Passion and your radio station
May 31, 2013
By John Frost
Goodratings Strategic Service
I believe that there is no format as compelling when done well. I also think that there is no format as un-compelling when done poorly.
One on hand the format can lift one's spirit and resonate with the most important things in life; on the other hand it can seem irrelevant, condescending, and formal.
Arbitron says there are more stations in the United States in the format category of "religious" than any other. The combined audience of those stations is less than any other format.
That is indicative of the enormous chasm between the haves and the have-nots. The stations that are compelling have people that have passion, both outside and inside the station.
The importance of passion is most obvious in the sports world. Recently I read, "The act of cheering for a sports team...makes us feel connected to what's going on, because we want something happy to happen, because hoping for something to happen from the very beginning makes it that much more thrilling when it actually does happen. We invest ourselves in an activity that has nothing to do with us. It's the basic foundation of being a fan." Will Leitch
Perhaps the biggest surprise to me coming from a mainstream radio background was discovering how many people in Christian radio don't have a passion for the format. I've been inside radio stations where no one was even listening to the station and offices were empty by 4:30 in the afternoon. That was unheard of in the stations where I spent the first thirty years of my career.
"Passion isn't project-specific. It's people-specific. Some people are hooked on passion, deriving their sense of self from the act of being passionate. People with passion look for ways to make things happen." Seth Godin
My guess is that you know which people at your station have passion. And which ones don't.
"First Who...Then What. We expected that good-to-great leaders would begin by setting a new vision and strategy. We found instead that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats---and then they figured out where to drive it. The old adage "People are most most important asset" turns out to be wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are." Jim Collins, "Good to Great".