Frost Advisory #722 – A Programming Lesson From the 4th of July

The celebration of our nation’s 248th birthday can be a reminder of the transformational power of reflecting beliefs and values, and adopting common ground.

For 25 seasons I’ve had the best seat in the house as a semi-professional public address announcer for St. Louis Cardinals’ spring training and the minor league season that follows. That’s lots and lots of National Anthems, dizzy bat races, and seventh inning stretches.

Do you know what I enjoy the most? It’s when my voice is the cue for veterans and active service members to rise and be acknowledged for their service and sacrifice for our country. And, incidentally, that is when the ovation is the loudest.

What in the name of Thomas Jefferson does this have to do with programming your radio station?

A few years ago my friend Bryan O’Neal found out that on your birthday one can take the ferry for free from Long Beach to Catalina Island. When you arrive, you are given a special birthday ribbon to wear. But it doesn’t stop there.

365 days a year countless birthday boys and girls share Catalina Island with total strangers that share the very same birthday. Of course they don’t come alone. Each has brought along family and friends to celebrate their big day.

So, not only did Bryan become special, his family and friends became special, and the other people with the same birthday became special, along with all of their family and friends. Instant community!… formed out of what could have been simply a bunch of strangers walking around an island.

My Pyromarketing friend Greg Stielstra puts it this way,

“If you help your customers feel special, they won’t be able to resist telling their friends.”

You have thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of people that listen to your radio station. And those people have certain things in common. Focus on those things. Celebrate those things. Invite them to stand and be applauded for those things.

What we have most in common is the reason veterans get the loudest cheer at the ballpark on the 4th of July!

Happy birthday, USA!

John Frost

John has been a successful major market DJ and Program Director for such companies as CBS, Gannett, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Multimedia, and Sandusky and publishes the Frost Advisory.

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