The other night, casually watching a New York Yankees broadcast with the most excellent Michael Kay and former great pitcher David Cone, something really struck me that Cone said.
He was talking about a Yankees pitcher who had not had a good beginning last season, and made the decision to dramatically dive into the metrics that are available now – arm angle, spin rate, pitchers’ and batters’ “planes” that they pitch or swing on, etc. He totally revitalized his career when he learned about what more spin means, rather than just speed.
Think about that. These guys make millions of dollars, he’s done it one way his whole life, and all of a sudden, this guy makes a dramatic change.
There are two immediate goals in radio:
1. You have a listener. Keep him (or her) around for a while.
2. Compel that person to come back again tomorrow.
Without meeting these first two goals, NOTHING else can be accomplished. No matter what your Strategic plans are, no matter what the Board of Directors’ monetary aims are, no matter what your “Imaging” tries to accomplish, unless you learn how to grab a listener and make that person want to listen again, you’re dead in the water.
Some questions for you:
Do you spend more time on these fundamental goals than other things in a given day?
Do you give conscious thought to who that person is that’s listening, and HOW to appeal to them?
If not, why not? Do you just want to fail? My brilliant friend and associate John Frost used to have a miniature billboard on his desk that read “It’s the Cume, Stupid.”
Cume builds one person at a time.
In baseball, the pitcher and catcher better know what the other is likely to do. If you’re a pitcher and throw the wrong pitch, what you don’t want is for the catcher to have to wait for it to stop rolling before he picks it up.
That’s why they use signals.
Trying too hard – whether it’s to be funny, to really “sell” something, or to ingratiate yourself to the listener – just doesn’t work out well in the long run.
Yes, we all do it when we first start out, but a developed talent realizes sooner or later that “trying” can be FELT on the other end of the radio – and it pushes the Listener away.
One of the advantages of being a talent coach is that people tell me things they won’t even tell their boss. My process is very personal – for a reason. I want to help everyone I work with to be the very best they can be, so they like doing their job, and go in every day with a good attitude.
Often, I hear things like “I’d really rather be doing a team show,” “I want to move up to afternoons,” or “I want to become a Program Director.”
My answer is always, “I’ll help you get that.” But it’s always followed by “the thing you need to do is make yourself the best candidate for that job.”
I could name hundreds of people I’ve coached who’ve realized their dreams because of that thought. Opportunity DOESN’T just knock once. It’ll beat the door down if you’re the one who deserves it.