To the listener, it’s all about Discovery.
As long as I’m discovering something (if it’s relevant to my life and interests), we’re good. When that stops, it’s “See ya.”
So you have to avoid repetition, and you have to always be moving forward.
This is why, as a coach, I can zero in on what a show needs quickly, because I’m always looking for the answers to two questions:
“What did we learn?”
And “What did we learn about you?”
Both of those things are essential.
Recently I was with a well-known leadership guru who shared his organization’s mantra for creating a culture of excellence. He distilled everything down to what he described as three basic ideas.
- Make it better
- Make it better
- Make it better
He stressed that it is more than just a pithy way of emphasizing his organization’s desire for improvement. It was their way of empowering every person in the organization to look for tangible ways to make their part of the process, from idea to execution, better today than it was yesterday.
No, this isn’t about “dumbing it down.” It’s about not making it more complicated than today’s attention span will accept.
Today’s listener doesn’t read much. (No patience.) And we’re a nation of channel flippers. Fads come and go at warp speed. A lot of “relationships” between supposed “soulmates” last only a few months.
So if you’re going to get in sync with today’s “short attention span theater,” you need to keep things simple. The old “stop by each one of their 6 locations to pick up your card” contest is D.O.A. in today’s world. People have lives. They’re busy.
C’mon, admit it! Not every single element on your radio station is all that great. Some are, but some are only adequate. And some elements are down right turn-offs! Or as one program director confessed to me, “The best I can hope for is competent,” in referring to his station’s traffic reports.
I had the privilege of being shown around a place called The Hatch by my friend David Salyers who recently retired from a 37-year career in marketing at Chick-fil-A.
The Hatch is an entire building devoted to hatching innovation, with the walls covered with photos of some of Chick-fil-A’s best customers. What a contrast in priorities to our station walls adorned with gold records and photos of artists!
The description “Producer” seems to be thrown around pretty loosely these days. So let me try to help you with what a Producer really should be:
A true show producer is a right-hand man (or woman), an extra set of hands and feet, and a resource in finding material, in addition to the right “framing” for something (music, sound bites, etc.).
A great Producer should have superior Production skills, too.
And you want a Producer to be a source of feedback, so a Talent has someone he or she can count on to weigh in on whether something is a good “fit” for the show, or in some instances, will even work at all.
Do you have the same feeling?
When you hear the talking heads on TV news rattling on after the speech do you ever wonder if they were watching the same thing that you did?
If you tuned to MSNBC or CNN you likely heard one line of analysis. If you tuned to FOX News, you probably heard another. Social media was even worse. People tweeted opinions about the speech before even hearing it. Opinions that were based upon their world view.
It’s so easy for an air talent to think “I have to do something BIG to stand out against the competition,” and yes, radio is all about creating memorable moments that make people want to come back and listen to you again tomorrow.
However, as New England showed against the Rams in Super Bowl LIII, you don’t want to go outside your comfort zone or change your identity to accomplish that.
Once again this year, the Patriots demonstrated that you win by doing the right thing at the right time. That’s what puts you on top. So here’s what you can take away from the Super Bowl, in radio terms…
It’s often referred to as the “leaky bucket.”
That’s PPM-talk for stations losing listeners by the process of tuning away or turning off. It would be logical to think that it is easier to keep people listening than to try to get them to tune back in.
But that’s only half the story. Or, should I say, two thirds.
A recent study of 37 million listening occasions conducted by Coleman Insights and Media Monitors found that…
“nearly two-thirds of radio listening occasions are the result of turning on the radio, listening to a station and turning the radio off.”
That means we as managers, programmers, and talent need to focus not only on minimizing tune-outs, but in creating TUNE-INs.