What’s your station about? My experience is that most stations are about new music adds, the next Christian music concert, deejays and features.
“The foolish thing to do is pretend your features are so good that nothing else matters.
Something else always matters.” Seth Godin
Tiger Woods has just won his 5th Masters.
“He had gone nearly 11 years since he won his last major, 14 years since that green jacket was slipped off his Sunday red shirt.” Doug Ferguson, the Associated Press
Notice I’m not quoting the Golf Channel. The stories are streaming out from the Associated Press, Fox News, CNN, NPR, and TMZ.
“I don’t care about your mom” may initially sound rather harsh, but… it’s true. Here is the redeeming part. I may not care about your mom, but I care about OUR moms. We care about the common experience.
“People will be more interested in your home movies if they are in them.”Roy Williams
Just last week I was involved in a project where we asked loyal listeners about a certain radio station. Funny though, they didn’t talk about the features and attributes of the station they way we radio types do… they talked about themselves; their struggles, their kids, their responsibilities, their stress, their environment, their values. The radio station was only referenced in the way it intersected with their lives, if it added value to their lives.
In other words…
There was a knock on the door. “Uh, oh! It’s THOSE people!” People that want something FROM you.
It has been said that almost everyone loves to shop, but no one wants to be sold.
“The selfish marketer is marketing at us, trading money for attention to sell average (or below average) products to disinterested people. The excuse is that money needs to be made, or that the boss insists, or that we have no choice…
The successful marketer is marketing with us and for us. And she doesn’t need an excuse.” Seth Godin
The same is true for your radio station. Think about it… there are some voices your listeners hear only when you’re asking for money.
When scanning the radio dial it doesn’t take long to hear something you already know.
“It’s Friday.” Well, thank you very much for that valuable insight. “It’s Labor Day weekend!” Well, I’m certainly glad that I was listening to your station at this particular moment or I would have never known!
Telling your listeners something they already know IS NOT compelling content. Filling time with words that have no purpose other than filling time is not a way to connect to your listeners.
Flying recently I heard the flight attendant announce, “We know you have a choice of airlines.” Well, there’s a news bulletin. THEY know that I have a choice of airlines.
I confess. I wanted to call this “The Power of Discipline” but I knew no one would read it.
When teenage athletes are interviewed during the Olympics they seem more mature than their years. There is a reason for that. They’ve been disciplined in their athletic workouts since they were six years old. Discipline with consistent coaching leads to maturity in both athletics and in programming.
There is no format that is as uninteresting when done poorly and no format as remarkable when done well.
Our format can either be “nice Christian people saying nice Christian things to nice Christian people,” or it can be the purposeful design of emotions, stories and songs that reflect the most important relationships and events in people’s lives. Remarkable radio stations happen when we focus on the elements that are transformational. But that takes discipline.
It was an hour that never existed.
We changed our clocks from 2am to 3am. Rod Serling might say, “Imagine if you will that one hour never existed. No babies were born. No one died. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”
That hour doesn’t matter.
All media is in the business of getting people’s attention. Yes, even your radio station. Tune-ins. Clicks. Time spent listening.
One way is to SHOCK people. This is now the norm with the BREAKING NEWS graphics on our 2-hour news channels.
The other way is to take the time to build trust.
The problem with “shocking” is that it eventually loses its impact. And shocking eventually loses trust.
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.
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!
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.