Tommy Kramer Tip #200 – The “Too Up” follow-up

In the last tip, I talked about a couple of challenges in being TOO “up” all the time on the air.  (Being told to “have more energy” is usually the cause of this.)

Just fyi, the “example” in the tip wasn’t really any specific morning team; it was drawn from several different teams I’ve coached.  (But it’s always interesting to see which of the people I work with will THINK that a tip was written about them.)

Here’s the follow-up. In just one or two sessions, this “shot from a cannon, everything at one constant energy level” thing almost always changes.

The biggest factor in trying to help anyone improve is the natural resistance to change.  But there’s nothing to fear if the motive behind it is simply to help you sound more three-dimensional and natural on the air.  The era of “presenting” and “announcing” is GONE.  The world is too full of shouting, noisy hype to believe anything done with that approach anymore.

In every way you can think of, make things more HUMAN.  Being a constant piston-engine, frantically energetic noise doesn’t REVEAL anything about you. And let’s be clear: the listener has to LIKE you, or he/she won’t listen.  There are too many other places to turn for information and entertainment to think that your station is going to succeed without being Personality-driven.

Radio will need to up our game to be valid as technology continues to change the landscape in terms of what the listener’s options are. But we’re still first in line for the listener’s time – IF we have Personality.

Seeing Beyond The Obvious

“John Glenn: Let’s get the girl to check the numbers.

Al Harrison: The girl?

Yes, sir.

Al Harrison: You mean Katherine?

John Glenn: Yes, Sir, the smart one. And if she says they’re good, I’m ready to go.”
(Exchange from the movie Hidden Figures)

Hard not to be impressed by John Glen, an original astronaut, and the first American to orbit the earth.  But his role in the movie, “Hidden Figures,” took it to a new level with me.  He didn’t see an African-American female; he saw “the smart one.”  Think about it; we were second in the space race.  The Soviet Union had launched a satellite before us and put a man into space before us.  We needed every edge we could find just to keep up, but still bright people were overlooked because of how we saw them.

We’ve progressed since then, but in watching the movie, I thought about how much we in leadership ignore what we consider “lesser,” whether it’s age, another department, thinking of people from the perspective of their position, and so on.  I mean, all the smart, creative people come from programming, right?

Interesting, when we too need every edge we can get right now.  Wherever you are, there are probably smart people playing a role who can help you become more than you are.  Who knows, maybe they will be the people that lead you into a new era.

By the way, this isn’t about the people who feel entitled, but about the people who feel they have a contribution.

There’s no magic about it, just look around you, and see what could be instead of what is.  Listen to how involved individuals are instead of what title they have.  People who are driven to success instead of those who think they deserve success.

It’s your job to make the hidden obvious.

Frost Advisory #355 – A Programming Lesson From Opening Day

Baseball fans get mushy about this kind of thing.  “Why Time Begins on Opening Day” is actually the actual name of an actual baseball book.  Best seller, don’tcha know.

It’s that ‘winter is over’ thing.  It’s that ‘hope springs eternal’ thing.  It’s that ‘we’re all young again’ thing.

“You look forward to it like a birthday party when you’re a kid.  You think something wonderful is going to happen.”
~Joe DiMaggio

There is a programming lesson for us here.

Ballparks on Opening Day are filled with people who may not attend another game all season.  The ceremonies include the introduction of players, the first pitch by a local politician, and a humongous American flag held up by the Boy Scouts or Junior ROTC.  In other words, one doesn’t have to know anything about baseball to have a good time.

Today is Opening Day for your station – for someone.  Most listening don’t know any more about your station than those Opening Day fans know about the ballplayers.

Andy Stanley poses three ideas that I think every radio station should ponder:

  1. Assume guests are in the room.
  2. What do they hear?
  3. What do they experience?

My friend Brant Hansen thinks about stuff like this.  That’s why he’s created a video and online guide for new listeners.  He wants to make it easier for a new listener to become a fan.

Time may begin on Opening Day, but what teams really want is for fans to come back again and again.