The 4 Ways to Increase Radio Ratings

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kendallweaver
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:34 am

The 4 Ways to Increase Radio Ratings

Post by kendallweaver » Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:04 pm

Four Ways To Increase Radio Ratings Share: From an Arbitron Ratings Diary Standpoint.

1. Get more listeners. Sounds simple, but sure, MORE listeners are a good thing. This might come from TV ads, print, mailers, whatever. More Cume.

2. Get your listeners to listen longer. More 1/4 hours = better ratings. This is "1/4 Hour Maintenance," contesting, etc. to simply hold listeners longer. Once you have cume, make sure they stay. What are you doing right now to increase TSL?

3. Get your listeners to listen more often. By recycling them to another daypart, pull them into an on-air contest advertised somewhere other than on-air, recurring tune-in for their favorite feature, "appointment listening,"etc.

4. Make them remember what they listened to. Promote better recall with imaging, distinctive personalities and features. Be sure they know it was YOUR station they were on, and don't make mistakes like failing to ID the station on everything possible, be it during a break, or on a concert T-shirt.

Sounds obvious, but it's easy to slip off track, and suddenly you hear a contest that doesn't tie-in the cal letters or slogan, or see a bumper sticker that doesn't feature the frequency. Go through your mind right now and verify that your station is accomplishing these staples.

winterwest
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:42 am

Re: The 4 Ways to Increase Radio Ratings

Post by winterwest » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:05 pm

I will call you on this one, Kendal. What basic fundamental did you leave out?
I'll give you a clue: It's what most of these real estate investors calling themselves broadcasters leave out, too.

kendallweaver
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:34 am

Re: The 4 Ways to Increase Radio Ratings

Post by kendallweaver » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:26 pm

Winterwest, there are a hundred things someone could say they feel are "fundamental," but since you can't spell my name right, I'm not entering a guessing game.
I'm simply commenting on a diary based ratings system, and how Arbitron looks at things, and how I feel most stations could benefit. It's not a challenge.. just ramblings on the process.

winterwest
Posts: 134
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:42 am

Re: The 4 Ways to Increase Radio Ratings

Post by winterwest » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:47 am

Sorry about missing the "l", Kendall. I really wish you would stop taking my posts as some kind of attack on you or what you have to say. Your points are all valid points and I agree with every one of them, but no one ever seems to recognize the critical importance of being ON THE STREET. You must be out in front of people who wouldn't otherwise know you exist. Maybe they don't watch TV to catch your commercials. Maybe they don't read the magazines in which you chose to target them. Maybe, like me, they don't have time or reason to cruise a radio stations website. This is all passive exposure. You have to actually watch the commercial. You have to read the ad. You have to log on to the website.

When you embrace the lifestyle of your audience and show up at the cancer walk, or the community clean-up day, (Hell, you better be the one that came up with the idea and produced the event!) you've actively put yourself in front of potential listeners and give them the chance to find you without looking.

In 30 years I've learned that promotions have three objectives:
Generate revenue: That's why I find it so pathetic to use a syndicated morning show instead of being smart enough to harvest all the money out there to be made with a live and local show.

Increase cume: Again, because you've chosen to be where they are, engaging it what they do, how many will say "Hey, these guys are just like me! They're all about what I'm about!"

Support the station image: Easy. When you are where they are, doing what they do, AND, you're engaged in promotions that support what your listeners care about, you define who you are as a part of your community and how you fit in to it. Your listeners take ownership of your station.

Kendall, I've been saying for year that the role of Promotions Director has deteriorated to the position of "sales bitch". Management isn't smart enough to first find a good Promotions Director, then let them do what they do. For 20 years I made radio stations a shitload of money with promotions. (I've owned my own show for the last 10) Now I find the position of Promotions Director to be no more than the guy that drives the station van to the five car lot remotes the sales manager put together to secure his leased BMW.

These guys will be gone hopefully sooner rather than later. Until then, while it's certainly a drag to see good people lose their gigs, it's absolutely laughable to see the inept losers that pass for owners these days lose their shorts because they couldn't figure out what to do with that for which they paid way too much.

kendallweaver
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:34 am

Re: The 4 Ways to Increase Radio Ratings

Post by kendallweaver » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:47 am

Point taken.. appreciate the healthy input. For the record, though, being "One The Street" does fall into the 4 points in my original post; It's certainly working to gain Cume, and also might convince your current listenership to listen longer, and remember where they heard what they heard.
The two posts I've written here recently and subsequent responses certainly prove one thing; "radio people" are detirmined to fend off more generic competition by being "local," and being real Personalities. As I mentioned in "Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better," we obviously must provide something listeners just can't get anywhere else.
I think Winterwest is right that the Promotions Director job has been pushed more into a Sales job than a ratings driver. I suppose over the next 5 years, we'll see if listeners really care enough about a station to stick with it, even with so many alternatives being offered.. One thing is for sure; we need to step up the quality of what's on the radio.

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