The three reasons things are usually done:
- (Air Talent) “It’ll be funny.”
- (Program Director) “It’ll get ratings.”
- (General Manager): “It’ll schmooze a client.”
These are not Strategies, they’re just aspirations. Let’s examine them…
Something being “funny” is certainly not always a reality, and you can’t just use that crayon all the time anyway. I would just say, “Try to make the show fun,” and keep in mind who your listener is.
“It’ll get ratings.”
Even with all the latest tactics on affecting PPM (or now, Nielson), you really can’t predict what will “get ratings” except in terms of doing things every time you open the mic that are compelling to the LISTENER. And it goes deeper than that, because anything that seems calculated SOLELY to get ratings will ring HOLLOW with the Listener. You can use any tactic you want to, but unless what you’re doing is either Informative or Entertaining (or both), it won’t work.
“It’ll schmooze a client.”
This means nothing to the Listener, and maybe even works AGAINST the Talent if it’s perceived as “selling out”.
There are only two legitimate reasons to do anything on the air:
- It’s Relevant to the listener.
- It has a Benefit to the listener.
Those things will ALWAYS work. Tactics have their place, but believe me, if you do things for the right reasons – STRATEGIC reasons – winning becomes a byproduct.
Self-promotional afterthought: you can’t do it without great talent. If you’re a PD or GM, rather than getting caught up in a vicious circle of hiring, then firing, consider bringing in a coach to develop your talent.
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Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2016 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.
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