Killing Creativity

Metrics do it every time

If you remember only one thing from this post, I hope it is this: “…brand preference is built on emotional connections.

That quote is from Patrick Sarkissian, CEO of his own digital innovation agency.

The effect I see most often in markets now measured by PPM is fear.

Fear that what your station has always been will be turned upside down in a few weeks because of this new measurement device.

Fear that one of your competitors will discover some way to game this new system before you do.

Fear that your talent talks too much, your contests take too long, your format isn’t PPM-friendly.

Fear of failure. Fear of losing your job. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of personal obsolescence.

Well, I know one thing PPM hasn’t changed: It is simply not possible to be as creative as one can be when one is afraid.

Fear kills creativity.

And without creativity, your chance of forging deep emotional connections to your listeners is basically nil.

So, today, will you spend your precious time worrying about Arbitron’s methodology, and what you don’t know, can’t understand, and aren’t able to manipulate?

In other words, focused internally, on metrics, on numbers, on probabilities…

Or, will you do everything in your power to enable your talent to find a way to connect emotionally with their listeners?

Will you focus outwards, on human beings who look to your station for a glimmer of hope, or a momentary distraction from the unpleasant realities of their lives?

It’s your choice.