth demands serious effort and thought.” Donald Miller
We’re never successful because of all the things we do. Often we’re successful in spite of them.