I couldn’t believe my eyes. The sign on the door said CLOSED. Our favorite Mexican food restaurant back home has closed its doors.
It would be easy to assume that the food went downhill, the service got worse, and the mariachis started singing “La Bamba” off key. But none of those things happened.
The restaurant stayed the same, but everything around them changed. Ironically, it was a victim of being in a neighborhood that was booming. Apartments and office buildings sprouted up all around hiding the restaurant from ravenous fajita-hunting motorists. Trendy new restaurants made what was hidden easily forgettable.
The same thing can happen to your radio station.
Gary Larson, the creator of The Far Side comic strip, had this great two-panel cartoon.
The first panel was titled, “What we say to dogs.” A guy scolding his dog was saying “Okay, Ginger! I’ve had it! You stay out of the garbage! Understand, Ginger? Stay out of the garbage, or else!”
The second panel was titled, “What they hear.” Same drawing – the guy pointing his finger at the dog, but the dog is hearing him say, “Blah blah GINGER blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah GINGER blah blah blah blah blah.”
This not only applies to the Listener – you have to be talking about things that he or she CARES about – it also applies to your Air Talent. Say you’ve had a coaching session, and decided that for the next two weeks, you want the Talent to work on being concise.
It felt really weird. The seat was uncomfortably close to the steering wheel. She couldn’t see out of the rear-view mirror.
It felt weird because my daughter Daisy was sitting in MY car. It was designed for my comfort, not hers.
That’s the problem in attracting new listeners to your station. We are comfortable with it, but it can feel weird to them at first particularly if they have some preconceived notions about this “Christian radio thing”.
“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations… This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.” – John Adams
It’s the fourth of July and we’re celebrating the birth of our nation. In a moment of retrospection, it struck me that the founders of our nation were brilliant in how the crafted the heart and framework of the United States of America. Continue reading
Think of how many times you’ve heard an Air Talent say – more often than not with the sound of rustling paper or a page turning in the background – “I was reading an article in this magazine yesterday,” or “I saw in the paper this morning that…”
Or there’s the “attribution” thing of “This morning in the Dallas Morning News…”
Thanks to my pal Kevin Avery at The Fish in Atlanta for his creative musing on success.
Kevin and his talented pal Taylor’s morning show just so happens to be #1 in Women 25-54 in Atlanta, a very competitive radio market of 4.5 million people! So, maybe Kevin knows something worth hearing (‘cept #4, perhaps!)
The 10 Commandments of John Frost!
10) Thou shalt take the first exit!
9) Thou shalt give the listener ‘hugs’!
8) Thou shalt get to the point!
7) Thou shalt reflect back the listeners values!
6) Thou shalt love children!
5) Thou shalt love childrens’ mommas!
4) Thou shalt talk baseball with me whenever I visit!
3) Thou shalt tattoo the values pyramid on the inside of thou’s eyeballs!
2) Thou shalt be relevant!
1) Thou shalt be enthused about being in the best format in the world!
Barney Fife, the classic Don Knotts character on the old Andy Griffith Show, probably never thought he’d become a role model – at least not for radio. But that’s exactly what happened.
Sure, many radio jocks share Barney’s ego, bravado, nervousness under pressure, taking rules too seriously (or ignoring them), trying to pretend you know more than you actually do, bad singing voice, and rather vague knowledge of the human anatomy (“the obondalla isn’t in the leg, Ange…it’s in the brain”), but the passing on of the “idiot torch” is not what made him a role model. It’s that in his shirt pocket, this fearless deputy, this symbol of law and order, this staunch upholder of the people’s rights carried… his one bullet.
“No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.
I first met John Moore in Nashville at a GMA event. He was a guest speaker, and wanted to meet my friend Jon Spoelstra. The next day I saw him speak about Starbucks, and how they managed the brand through their marketing.
It was only after he’d spoken that he mentioned about his stutter. Yes, someone who makes a good portion of his income speaking in front of large groups had a stutter.
But the real point of this story is the story. In a recent post John talked about his situation, but it’s not only the story, but how he told it. We can learn a lot about how John told the story. When we see on-air people trying to communicate a story, it’s a great example of mixing facts with emotion to create a reality you can feel.
Telling a great story can take longer than 60 seconds, but if it’s done well enough, it’s worth it What do you hear on your station, facts or the emotion of a story like John’s.
P.S. If you want to have a highly successful station, you need to read “The Passion Conversation,” which was co-authored by John.
Most people in your town have never heard of your radio station.
That’s hard for us to grasp because we’re involved with our station every day, and almost everyone we bump into knows where we work. But our world is not their world.
I’ve written in previous Frost Advisories about social proof, the grown-up term for peer pressure. Jonah Berger’s remarkable new book “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” discusses “The Power of Observability”; the easier something is to see, the more people talk about it.
Consider how the kind of car your neighbor drives is far more likely to affect your buying decision than does the toothpaste he uses. One is visible, the other is not.
It has always baffled me why Christian music stations seem content to be invisible. We have the greatest reason to reach people (see: The Great Commission), we have the most tribal format (our audience gathers without us even asking them to), and the format is about the things people care about most.
Not long ago, I heard this so-called “story” in a newscast:
“They did a study letting dogs just hear someone yawn. They responded with their own about half the time. But when the canine heard a familiar person like their owner yawn, it happened five times more often.”
Who cares? If you asked ten people what mattered most to them that day, I’d give you 1000 to 1 odds that dogs yawning wouldn’t be anywhere near the top of that list.
When I asked the air talent about this, the justification for it was that it was a “human interest” story.
I don’t see the Interest. (Plus, saying “the canine” is that stilted old newsy language, like saying “the five-foot-eight-inch male was spotted running away from the scene.” No one would EVER say this in real life.)
Yes, I keep harping on this, but I’ll stop griping about it if you stop boring people to death. What do you not get about the fact that you’re in competition for the listener’s time with every other station, hundreds of TV channels, social media, audio books and gaming?
Don’t let your SHOW be the thing that makes the dog yawn.