Action Steps For Our World Today
Radio stations can spend too much time in the analytical world of radio and not nearly enough time creating emotional links with their audience. This imbalance is easy to fall into. Mechanics are cut-n-dry, but creating a radio station that connects emotionally with your audience is difficult. That's why WMG is working so hard to help with this emotional connection at a time when we need it the most. I want to share some practical and effective steps you can take to create a deeper connection with your audience right away. These steps will work.
Step #1 Is knowing that in the midst of protests and pandemics that we need to go beyond statistics. Your listeners live in a world made up of loss, loneliness, victory and joy. They are looking for things positive and encouraging. They are looking for solutions. They are looking for hope. They need something to look forward to without minimizing the situation. Your listeners are counting on you! So much so, that they are willing to help, when you invite them. You could do something like "Three Step Thursdays" where you invite your listeners to recommend their "Three Steps" to make life better for them and their family and friends. That's just one idea, but the key is to engage them with on-air participation in some way on a regular basis, as in 2-3 times per hour.
Step #2 Is to reengage or activate listener focus groups. If you don't know how to do this, we can help you. This is a great time to get your P1 and P2 audience together, in a series of focus groups, to collaborate on ways to help bring solutions and hope to your audience. Over the countless focus groups we have done over the years, we have heard some great ideas come from listeners themselves.
Step #3 Is to do focus groups with those that are outside your target, to find out what their ideas are to help deal with the divide that exists. This would include general comments made through your social media platforms and other events. Some of these forums could be set up as "Listening Forums" where the moderator simply facilitates the dialog. **Make sure this event is recorded and you create summary notes from it.
Step #4 Is to take all of these ideas and determine what the consensus body of ideas actually are and develop your strategy for on-air implementation. Part of your on-air implementation should be to make sure that you tell your audience that you have worked hard at listening to listeners just like them and are serious about coming up with solutions to make your city and your world a better place. From this, you could create a series of "We Hear You" imaging and grow from there.
Step #5 Is to understand that talent coaching is a process and not an event and is more important now than ever before! It requires consistent guidance encouragement and affirmation to get to where you need to be. This type of coaching is largely absent in today's radio industry, but now is a great time to start.
Step #6 Is to have your staff understand that your morning show does not have a 4 hour show. They really have 16 fifteen minute shows each morning. Each 15 minute show needs to reflect what the station is all about. This would include your audience-interactive environment. So, if your morning show is sweeping a large part of your last quarter hour or so, you are doing yourself and your audience a disservice.
Step #7 Is to express how vital it is that each on-air personality privately review their own show at least once per week. Just listening to 1-2 hours of a show is very helpful and revealing. Private self-inspection is often overlooked.
Step #8 Is to understand that YOU have the power and influence to change your city and your listeners lives forever! You need to believe this, because it is true. I have hundreds of stories from listeners to prove it.