Frost Advisory #585 – Stuff That Really Matters: A Lesson We Can Learn From The World Series

It’s baseball’s biggest stage. These games mean it all. The dream of every kid who’s ever hit a baseball in his back yard. And yet, at this penultimate moment in a millionaire player’s career they are willing to stop the game. And hold a cheap handwritten cardboard sign.

What in the name of Abner Doubleday is going on here?

“Major League Baseball, Stand Up To Cancer and MasterCard conducted a special in-game moment, with players, umpires, coaches and fans all pausing to hold up placards with the names of loved ones affected by cancer.”
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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #438: How to do Weather

So let’s talk about the weather…

The typical scenario nowadays is to have some local TV weather person come on to “play” with the morning show and do the weather, or – even worse – to have someone from a weather service read the forecast in a boring monotone, with way too much information.  “Clear to partly cloudy today with a thirty percent chance of showers or thundershowers, and a high in the mid-fifties.  Southerly winds 8-10 miles per hour.  Then it’ll become mostly cloudy and windy overnight with a sixty percent chance of more precipitation, and a low around 32,” etc.  Ugh.

We should do the weather, but ultra-short-form.  “Some clouds today with a chance of rain.  High of 54.  Tonight, no rain, low near 32.” Continue reading

Frost Advisory #584 – It’s Not Going To Get Better Later

We’ve all done it.

Waiting through the first part of a boring movie. You hope it will get better.

Sitting down at a restaurant. The waiter is slow to come over. Minutes tick by without giving your drink order. You hope it will get better.

In a world of instant gratification, a better choice is only a push of a button, a click of a mouse, or an “Alexa” voice command away.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #437: No News is Good News – and Here’s Why

We can probably all agree that ideally, everything you do on the air should play to a strength.  If not, it’s probably best to eliminate it.

I feel sorry for air talent with no training in News writing or delivery being forced to do headlines.

Really, except for All-News or NewsTalk stations, News – I’m talking about actually doing a newscast – seems kind of outdated, to me.  Not that many people come to a music station for News these days, because there are so many other sources to get it from.

Please understand that this shouldn’t mean that you ignore the News.  But what I’m recommending is that if there’s a significant story, you just do a break about it when you stop down, without the formality of a News structure.  It’s my opinion that we turn what’s likely to be a liability into a true strength this way.

Obviously, this is something that Programming has to okay.

We’ll address another so-called ‘service element’ – the Weather – in the next tip.

Frost Advisory #583 – People Love What Is Familiar And What Is Familiar Is What We Love

“Everyone’s favorite radio station is the station that plays their favorite music.”

I cleverly put this sentence in quotes because it is the first thing I say when talking to a new station. After more than two decades in our format I can honestly say that NO ONE understands this fully at the beginning of the journey. However, all understand it later. If they are successful.

Why does this matter?

It matters because people love what is familiar, and what is familiar is what we love. And we work in a format that plays mostly unfamiliar music to the very people we’re trying to attract.

A few weeks ago we went to our first live concert in more than two years. Gosh, it was fun to be experiencing live music again.

The group is from Russia. Most of them don’t speak a word of English. Over 2,000 people packed the auditorium to hear them… a group that had NEVER had a hit record and hardly spoke the language.

What’s the deal?

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #436: The Learner’s Heart

One of the benefits of doing this talent coaching thing for a long time is that you learn how to appraise talent quickly.  After just a couple of coaching sessions, one thing always stands out: the person with the learner’s heart is going to get better.  The person whose ego gets in the way of learning isn’t going to progress much unless that changes.

So which one are you?  Are you open to suggestion, to change, to experimenting?  You can still have your opinions, of course, but to have that be a closed circuit just means standing still.  If nothing else, getting thoughts from a different perspective from someone you trust will make your decision-making quicker and more certain.

Lebron James has a coach.  So does Tom Brady.  So has every Olympic champion.

Frost Advisory #582 – You Too? I Thought I Was The Only One

If you want to get to know someone ask them about them.

If you want to build a relationship with someone ask them to tell you their story.

A successful radio station is one that builds a relationship with its listeners. The station understands who they are, what they care about, what connects them to others.

It’s called common ground.

It’s the basis of every affiliation in our lives. It starts with family. Then age and gender. It then branches out to school; then class (who was your first grade teacher?); then school groups. (I was a Thespian, don’tcha know!) Then friendships develop.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #435: Don’t Marry the Information; Marry the Story

Overwhelmingly, especially in Music radio, News sounds like News – the facts.  (Boring.)  And Information from a print source SOUNDS like it’s being read.

Here’s how to eliminate that:  Don’t marry the Information; marry the STORY.

Any idiot can read the facts.  But it rarely sounds natural.  It rarely sounds conversational.  And “print words” poison any exchange.

What happened, or is likely to happen?  How would it (or does it, or did it) make people FEEL?  Only when you plug into the core Emotion of the story will it really connect with people.

I start there.  Then I strip away anything that sounds too “official” when it’s said out loud.

People don’t connect with facts.  They connect with Emotions.  That’s why some “stories” aren’t interesting or compelling.  They fill the air with words, but don’t say much.

Frost Advisory #581 – Beware Of Common Sense

It’s not common sense to warn someone about using common sense. But that IS the point.

Successful principles of business, leadership, programming, or ministry aren’t common. They are the exception. Think about it.

Otherwise, all businesses would be successful, there would be no leadership challenges, churches would be full every week, all radio stations would have high ratings and we’d all have dated the prettiest girl in town.

Successful principles are the exception, not the common. There are 11,000 business books published each year. I looked it up. If these principles were merely common sense there would not be the demand for these lessons learned. A few years ago I had the privilege of being in studio when Bill Hybels interviewed former GE CEO Jack Welch for Willow Creek’s leadership summit. Nothing Jack said was common sense. It was deeper than that.

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