Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Make it Matter On-Air and On Social!

You have approximately 15 seconds to make a first impression.  That is just as true in radio as it is in real life.  The amount of time you are granted after that first 15 seconds depends on how good you are at making what you have to say really matter to that listener. 

On Twitter, you have 140 characters to make your point; Facebook gives you a little more lead way, but in general, the reader does not.   Instagram and Pintrest are all about the pictures for a reason.   The average human (particularly American) has the attention span of a gnat.   When you are concise and creative you will be a better communicator. 

Jacobs Media’s Social expert, Lori Lewis, put it very well in a recent Monday Memo to A&O&B Clients:

“The next time you post socially – pause and really think about your messaging.

  • Is it really of value? Or are you just posting to meet a quota?
  • Does it play to the fans’ passions?
  • Does it emulate their language?
  • Does it acknowledge them in a way that feels personalized?

When every post involves at least one of these factors, you are well on your way to building an active social fan base that is critical for every brand to have today. Self-involved, mediocre social communication is as brand erosive as a bad break.”

Her last line says it all.  You must apply these same criteria to your on-air content breaks.  The next time you prepare a break, pause and really think about your messaging:

  • What is in it for the listener? Is what you have to say of value or are you just talking to fill a break and satisfy the station agenda.
  • Are you expressing an emotion and painting a picture with your words?
  • Are you telling the story in the same way you would tell it to a friend or are you reading it like a story off of the newswire?
  • Have you given the listener a chance to be a part of the break and contribute their viewpoint?
When every live break involves all four of these points, you are well on your way to creating intangible assets that are unduplicatable by any other radio competitor in your market. 
Don’t waste a break doing a back announce/front announce.  Make that moment matter by creating content that solidifies your bond with the listener on a one to one, very personal level.  It is all about the relationship you have with your listeners.  Without that, radio will become just another disposable form of media in an already cluttered world.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Belief is a Powerful Thing

This is a good week to get inspired by the “no doubt; we can do it” mentality of the Seattle Seahawks. This team continues to overcome adversity and accomplish the unexpected; and the beauty of it all is that no one person can, or will, take credit for the wins. It is a team effort all the way. 

It starts at the top with the passion and positive motivation of Coach Pete Carroll. His vision is clearly communicated to the coaching staff and the team. Their willingness to embrace that vision and accomplish the mission is unwavering. They BELIEVE; and you can see how it permeates the entire team in every interview that they do:

Russell Wilson
Doug Baldwin
Richard Sherman
Bruce Irwin

The Seattle Seahawks have formed a unified coalition with a clearly defined mission where each division supports the others. Do you have that same vibe at your radio station? Is there an undeniable positive energy underlying everything that you do?

Granted, it is slightly easier for a Football team since the Superbowl is a very defined and measurable goal. However, there are steps you can take toward instilling that same passion and belief in your team:

  1. Define the station mission.  Be specific in terms of the goals you have for serving the community, your listeners, your advertisers and your staff. 
  2. Make sure that mission is easy to write, distribute and digest.  Repeat the mission often and revisit it at least once per year.
  3. Set specific quarterly goals for Sales, Programming, the Business Office, even the receptionist.   Make sure each Department clearly understands how their department impacts the success of the others. 
  4. Practice, Practice, Practice!  Meetings have been given a bad rap. It is important for people to spend time face to face; to share ideas and concerns.  To develop solutions as a team. 
  5. Set aside 30 minutes each month to review the “wins” in every department.  Encourage all department heads to give public acknowledgement to staff members who assist not only their own department but their fellow teammates in other departments as well.  
There is a reason why people say “never underestimate the power of positive thinking.” When you believe, anything is possible; even the Seattle Seahawks going back to the Superbowl for the second year in a row!