How Special Radio Stations Win With Attention to Detail
by Tracy Johnson
Details matter. Many small things add up to a big impact. Each individual small thing may not even be noticed by itself, but add them together and small things mean a lot. And often, it’s the small things that allow ordinary stations to become special. Paying attention to detail can win listeners.
Programming and performing winning radio a grind. It’s tedious. It never ends. Stations are on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There’s no down time. And every time a listener turns on the radio is an opportunity to draw them closer to being a fan.
And we win those listeners one at a time, through large things and small. From every promo liner to the way the station appears in public, it all matters.
Here are examples from stations that pay attention to detail, and are richly rewarded:
Attention to Detail Station #1
A radio station I work with participates in their company’s national contest, along with over 100 sister stations.
You’re probably familiar with the contest. A winning key word is announced during the morning show, and listeners are encouraged to call a number to win. One winner is awarded $1,000. There’s just one national winner per day.
Contact information for the daily winner is provided to each station to use as they choose.
Some of the stations announce the winner’s name, but most ignore it. One reason is because they’re just too busy. Another is that they don’t think of it as “their” promotion because it’s executed off-site. It’s one of those things they have to do because corporate makes them do it.
But the morning personality on my client’s station doesn’t see it as a push-down. He looks at it as an opportunity. Each day, he calls the winner, no matter where they are from. He explains who he is, and gets to know the winner with some friendly chit-chat.
Then he records a short conversation to congratulate them as the winner. But before he does, he preps the winner. He makes sure the winner knows the name of the station, a couple of landmarks in the city, and a small detail that makes this winner sound like a big fan of his radio show.
At a non-commercial Christian station that relies on listener donations for support, my client allows listeners to sponsor each day in exchange for a donation. They receive acknowledgment on the air several times, and get a message on the station website. This is fairly typical.
But this station takes it one step further. The manager thanks the donor on the station’s electronic billboard, located in front of the studios. They update it every day. Then he takes a photo of the message, and emails it to them.
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