(By Loyd Ford) Your listeners, local businesses and radio itself has suffered a significant grouping of disruption. When disruption happens, often times everything that is normal gets tossed out the window. If you have been an adult for a while, you know this is ‘adulting.’ Life gives you setbacks and your job is to overcome it. But the kinds of disruption your local listeners and local businesses have faced has been potentially a once in a lifetime disruption. So it can’t be taken lightly. Your question has to be the same one everyone else is asking right now: How to we get back to normal?
The single biggest thing you can do aside from making sure you and your team are performing your jobs at the highest levels of professionalism is to work to create momentum to return to whatever the best new normal can look like for your radio station and company. Here are some things to think about:
- Think Creatively. Creativity has always been a money maker for radio and advertising in general. The best ads cut through. The best promotions get clients off the bench. If you start with the idea that one of the most powerful motivators is momentum, make this an important part of your strategy to pump your team up and pump listeners and clients up and use your creativity to focus attention on momentum shift.
- Study Your Staff and their passions. You might think momentum starts with listeners and clients. It doesn’t. It starts with people in your building. There are a lot of distractions. You need momentum with staff to get the team to focus on the prize: Return to good times. How do you do that? Study staff and their passions and make whatever momentum shift you plan to take those passions into consideration when presenting to staff. You get them excited and your on air will sound more exciting, your sales people will go sell faster, harder and better. You will build momentum.
- Use all of your natural and unnatural advantages. Depress the use of words like “can’t.” Can’t you’ve heard is an excuse for your brain to stop working on a problem. Start with this question in replacing the word can’t: “How can we…..(overcome whatever the problem is that makes people in your building say can’t)?” Remember: Brainstorming brings natural advantages to the surface, but you can also discover unnatural advantages. These are things that may not be top of mind but create unusual advantages. If you look for them, they are in EVERY business situation.
- Use Inverse Strategy. I’m a big fan of NOT always looking at problems through the same old strategies used in the past. Shake things up. Reverse yourself so you start with the end result you want to produce. Work backwards to get where you are now. Use the value of looking at things differently or even involving different people than you normally do to produce a better or bigger result.
- Take every opportunity to celebrate little and big successes. I cannot stress this enough. Celebrating successes now are more important now than they have ever been. Give people on your team credit. Show them off. Bring more people in on the success of any element of what you are trying to accomplish. It doesn’t matter how small the celebrations are in the beginning. Remember: We are building success and that is done one celebration at a time.
Here’s the bottom-line: People have been whacked! Life pushes you down like the tide rolling in on a beach. This is exactly why the Tom Hanks character in the movie Cast Away couldn’t get off the beach originally once his plane had crashed. What did he do? Many of the things in this article and he came safely home. You can deliver your team doing the same things.
Loyd Ford consults radio stations, coaches personalities, and provides behavioral and strategic programming to radio with RPC. Reach him anytime. 864.448.4169 or [email protected]