Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #412: Friend, not Audience

Radio is full of people talking to an audience.

This is a mistake, because we say things differently, more casually, when we’re just talking to a good friend.  We repeat points unnecessarily, use language that’s a little too “formal,” and sound just a little distant, when we talk to more than one person.

There is very little space between you and the listener.  You’re in my car, two feet away.

ALWAYS say things like you’re talking to ME – a friend – instead of a group of people.  Radio is at its best when it’s one-on-one.

Frost Advisory #558 – The Search For The Silver Bullet

We added a new jingle package and our ratings went up!

We ran that new promotion and our ratings went down.

I know of a general manager that wanted to change the shifts of the deejays based upon weekly or monthly ratings. I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP, as Dave Barry would say.

Our minds crave simplicity. We crave the Silver Bullet.

“People are drawn to black and white opinions because they are simple, not because they are true. Truth demands serious effort and thought.”

Donald Miller
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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #411: The Prime Directive for Content

The Prime Directive was the guiding ‘mission statement’ in Star Trek.

Here’s ours, in music radio:

Whatever you want to say needs to be as good as your best song.
If it’s not, why are you saying it?

This manifests in two ways – Subject matter, and Delivery.

Subject matter should be top of mind, and you want the listener to be able to easily see himself/herself in that situation.

Delivery: “as good as your best song” can be in the WAY that you say something.  Sounding like you actually care (with some degree of emotional engagement).  Painting a good word picture.  Or simply being a good companion to the music, rather than an interruption.

Unless I’m working with you, I can’t tell which of these you need to work on.  But I’ll bet there is one.

Frost Advisory# 557 – The Power Of Names, Names, Names

Just this week I found out a friend’s middle name is the same as my first name. But wait… wait… there’s more!

We also discovered that my middle name is the same as his first name. We’ve known and worked together for most of ten years and we never knew.

How do your listeners get a sense that your station has lots of listeners? Because they hear lots of listeners. It’s like an audio version of a crowd shot.

Trust me. I’m going somewhere with this.

In their book “Made to Stick,” Chip and Dan Heath share the story of a newspaper with a remarkable 100% circulation rate: everyone in his small town reads it. The publisher’s country wisdom was simple: “Names, Names, Names,” reasoning that people read his newspaper because they wanted to see their own names (or someone else’s).

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Frost Advisory #556 – What Is Your Radio Station FOR?

Perhaps you’ve heard it said that the church is known more for what it is against than what it is for.

“A business is no longer what it tells customers it is. A business is what customers tell other customers it is.”

In his book “Know What You’re For,” Jeff Henderson recommends that you consider the gap between these two questions:

  1. What do you want to be known for?
  2. What are you known for?

The gap between the two answers will illuminate how your station moves from a transactional relationship with your listeners to one that is more relational.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #409: A Lesson in Greatness – Robert W. Walker

Radio used to be populated by “big” voices, guys with a cannonlike delivery who ANNOUNCED or PRESENTED things.

But then it changed, and one of the best examples of how is my friend Robert W. Walker.  Rob didn’t have a huge voice, but it was an ultra-easy-to-listen-to voice.  He wasn’t “jokey” funny, but his insights (especially when he made himself the butt of the joke) were often hilarious.  He pulled you in toward him.  It seemed intimate, one-on-one.

He also was a brilliant writer and Production talent.  Some of his station promos raised chill bumps when you heard them.

But I would classify his main talent as something that sounds very simple: People just LIKED him.  He was what everyone in radio thinks they could sound like, but not that many actually can.

I think there are two main things to learn from Rob:

  1. Never underestimate being likable.
  2. Never think about your voice.  Just be you.

Frost Advisory #555 – A Programming Lesson From Easter

They say there are more “religious” radio stations than any other format category. They also say those religious stations have fewer listeners than any other. Having worked in the format for more than twenty years now I’ve believe the reason is fairly obvious.

A radio station cannot grow unless it is designed to grow. And that requires a different kind of thinking. Strategic thinking.

A growth strategy is one that incorporates big picture concepts such as:

  • Why does the radio station exist?
  • Who are our listeners?
  • What do they desire and expect from our station?
  • Who and where are other people like them?
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