Frost Advisory #489 – The Search For Good News

People are searching. So many of us feel bombarded with negativity and bickering, particularly in the wake of the partisanship of the impeachment hearings. With a potential Senate trial and another election in 2020 I don’t get the sense we’re headed for a kinder, gentler new year, do you? As a result people are literally searching for something good.

Every year Google compiles a list of the most searched for words of the year. In 2019 searches for heroes soared.

Good things in the world

Throughout history, in times of uncertainty the world looks for heroes.

What makes a person a hero?

Because living life as something bigger than yourself is a hero’s journey

To everyone using their powers to empower others, search on…

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #342 – The Odds

We’re in a world of numbers now.  Sabermetrics dominate Sports.  Take baseball, for example.  “He hits .372 against left-handed pitchers with men on third base and less than two out when it’s raining…”

Well, okay… but that’s not predictive.  It’s just a measurement of what ALREADY happened.

The REAL odds are this: every time you step up to the plate, it’s 50/50.  You’ll get a hit, or you won’t.  This MATTERS, and it’s why Sports is such a great teacher, because every player or team will have its day sometimes, no matter what the percentages say.
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Frost Advisory #488 – The Beauty Of Christmas Through The Eyes Of Our Format

The Christmas season brings out the best in us. More people tune to our stations than at any other time of the year, some stations topping a million listeners per week, once unthinkable in our format.

Many stations do their best job of connecting on common values with stories of hope, forgiveness, and fresh beginnings. Over the last several weeks I have heard some amazing stories and songs.

I heard how Pamela and her daughter were helped to move out of the homeless shelter and start a new life!

I heard Craig’s story of being able to hear for the first time because of a caring surgeon.

I heard the story of the man who decorated his house with Christmas lights knowing that his son wouldn’t live to see Christmas. When his neighbors found out they joined in and decorated their houses months early.

Stories and songs. Consider how these stories resonate just as much with a brand new listener as a station fan.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #341 – No One Comes To The Party Just For The Dip

Recently, in a coaching session with a person who was playing it “too safe” on the air, I told him this: No one comes to the party just for the dip.

So okay, your station (and your show) has Music, News, Weather, Traffic updates, etc.  The usual “basic survival kit” for broadcasting.

But now you need to add Personality, Companionship, and Things You and the Listener Have in Common.

Without those, you’re just the dip.

Frost Advisory #487 – We’ve Saved You A Seat!

The Christmas season brings our format’s greatest opportunity to welcome new listeners. While this may seem a no-brainer it is not something to be taken for granted. No other format has the opportunity to eliminate its biggest barrier for growth (that it plays unfamiliar music for new folks) while doubling down on the core “why” of the format – that God became man and changed history (even for unbelievers).

So how does a first time listener become fan? More specifically how does someone that doesn’t know Big Daddy Weave from Bo Diddley transform to preferring your station over all others?

It’s called assimilation; the time it takes to turn a casual observer into a fan. It is the most important metric for measuring growth. Perhaps we should study those that do it well. Did you know that Disney has a 70% return rate on first time visitors?

“Walt viewed his theme parks almost as ‘factories’ that produced delight and entertainment.”

Gregory Ciotti, “How Disney Creates Magical Experiences.”

Consider how your radio station would grow if 70% of those that tuned in for Christmas music programming stayed with you through the new year.

How do you welcome new listeners (if you do at all)?

I hear that a church in Alabama that gives first times guests a Starbucks card and a handwritten note from the pastor.

My church places signs along the road that say, “We’ve saved you a seat,” or “We’re so glad you’re here.”

First time visitors to Target Field in Minneapolis are given buttons to wear and their names are shown on the scoreboard.

My dentist calls each of his new patients just to find out how they are doing. (Now I have his cell phone number and can call him to talk about dental floss anytime I get the hankerin’).

My friend Brant Hansen has created an online/on air “Guide for New Listeners,” including stuff like “Everyone is welcome. That means everybody. Democrat, Republican, Tea Party-people, atheist, agnostic, Protestant, Catholic, young, old, hip, not-hip, married, single, divorced, pro-choice, pro-life, white/black/Hispanic/Pacific Islander/whatever, artists, jocks, loners, depressed, Joel Osteen fans, John Piper fans, tall, short, thin, thick… freaks of all kinds: You are welcome here.”

It’s simple. Your station will not grow without attracting new listeners.

But now that you’ve gotten them with Christmas music what will you do to keep them?

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #340 – Hire Class Clowns

A great rule of thumb for finding air talent is to hire people that were “Class Clowns” in school.

The mere fact that someone was willing to take on that role denotes Confidence, and wanting to have Fun.  A great radio station needs both in order to succeed.

When I was a kid, I was a class clown, BUT it was never intended to disrupt the class, only to make it more enjoyable.  I didn’t butt in or interrupt the teacher, and didn’t just say something stupid or something to draw attention to myself.  I just looked at it like there were things being said that needed a comment.

Relating this to my wife one night not long ago, I said, “But some teachers – unbelievably – didn’t seem to WANT to do a team show.”

That made her spit the water she was drinking about three feet into the air.

And THAT, my friend, is what makes a valid air talent.

Frost Advisory #485 – Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

It only takes one person to inspire a world of kindness.

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” was birthed in the movie theaters Thanksgiving weekend juxtaposed to a world of impeachment hearings and social media blame-gaming. This simple idea of being kind to others triggers an innate emotional truth that reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from C. S. Lewis.

“That we can even ponder the meaning of life means there is a meaning of life.”

A recent blog from Mark Ramsey urged Christian radio stations to consider Mr. Rogers’ desire to have his show be “inclusive and welcoming to all, including those who might be turned off by abject religious references. ‘You don’t need to speak overtly about religion in order to get a message across,’ he [Fred Rogers] said.”

Dwell on that for a moment: “You don’t need to speak overtly about religion in order to get a message across.”

Mark summarizes, “Inclusivity is what magnifies your reach, your cume, and your impact.”

I’d like to drill down into three ways your station can make this happen:

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