If your station is playing Christmas music I’ve got good news and bad news.
The good news is that if you do it well you’ll eliminate your station’s biggest barrier for growth – playing music that is unfamiliar to a new audience.
The bad news is new listeners don’t understand what your station is about. They don’t have your perspective. They don’t understand the relationship of Ken and Barbie on the morning show, they don’t understand who for King and Country is and why they are doing concerts at a drive-in movie theatre, they don’t understand that your station plays Christmas music every year, and they don’t understand why you’re asking for money. (I once heard a general manager insist that new listeners loved fundraisers. No, he loved fundraisers, and his perspective impacted the station’s ability to be attractive to new listeners).
Do you know why Disney cast members wear tags with their name and hometown?
Frankly, Disney knows that you don’t care where they’re from – unless you’re also from there, or from near there, or have just been there, or have always wanted to go there, or wonder how they got from there to here. Disney knows that the name tag simply begins a conversation that can begin a relationship which can change the experience. And experience is what they are all about.
Often, promos get waylaid by trying too hard to say too much. In particular, “slug lines” (tags) on the end try WAY too hard.
“He’s a little bit goofy. She’s a little bit ditzy…”
“Making you laugh every day…”
“They’re here to lift you up…”
Blah, blah, blah.
You don’t need these. Here’s the template…
1. A quick intro: “Jack and Belinda…”
2. A sound bite from the show.
3. Then a tag: “Jack and Belinda, Mornings on 93.9 KBGL…”
Cut out the adjectives and superlatives. Let the clip do the work.
We’ve chatted a lot over these 536 Frost Advisories about how to grow your station. Growth is the fruit of adopting common ground; of making the unfamiliar familiar.
Many Christian stations serve only the Christian sub-culture talking primarily to churchgoing folks with a heavy emphasis on religious or spiritual content. Other stations desire to reach a broader audience which is often described as “spiritual, but not necessarily religious.” Those stations strive to be culturally relevant and talk like friends in the room. But that doesn’t mean that you talk about just anything.
Take this infamous day in history, November 22, 1963, as an example.
There’s a huge difference between “selling” and “telling.”
“Selling” something isn’t nearly as effective as simply Telling me about it; sharing. There’s a built-in resistance to someone pounding a message home.
Disc jockeys are told to “sell” liners, copy points, etc. But you don’t “sell” your friends on something. You just share what you know or believe. (If you do “sell” all the time, believe me, your friends are tired of it and you need to stop.) This is why disc jockeys aren’t doing movie trailers and national ads.
In working with many voice actors that you hear every day on national spots, I’ve often stressed just talking to the listener/viewer. A great example from the past is voiceover master Mason Adams, famous for “With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good.”
Just talk to me. It works.
“Why are you playing Christmas music on Election Day?”
The complaints pour in.
“Why are you playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving?”
Think about it. If I’m driving around in my car and I tune in to your radio station in the middle of November and hear Burl Ives instead of Matthew West, I could be confused. Unless I understand “the why.”
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do serves as proof of why you do it.”Simon Sinek, “Start with Why”
On Election Day our station votes for comfort and joy. In this political season our station is an escape from the negative headlines.