He’s a bum!
Why didn’t he take out the pitcher?
This guy can’t hit!
Why didn’t he leave the pitcher in?
The wacky sports fan always knows what his team shoulda done! The Monday morning quarterback is always right. It helps when you know the outcome of the game on Sunday.
Read the blog comments after a 4-game losing streak. Ouch!
Read the blogs after a 10-game losing streak! Ouch! Ouch!
“Every time we lose a game I’ve either left the pitcher in too long or taken him out too early.”
A wacky sports fan always values the recent over the long term. They comment on THAT at bat, THAT bad pitch, THAT bumble by the fielder.
I reckon’ we can expect that kind of second guessing from the bleachers, but it is far more serious when it comes from the programmer or manager’s office.
I hear there are more “religious” radio stations in the United States than any other format category. Unfortunately those religious stations combined have fewer listeners than any other. The reason for that is quite simple.
A radio station cannot grow its audience unless it is designed to grow its audience. To grow a station one must think beyond songs and deejays and sweepers. One must think strategically. Eh, gad!
A strategy is a plan that incorporates big picture concepts such as:
Why does the radio station exist?
Who are our listeners? What do they desire and expect from our station?
Common ground. We talk a lot about it in our little format, and that’s a good thing.
Who’s your target demo? How many kids? What’s their favorite TV show? Where do they go on summer vacation?
All good stuff we need to embrace.
“To move an audience, especially a diverse audience, from where they are to where you want them to be requires common ground. If you want me to follow you on a journey, you have to come get me. The journey must begin where I am, not where you are or where you think I should be.”
But there is a common ground that we seldom consider and about which few books are written.
The power of NOW.
We can cling so tightly to the things we know that we don’t go beyond and learn how to apply it.
“The less people know, the more stubbornly they know it.”
- Knowledge is knowing the facts.
- Understanding is the ability to glean meaning from those facts. Often that involves seeing things in context, perhaps relating to circumstances, best practices, or strategy.
- Wisdom is knowing what to do with that knowledge.
A 16-year-old may have enough knowledge to drive the car but you wouldn’t just toss them the keys and say, “Have a good weekend!”
What do we say?
More people have been killed at schools so far in 2018 than have been killed while serving in the U.S. Military, so says the Washington Post.
Remember back when baseball and football games on TV were interrupted by some nut case running onto the field?
Then something changed. The folks in charge of the telecasts decided to quit pointing the cameras at them. The incidents stopped.
I don’t speak as a psychologist or counselor, as one from law enforcement, or even as a journalist. I speak as a broadcaster that understands that our stations have impact and a responsibility.
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.
“Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is if they are showing you the way.”
“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 world view is the lens they use to determine whether or not they’re going to believe a story.”
How does your station connect with the things your listeners love most?
One of my favorite books as a kid was, “1001 Riddles for Children.” I still remember one of the riddles…
Riddle: “How many legs does a sheep have if you call a tail a leg?”
Answer: “Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.”
The ratings arrive. They are down. Our impulse to react. DO SOMETHING!
Those words haunted me recently at a radio station. While they were spoken by a program director about the general manager those words could have once been spoken about me.
We only know what we know. Until the moment we say that we’re ready to learn, we’re stuck… with only the things in the rear view mirror as a reference.
“Everything I know I learned from someone else.”
Simply stated, strategy is about the big idea; why do we exist? What do we stand for? What difference are we making?
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
I’ve heard it said that there are no straight lines in nature. Every shoreline curves and winds. Every path is jagged and bumpy. Every landscape has heights and depths.
Over the years I’ve learned that radio stations go through seasons. Often we have the illusion of stability until we’re jolted by change.
Her name was Jane. She was the first girl I ever asked out on a date. She said no.
I convinced myself that it was because of the big zit on my forehead. Or that I wasn’t on the football team. I found out later it was because she and her family went out of town.
We think we’re pretty important, don’t we?
We think our station fans’ (P1s) behavior is a direct result of our programming tactics. I’ve heard otherwise reasonable people exclaim that ratings went up because of the new jingles, ratings went down because we didn’t hit the spot breaks within the bow tie, or question our ratings because we didn’t have a specific number of songs on our playlist.