by Tracy Johnson
There’s an old radio saying that you have to win in the halls before you can win on the air. I’m not sure if that’s as applicable in an industry with halls about as crowded as Matt Damon encountered in The Martian. If you can win momentum for your show internally, it will quickly translate into momentum externally. And that means higher ratings and more fans.
On the other hand, staffs that are responsible for several brands makes it even more important that personalities take the initiative to maintain a high profile internally. You know the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind?” That’s more and more common in radio stations today.
Internal marketing is hard to get started, but make the commitment. Once you start to win momentum, it’s like a snowball rolling downhill.
Many personalities remember the “good old days” when there was a lot more excitement about their show. Don’t wait for attention to come to you! Go out and get it!
Here’s some easy ways every show can gain momentum by winning in the halls.
Morning shows are typically finishing just as most of the other departments are starting their second (or first) cup of coffee. The rest of the staff is just starting to take on the day, and the morning team is wrapping things up to get out the door.
Just like listeners, co-workers are not going to adapt to your schedule. It may not be fair, but try to set aside time every day to meet with sales, promotions, engineering, etc. This has another benefit, too. Knowing you have time after the show will relieve the annoying tendency to want to discuss that live broadcast at the used car lot during your show.
For most personalities, the best time is immediately after the show ends. Taking a couple of quick meetings also allows you to decompress and shift gears before planning tomorrow.
Once the commitment is made, make sure everyone knows you are available. Be proactive to schedule meetings. And gently direct other departments away from the time during the show to the time when you are accessible.
Don’t wait for for good things to happen. Make them happen. Everyone at the cluster is busy with their own jobs. They’re not thinking about yours. Slipping out the door and disappearing each day is tempting, and pretty easy. But that makes it easy to forget about you. And that’s a bad thing!
Walk through all the departments every day. Even accounting and traffic. Say hi. Ask how it’s going. And when you do, be nice, be interested and be your charming. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help.
Take the receptionist a gift that came in the mail that you don’t need and don’t really want. It only takes a few minutes to be visible with other departments each day. It’s easy to win friends just be being nice.
This one is distasteful to some. But sales holds the key that unlocks the money vault.
Want to make more money by increasing endorsements? Start a relationship with the sales team.
Confused about why they keep asking for appearances at promotions that don’t fit your brand at all? They probably don’t know you well enough to represent you properly.
Get involved with the sales team. Attend sales meetings as often as possible. You’ll learn what they’re up against and provide them insight to represent your brand to prospects. Explain the show, why it works, and how clients benefit from advertising and promotion.
Being a guest at a sales team meeting is easy, and they usually bring bagels!
Help account executives close sales by going to lunch with a key client that’s close to making a buy. This goes a long way to locking in the sale.
Plus it gets advertisers invested in your personality beyond shares and AQH.
Promotion departments constantly struggle with excitement at events. Let the team know you’re available for public appearances, especially when they’re in a bind and nobody else wants to.
This solves a problem, and you get to meet listeners!
Good personalities are always selling. They sell their personality, features, content and value. And part of selling is showing off benefits to co-workers.
Is there a strong feature that isn’t sponsored? The sales department probably doesn’t realize the value because nobody has shown them! In fact, many of them don’t even know about it because they don’t actually listen! That can be frustrating, but don’t get upset. Treat it as a marketing challenge.
It would be great to get more love on the station’s social media platforms, right? Start a campaign to make the digital team want to promote your show. Let them be involved. They usually don’t know what’s happening, unless you tell them!
One of the fastest ways to win friends is asking for help. It makes others feel important and valued. Ask for ideas and encourage feedback from all departments.
It makes them feel invested in the show. This is particularly effective with the promotions team, including interns. Many times, they’re full of creativity but are too intimidated to approach you.
And never shoot down their ideas immediately…even the bad ones (as many of them will be). It’s amazing how many times shows have taken a nugget and turned it into something special.
The goal is to inspire enthusiasm and participation. Then follow up. Thank them for input and give them credit for being a part of the success formula.
This business is full of people who want to avoid criticism. They point fingers and shift blame for anything that goes wrong.
Don’t be that guy.
If it happens on your show, it’s your responsibility. Even if it’s not your fault.
Step up and take responsibility to correct problems. It will earn respect and inspire others to stand up with you and defend you.
Nobody is an island. Everyone is stronger with support.
In most cases, a radio station is willing to follow if a leader if there is something to get behind.
Start an internal marketing campaign by building relationships through information and showing you care. It can make a huge difference in your personal success.
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