A brown-eyed five-year-old looked in my eyes and said, “I don’t want to be alone.” This wasn’t in response to being left in aisle 7 at Costco for less than ten seconds. This wasn’t a response to some other recent event in his life. This was a reaction to the human condition: we don’t want to be alone.
The people in the white coats have a name for it. It’s called “monophobia.”
“Monophobia is the fear of being alone. This catch-all term includes several discrete fears which may or may not share a common cause, like the fear of:
- Being apart from a particular person
- Being home alone
- Feeling isolated or ignored
- Living alone
You’ve likely been a part of this kind of conversation in your station’s hallways.
“The client wants us to give away vacuum cleaners or we won’t get the buy.”
“The morning show will give clues for 30 days. Listeners go to the website and submit their guesses, and anyone that gets all 30 correct will be a finalist…”
Jeepers! The fact that there are even 629 of these Frost Advisories (every week for over a dozen years) might suggest that there is a lot to this programming stuff. I reckon’ that’s so, and I love discussing higher concepts with smart people, but I also know there are some simple truths.
A simple truth is that there are only two distinct elements to programming a radio station.
Music and words
These are the only tools we have to impact lives, achieve ratings, to make revenue goals, or to hang gold records in the lobby to show visitors that we are really, really a neat station.
It is said that Michelangelo is the greatest influence on western art in the last 500 years. As a devoutly religious man, most of his sculptures, paintings, architecture works, and poetry were in service to the church. His most famous painting depicts the book of Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Centuries later lines of tourists still form to see his work because of its excellence.
His most famous sculpture is of David as a young warrior. When asked how he was able to create his masterpiece, he responded simply,
“I just took away everything that didn’t look like David.”
Back to school time is everywhere. In the stores with sales. On our neighborhood streets with school buses. There are even tax-free days for Back to School. It’s not an official holiday like Christmas, Ground Hog Day, or Millard Fillmore’s birthday, but it is just as evident.
Back to school affects everyone’s schedule, even those that don’t go to school. That’s Common Ground. (Can’t say that about ole’ Millard’s birthday.)
“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”Tom Bodett
So, let’s go back to school and discuss what really matters in transforming your station’s programming.