What Listeners Really Want


We’ve all sat through enough focus groups and research presentations to have formed an “educated” opinion about what listeners really want.

In almost every culture on earth, when I ask that question, the first answer is predictable.

Listeners will tell you they want “music,” and they do, but with all the ways they can now access music, without any of the stuff that listeners say they don’t want, why do so many continue to listen to us on the radio?

I believe what they — we — all want is authentic personal connection and it’s so deep a need we spend our lives searching for it.

We put up with clutter and commercials because there are times, even though fleeting, when we feel we’ve found it in someone who has said something resonant on our radio.

What will you say today that may connect with what someone who hears your voice is feeling?

How can you word it in such a way that it feels profoundly personal, as if you were this listener’s best friend, her closest confidant and she the only person you’re talking to right now?

That’s the job, in a nutshell.

What listeners really want is an experience that transforms their anxiety and pain and doubt, the weariness that comes with carrying their specific burdens into a moment or two of understanding and hope, escape and transcendence.

Can you do that today?