by Tracy Johnson
Are you willing to do what it takes to go from good to great?
There was a time when air personalities could win by being consistently good. Deliver a high quality performance in every break. Be upbeat, bright and promote the station with enthusiasm was enough to become well-known. In some cases, it even made you famous.
Times have changed. Being “good” is no longer “good enough”. The bar is raised. The audience has more choice. Everything is more competitive.
It was once considered acceptable to be consistently “good” on the air, or even”excellent”. But no longer. Only great talent will stand out.
The rewards are for those who are great, and being great is hard work. The only way to be great is to invest your time and resources to making an impact with your audience.
Recently, I was shocked when arriving at a station for a 10am meeting at 9:59. I walked into the lobby with the midday personality, whose “show” starts at 10. She’s good, for sure. But can you really stroll in at show time and be good enough to command attention? Just as alarming, as we entered, we met the morning show, leaving already.
Experienced personalities can be good on the air with just a few minutes per day in show prep. The skills are there. You can talk up that ramp in your sleep. Sell that promotion or contest? Easy. Drop in a mention of what is hot and topical and take a few phone calls and you have a show.
It takes 15 minutes a day to prepare to be good on the air. Or less. Spending 30 minutes doesn’t make you twice as good. In fact, there’s probably little measurable improvement. It might take an hour or two of committed, daily effort to actually be great.
The same goes for mastering social media. You can fire off a tweet or put up a Facebook post in just two minutes. Spending five minutes won’t make you twice as effective. It takes a commitment. Being great on social media takes several hours a day.
All the time spent between good and great is wasted. You’re in a void with no measurable benefits.
Being good is the price of admission. It’s expected. It’s not special. The rewards are for those who exceed good. If you want to stand out, you have to be great. At least in some unique way. That’s what makes you special.
And it takes time. It takes commitment. You may have to shake yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new and different. That can be scary. That’s okay.
If you’re satisfied with being good, and just getting by, terrific. Keep it up. And hang onto that gig as long as you can. Because it’s just a matter of time until current audience expectations are recognized by broadcasters, and programmers will be looking for more. They’ll be looking for great. Good enough is not good enough.
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