Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The #1 Trait Is Missing

Dan O’Day did a fantastic job highlighting “25 Traits Of a Good Program Director” , but I think there is one missing.   In fact, in the new world order, it may be the number one trait that will propel you to success.    You have to be a good salesperson!  

You have to be able to “sell” your concept for the brand to the staff, the listeners and the advertisers.  You have to be able to create revenue generating content, on the air, online and at events.   You have to understand that “sales” is not a four letter word.  You can call it a necessary evil, but the sooner you embrace it as your friend, the greater your success will be.   

You will find 137,000 results when you google “traits of a good salesperson”.  Each of the top ten varies just slightly in what they think it takes to be a great salesperson but there are many common denominators:
  • Focused
  • Charismatic
  • Disciplined
  • Committed to growth
  • Confident
  • Resilient
All of these apply to a great Program Director as well.   Embrace the fact that the revenue is what keeps you in business.  Support your Sales team and encourage your programming staff to do the same.  Focus on the daily tasks that move the ratings AND revenue needle.  You will be glad you did.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Name That Tune in 7 Seconds (Or 7 Words)

Radio can take a lesson from songwriters when it comes to storytelling and grabbing attention. Yes the music can make a song memorable, but a well written line in a song can have an even greater impact. When you open the mic, you have seven seconds to capture the listener’s attention or they are gone. Writing a great opening line takes thought, skill and perseverance; plus, you have to do it consistently if you want to win.
Can you identify these songs from their opening line?   
(Top 10 of 25 posted as’s Top 25 opening lines of all time; answers at the end)
1. "She's a very kinky girl"
2. "I was born in a cross-fire hurricane"
3. "Hey, ho, let's go!"
4. "Well, she was just seventeen -- you know what I mean"
5. "Don't call it a comeback"
6. "Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?"
7. "In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey"
8. "Well, it's one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go, cat, go!"
9. "Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine"
10. "Tommy used to work on the docks"
What they all have in common is the ability to evoke an emotion or paint a picture in one short sentence. Even if you don’t know the rest of the song, the opening line is intriguing enough to entice you to listen for more.  
If you are a radio air talent, or if you just want to be a better communicator, think about your opening line. Be consistent with opening lines that accomplish the following three things:
  1. Answers the questions: Why will the listener Care? What’s in it for them?
  2. Contains words that paint a picture or evoke an emotion
  3. Accomplishes all of that in seven to ten seconds
This formula can also help you when creating blog posts, tweets and texts. People are inundated with so many messages each day. Take the time to make sure your message will be relevant and heard by creating an opening line that demands attention. If you don’t, they will hear “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah” and those are seven words you never want to be known for.
  1. Rick James' "Superfreak"
  2. The Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
  3. The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop"
  4. The Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There"
  5. LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out!"
  6. The Carpenters' "Close to You"
  7. Beck's "Loser"
  8. Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes"
  9. Patti Smith's "Gloria"
  10. Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer"

Monday, July 28, 2014

Your "To Do" List Strategy


Here are the top three directives to use as you tackle your “to do” list today:
  1. Complete the tasks that you are dreading most FIRST.  Your mind will then be clear to focus on the other tasks in a more positive and energetic way.
  2. Focus ONLY on the tasks that directly impact achieving your most important goals. You need the highest return on your time investment.
  3. Don’t get mired down in the volume of tasks, you will never complete them all.  Analysis paralysis is your enemy.
Dwight Eisenhower said, “What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.”   He designed a long admired system for determining which tasks matter most:

If a task has been on your list for more than two weeks, it is probably not urgent or important; delegate it, deal with it or cross it off of your list.    

Working through your “to do” list is a bit like Chess.   People will constantly put obstacles in front of you.   You have two choices, remove the obstacle or work around it.  The one difference is, with your “to do” list, you need to make your decisions swiftly and execute them immediately.  

Set specific times to check e-mails, meet with colleagues and return phone calls. Stick to that schedule!   It is tough to do but you must.   There is a reason that there are 9,210,000 entries on Google about how e-mail kills productivity. Disconnect when you are working on an important task.   Close your door, close your e-mail and turn off your phone!  You will find that you accomplish tasks much more quickly and the quality of the work is exponentially better. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Drillin' It Down

The K.I.S.S. principle is alive and well.   Jumpwire Media founder Gavin McGarry found a unique way to "keep it simple stupid" and educate CRS 2014 attendees on the difference between the various Social Media sites that are now required tools of the trade:

Anytime you can get your message across in a simple and humorous way you are ahead of the game.   It takes work and preparation.  
There were so many great messages in just a few short slides.  Even if you don't agree with his main theme "11 Reasons Why Social Media Might Save Radio", you will walk away with tremendous insight as to the benefits of Social Media for radio.
He is right about one thing for sure -the on-air talent absolutely must be the "face" of the station on Social Media.  The human connection is imperative. Radio may be a "one to many" medium but the experience from the listener perspective has always been "one to me".  Use that skill to connect one to one in every way you can.   Be where the people are, make your voice heard, then listen and respond to what your fans have to say.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Passion, Persuasion & Persistence

There are frequent events where Nashville Mayor Karl Dean addresses the country music industry.   Each time the message is passionate and consistent.   He wants Nashville to be the city everyone wants to move to, live in and work in.   He has never wavered from his commitment to growing the “Music City” Brand.

He is focused on three main objectives; affordability, a high quality of life and a talented workforce; sighting Technology, Talent and Tolerance as three of the key components.  Tolerance meaning that the city is friendly, welcoming and celebrates diversity. 

The growth and evolution that has taken place in Nashville since he took office in 2007 is a clear indication that he persuaded a lot of people to buy into his vision.    He was persistent in getting key decision makers to help.  He is passionate about accomplishing the goals.  Certainly the growth of country music has had an impact on all of this as well; however, Nashville has seen growth in healthcare, education, the financial sector and more.    

Is your vision for your brand that clear?  Is your message that concise and easily “sellable”?  Are you persistent and consistent in the way you communicate your message day in and day out?  Do you do it in a passionate and persuasive way?   Do you have the right people and resources in place to help you achieve your goals?
No matter what your brand is (a radio station, on-air talent, an artist, a retailer, yourself) this kind of well thought out, focused and persistent approach should result in success every time!

Monday, July 29, 2013

We Are Bad Asks

It seems like such a simple concept.   All you have to do is ask.  But the reality is, humans are inherently bad asks.  That was one of my favorite quotes from Conclave 2013.   John Baker did an incredible job demonstrating and educating about “The Asking Formula”.   He is dynamic, entertaining and well worth your time to get to know.   The reality is, you will never get what you want if you don’t ask for it!
There are four simple steps in the process:
  1. Know specifically what you want to ask for and why
  2. Ask directly for what you want
  3. Give three reasons why your audience or the person you are asking would want to give you what you are asking for.   Not reasons why YOU benefit, reasons why THEY will benefit.
  4. Ask again in a simple and direct way and then ZIP IT!  Listen to what they have to say.
Why three reasons?  Because of the magic of the number three.   We learn in 3’s.  A-B-C, 1-2-3, Do-Re-Mi.  That is just one of the many explanations that Baker uses to help you understand and learn “The Asking Formula”.   I have no financial gain in promoting his book but I can tell you that it just might be the best $15 you will ever spend. 
Sometimes it is good to be reminded that you are never going to get what you want in life if you don’t ASK FOR IT. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

You Can and You Must

If you work in Country radio, you absolutely must review Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey9; especially if you are a Brand Manager, On-air Personality, Promotion Director or Digital Creative Director.   The findings will not shock you but they will certainly reaffirm what we veterans have known for a long time; Country is a mainstream format with passionate and engaged listeners, who are just as tech savvy as any other format. 

Fred Jacobs did an excellent job presenting the findings and highlighting the country strengths.   There are so many important aspects to this study but today I will focus on Social Networking.   These observations should help to cheer you up the next time you are grumbling about having to post on Facebook, blog on the website or tweet about something fun:
Ø  The percentage of Country fans that connect with Facebook first each day is higher than the national average.  (Important note for morning shows)
Ø  Country fans are higher than the national average as “frequent sharers”
Ø  Country fans interact with the station most often through e-mail, Facebook and contesting while the national norm is e-mail, website and computer streams. 
Ø  Pintrest is second only to Facebook for usage among country fans
Ø  Country is the second highest format in the Net Promoter Score, Christian is first.  (They say yes to promoting your station to others.)
Ø  CHR is the only format that beats country for engagement with the personalities
When you combine all of these findings, it validates the time and effort you are putting into social networking, your loyalty program and digital platforms.   Having personalities who are active on-line and in the community is a must. These fans want to interact with and support their favorite station.   Let’s make sure that we are there to make that happen on whatever platform they might engage.  Creating a social and mobile strategy and hiring the personnel to implement that strategy are critical to the future success of your radio station.