Frost Advisory #208 – Making Time for the Big Idea

Programming a successful radio station can often seem like jumping on a moving train. It’s challenging enough for a programmer to simply find time to listen to the station or meet with the air staff, much less actually plan the next event.

We’re often so busy with the urgent that we don’t take the time to think.

At Mark Ramsey’s recent Hivio conference I heard filmmaker Emma Coats share that the process of creating a great story often involves discounting the first thing that comes to mind. That’s because the first thing is seldom the unique thing.

The more you drill down, the closer you’ll get to the big idea.

Several years ago when my friend Samantha Kelly of Scott and Sam fame found out she was pregnant we brainstormed how to share on the air. The first ideas were about baby showers and choosing colors for the baby’s room; ideas that were predictable and hardly unique.
Refusing to stop there we drilled down even further and struck gold. Sam decided to write a letter to her yet unborn child and share it with her listeners.

It included….

“When I first knew I was going to have you, I imagined I could feel your heartbeat in me. It might not be physically possible to feel such a thing, but spiritually, I know it’s true. I will have the echo of your heart in me forever – even after you are born. For that I am so grateful…
We haven’t named you yet, but the names we are thinking of mean things like “Protector” and “Warrior” and “Of God’s Strength.” Daddy says we will know your name when we first hold you. I didn’t think so at first, but now I do.”

Years later Sam still hears from people that were listening that day. It was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever heard on the radio.
It has been said that what is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.

Consider having a regular BIG IDEA brainstorming meeting once a month. That will force you to work beyond the urgent of the day to find the big idea.

It’s out there, but you have to make time to search for it.

John Frost

About John Frost

John has been a successful major market DJ and PD for such companies as CBS, Gannett, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Multimedia, and Sandusky and publishes the Frost Advisory.

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