Word Counts

All about the numbers…

Writers are accustomed to the limits of word counts.

You’re asked to submit a 5000-word piece, or a 500-word piece, and you fit your thoughts into the limits given.

Those limits were generally imposed because publishing is an expensive business and if your piece ran too long it would require another full printed page times hundreds of thousands of copies of papers or books. Big bucks.

Many programmers and consultants have checked PPM results and concluded word counts are still the most important measure of your ability to attract and hold listeners.

There’s no question that our time and attention are highly valuable, and I think, in many cases, PPM correctly indicates the low worth of the content radio offers.

However, I think there’s more to ratings success than word counts.

You earn my time and attention when your words count.

I won’t be counting words, or seconds, when you engage me, when you tell me stories that move me to tears, when you’re having so much fun I laugh out loud listening to you, when you’re sharing information that is urgent and necessary and that affects my life and the lives of those I love.

I suggest you pay less attention to word counts and more to words count.