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Are You in a Relationship?

Are You in a Relationship?

Then you’ll find this useful.


The biggest problem facing consolidated Radio is that the rich guys who own you believe what you do on the air is solely transactional.

They don’t believe most listeners have a relationship with you and your station.

And since they make money by selling ads, and every bit of data available points out that listeners hate ads, they want you to shut up because they think listeners might be confused, think you speaking is an ad, and tune out.

They think this even as they pack stop sets with 7 or 8 ads, not counting the sponsorships and live endorsement spots.

They do this knowing that within seconds of hearing the first ad, lots of listeners (especially those in their cars) leave.

And they worry not a whit about the quality of the ads, refusing to pay money for writers and voice actors, justifying their penny-pinching by pointing out that all the other stations are doing the same thing, ignoring ample evidence that we, the consumers, actually enjoy — even look forward to — good ads (think: Super Bowl).

There’s a way to break this cycle: Surprise your listeners by actually saying something they want to hear.

Surprise them by making them laugh out loud.

Surprise them by making them begin to cry as they listen.

And then, reinforce that emotion by immediately launching a great song, one you know they love, one you know makes you feel something deeply.

Treat listening as more than a transaction: You listen. I provide free music in exchange for you putting up with these awful spot sets.

Do what they don’t expect.

Actually talk to them, as if they were in the room with you.

Share something personal with them, and air something personal they share with you. That’s real content, the content of our lives.

Voice the same enthusiasm for this song that you felt the first time you heard it, even if you’ve now heard it a million times.

You can’t turn a commercial transaction into an actual relationship without vastly exceeding expectations, without creating a personal bond built on shared emotion.

The best news is that once you have thousands, or tens of thousands of relationships when you’re on the air, you’ve become irreplaceable.

Worth more so that then, and only then, can your sales guys justify charging more.

Charging more can lead to fewer ads, hopefully better ads, which can lead to higher ratings, which can lead to…

and on, and on.

There is a different and better way if anyone has the baww…<ahem>… budget, and the corporate support, to try it.