The 3 M'sâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦of Winning a Radio Battle
April 28, 2014
After all these years, it still applies.........
You need to win one of the three to have a hope.
Two ticks and you’re likely to be a pretty good station.
Win all three and you are a market leader.
Basic stuff, yes, but it’s amazing how stations , big and small alike don’t bullet proof themselves and end up being vulnerable when under attack. In Australia we have just seen a radio station destroyed because it didn’t protect itself,
So, just how good are youâ€¦â€¦why not find out, and why not start with Mornings!
These are what could be considered the top ‘’Morning Show Attributes’’Entertaining Talent. It really does start here.Great Storytelling. You will find that ‘’ storytelling’’ is a fundamental requirement of a great show. Usually this content comes from the on air talent AND listeners. In 2014 the challenge is finding ways to amplify this content on air and via social media.Sense of the Day. By this we mean covering off topical issues that listeners need to know about.’’ Here’s 5 things you need to know today” for instance.Entertaining Benchmarks....you need a coupleEmbrace Soap Opera/ Story Arc Radio. On- going episodic content that forces repeat listening and generates talk.Being Famous for one thing. Most great shows are. What is your show famous for?Great Preparation and internal systems.Good at Utilitiesâ€¦..particularly the art of generating forward momentum, getting listeners to listen for another quarter hour, getting them back for another tune-in and bouncing them to social media and back.Primal. Doing interesting and different things with topicality. Everyone has access to the same content. Do it differently and get talk via social media.Sense of FunNews Traffic Weather. We all do it but do you get credit for it. Do you guarantee it?Broad Appeal /Easy to Explainâ€¦.this equates to easy for listeners to talk about to non- listeners.Social media Strategy. Where is it?Momentum. It’s amazing how fast you can win when you get momentum (ie all the stuff above is being addressed)
One really good approach is to drill down and investigate every attribute. Use any system you like. You could score your station out of 10 for each quality or perhaps look at A for great, B for above average, C for Average and D for unacceptable.
Whatever system you like, just do something. It will be worth your while.
I would like to touch on one of the points above. "Prep values" or show preparation. This obviously varies dramatically depending on many variablesâ€¦..market size, type of show, resources available etcâ€¦.. There is some commonality though. Many great shows follow this plan with Talent’ on site 5a to 1p or 2p and 'Producers' unfortunately tending to leave later, often 4p.
Based on a 6-9am on air shift, the stations I work with usually have this kind of daily time tableâ€¦
- 5am Arrive
- 530 Quick 10 min prep meeting
- 6-9 Present the Show
- 9am Social Media Meeting (Producers and Social Media Content Directors)
- 9-930 Talent to grab a break
- 930-10 Show critique
- 10-12 Next Day planning. This session also confirms social media priorities for the dayâ€¦.what to amplify on air and via FB/Twitter.....plus on air promos
- 1pm Plan for next day is confirmed
- 6pm Optional 5 min conference call
Let's just look at what happens across any given week. Morning Show talent are often pulled in many different directions Talk to your teams, see how many weekly obligations they indeed have.
- Protect them where you can
- Keep them fresh
- Limit their access to sales team
The key meetings they must embrace are medium term planning and simple brainstorming, allowing for a real freewheeling of ideas.
Final Pointâ€¦.the ability to manage talent well is critical. Here are some tips for Content Directorsâ€¦
Attitude comes first. If they don’t have a good one your first approach must be direct and honest. You must always set the tone of your working relationship with talent.
Daily contact is essential. Your morning show demands time. Be sure you make personal contact with every talent that goes on the air daily.
Profile every talent you deal with. The four different personality styles are:-
Driver; want to win & control
Expressive; want attention & approval
Analytical; want to be right & save face
Amiable; build great relationships but are insecure.
Break the routine. We all get bored with predictable things.
Try holding a session with the presenters at a hot spot in the city. Give them a sense that they’ve got to be out there with the listeners to be able to relate. Talent can become one dimensional because they fall into a boring routine.
Check for competency. Never assume that talent can do what they say. Ask them to show you the evidence so that you are sure they really can perform in this area. IE “Doing show Prep”
If a crisis in your relationship occurs deal with it immediately. First let them put their issues on the table, then present yours. The key point in the discussion is to check each one of their issues for validity. In most cases the crisis is based on feelings of frustration or insecurity. Most of the time they just want to winge and get it off their chest.
Evaluate talent performance on a quarterly basis. Part of the process should be a ‘skill’s audit’. The audit allows both the talent and manager a chance to evaluate their skills as per their job description. Review the audit and look for gaps. These would be areas in which you and talent differ. These are the first areas to focus on. Set your own KPI’s for the Morning Show team. These should include specific social media goals.
Training and education is a daily thing. Condition your talent to understand that you expect them to stay in touch with things that matter. Social Media training for all on air talent is a must.
Have a good talent bank. You should have a back- up for every key talent on your station. Stay in regular contact with talent you feel may have potential for your station. Your weekend morning show is a good starting point.
Give talent tracking and rating figures. Explain them completely. Let them know how they are measured. Again, Facebook, Twitter, website page impressions etc.
Make sure they hear the competition. Nominate the best shows worldwide to listen to.
Use the resources of the group for good ideas.. Talent needs to experience the power of the group by sharing in the success and wisdom. This is all too often missed.
Talent needs to get involved in brainstorm sessions. Get them involved in the creative process.
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