CCM Coaching Tip #10: The Only Way To Do Great Work
February 19, 2016
by Tommy Kramer, Kramer Media
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said "The only way to do great work is to love what you do."
That's why some people have jobs, but others do Art.
And why some radio people "do a shift" while others "do a SHOW."
In Contemporary Christian music radio, I know for a fact that many jocks love what they do - but it doesn't sound that way on the air. They race through an intro, trying to cram information in, without considering whether it sounds like the music is "cradling" that. Or they race through an outro as they stop down, usually doing the same elements in the same order, time after time, without even realizing it, so they can get on to the "important" stuff-their Content.
But to the listener, it's ALL Content. Just like a movie isn't only about the dialogue. It's also about the physical action, the setting, the lighting, the music (or the lack of music, because this particular scene doesn't need any). It's about a look, a facial tic, an emotional tone of voice, the quiet between lines in a heartfelt scene.
If you don't realize this already, let's lock it down. You're not in competition with just the other Christian stations. You're also not just competing with the other stations on the dial. You're not just competing with Pandora, or Spotify, or iTunes Radio, or Sirius/XM, or with television.
You're competing with EVERYTHING that's another option for the listener's time-and you're being COMPARED not just to other stations, but to Hollywood movies. Your Imaging is being compared to the movie trailers. Your performance is being compared to Tom Hanks, or Jennifer Lawrence.
No, it's not fair. But only because you don't have the giant Marketing machine that they have. In all other ways, YOU control how good you are, how involved you are in the words you're saying, what the "plot" of YOUR "movie" is each day - every time you open the mic.
If you think you're just here to promote things, identify artists and song titles, and to exhibit your faith on the air, you're missing 90% of what you should be doing. If you don't know how to get in touch with the artistic challenges, or even what they are, get help! (A talent coach might be a good idea.) If your boss hasn't talked to you about these things, then he needs help, too. (My buddy John Frost is THE Strategy guy.)
There's another side to this; a more practical reason to work on these seemingly intangible skills: It changes the conversation about how well you're doing. A GM or PD that can only talk ratings numbers, or, for that matter, only talk about the ministry aspects that the Board of Directors are listening for, isn't really working on what matters most. We're an ENTERTAINMENT medium. (Some entertainment isn't necessarily funny, by the way.) We need to ENGAGE people. And you're either an Artist, or just a monkey pushing buttons. Actually, that's not fair to monkeys. At least they know that if they engage people, they'll probably get some peanuts or a banana tossed to them.