Frost Advisory #537 – How Your Station Can Be More Like Disney

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.

Disney knows that unless they systematize it the cast members won’t do it. Why? Because cast members know who they are and where they’re from. It’s impossible to see it from the customer’s (or in our case the new listener’s) perspective.

Seth Godin says,

“The only one who has heard all of it is you.

Jerry Garcia performed thousands of times, and he was the only one who heard every performance.

The same is true for the work you’ve created, the writing you’ve done, the noise in your head – you’re the only person who has heard every bit of it.

Tell us what we need to know. Not because you need to hear yourself repeat it, but because you believe we need to hear it.

Take your time and lay it out for us, without worrying about whether or not we’ve heard you say it before. We probably haven’t.”

Some suggestions:

  • Once or twice per show this Christmas season have your talent share WHY they do what they do.

“People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.”

Simon Sinek
  • Introduce your new listeners to our CCM artists as you play their Christmas songs. Matthew West isn’t just a singer, he’s a guy with a story. How would you introduce a new friend at a party?
  • Share the story of how your station got started and why it’s on the air. Something is more valuable if it was once owned by Walt Disney. Legacy matters.

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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