Curious how ‘Tis the season to be jolly’ can often bring out the Ebenezer Scrooges in your audience and in your hallways.
What begins as an attempt to reach the largest number of people to celebrate the Christmas season can end up seeming like a gathering of the Trumps and the Clintons.
Here comes another complaint!
When we hear criticism about our station we often react in a way that is absolute. There is a complaint about song and we are tempted to pull it from the playlist. A criticism of an air talent results in a scolding e-mail to NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.
A general manager once told me he had so over-reacted to every complaint that his station had little worth listening to anymore.
“What’s going to change in the next 10 years?”
Jeff Bezos is one of the world’s richest men, having founded Amazon.com in his Seattle garage two decades ago.
He says people ask him that question a lot.
“I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’
And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two – because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time. … [I]n our retail business, we know that customers want low prices, and I know that’s going to be true 10 years from now. They want fast delivery; they want vast selection.
Givers and takers.
When you think about the people that have had the greatest influence on your life I reckon’ you’d say they were GIVERS.
“The human spirit senses and feeds on a giving spirit… Think about what Jesus taught – half the time people didn’t know what he was talking about, but they listened attentively. Jesus was giving – feeding them. Not taking. It is at a spirit (heart) level – he wasn’t just giving information.”
I wonder, then, why many Christian radio stations are perceived to be TAKERS, always asking their listeners to give them something. In fact, there are some managers whose voice is never heard unless they have their hand out.
What were you doing 18 years ago?
You weren’t on Facebook because Mark Zuckerberg was only 15 years old. You could have been watching The Simpsons, Beverly Hills 90210, or The X-Files on your non-HD TV.
18 years ago Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic began their first morning sports show on ESPN from the backyard of one of their houses. And Friday was their last.
“Through all of it we have sat here, we have done our best and tried to make people a little bit less miserable in their mornings,” Mike Greenberg said during the last segment. “If we have succeeded in that, then we accomplished everything we needed to.”
Long before Star Wars and Star Trek, my Wonder Years generation grew up watching black and white sci-fi shows such as The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits, and movies about aliens landing in your very back yard (“The Day the Earth Stood Still“).
Klaatu barada nikto was a hashtag before there were hashtags!
One of my odd little favorites was a flick called “The Next Voice You Hear…” with James Whitmore and Nancy Davis, who later became the more famous First Lady Nancy Reagan. The plot revolved what would happen if God’s voice spoke to us over the radio. I reckon’ that’s the ultimate FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
Are there things on your station for which listeners fear missing out? Do they have eager anticipation that the next voice they hear may say something fascinating and worthy of talking about?
In my travels I’ve found almost all discussions about programming revolve around things close to us; the music and deejays, the promotions and contests, the clocks and service elements. While these elements are important to the station’s design, they are not transformative.
Because those things are all about us. And the closer things are to us the more important they seem. To us.
So, let’s pretend you have a radio station.
And that radio station has a ratings challenge, a fundraising challenge, or a challenge in developing loyal listeners.
Where do you begin in solving your problem?
We’ve all thought it. Sometimes we even laugh about it when we see an old photo. The hair. The clothes. The car. The things we thought were important. Back then.
Consider what your perspective would be today if you had spent your career exclusively at your very first radio station. You would not have the influences of the greatest mentors in your career, and you wouldn’t have the big picture perspective learned from seeing many different stations and perhaps many different formats.
Here’s something I know now that I didn’t know then;
On last week’s finger lickin’ Frost Advisory I pontificated how it’s tempting to think that what we do defines who we are. The carpenter is defined by his hammer; the accountant by his calculator, the radio station by its 40 minute music sweeps, and the semi-professional public address announcer by his ever so manly voice.
Simon Sinek suggests…
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it, and what you do serves as tangible proof of why you do it.”
Counter-intuitive perhaps, but let’s dig deeper.
It’s tempting, isn’t it?
It’s tempting to think that what we do defines who we are. The carpenter is defined by his hammer; the accountant by his calculator, the radio station by its 40 minute music sweeps.
We’re eager to define ourselves by a hallway full of gold records and awards. I hate to break it to you, but your listeners don’t care.