Your Station Should Be In Step With Your Audience Mood

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(By Loyd Ford) There are a lot of signs right now that we are in a once in a generation and perhaps as much as once in a hundred years disruption in our country. You can bet there is some unsettling where you are today.

People are concerned about the change over of the working economy to tech-savvy jobs and you see that we all are just weeks away from a very tense election during the middle of a pandemic that looks to be inflating back up in spreading and contagion. Worry is everywhere. If you are in any format that touches adults, your listeners are likely swimming harder than ever and worrying more than ever about employment, finances, family, health and lifestyle.

Can you even think of a time when people were dealing with all of this? Of course, you can add the riots and the fact that the world seems more out-of-control in 2020 than any time that adults remember certainly since Vietnam. So, what does this mean to any radio executive, programmer or rank and file employee in radio? It means our focus better be right.

This article today is focused on programmers, but we can all take something from these ideas today. We have been dealing with Covid-19 since the early part of the year and fatigue has certainly set in. How is your radio station? Really? What I am suggesting is that you do a full review of the individual messages you are sending to listeners all the time.

  • Review all recorded image liners
  • Now is a perfect time to update and freshen every single recorded image on your station with escape in mind (in other words, radio should be where you can go to get away from your troubles unless you are a news talk station)
  • Review all your live imaging
  • Freshen your live imaging and make certain you are sending positive messaging that is on point for your brand and your research if you have it
  • Review all your recorded and live promos to make certain you don’t have stray messaging and that your messaging in those promos takes advantage of the opportunities in front of you now because of what your audience is going through today

As we pointed out in last week’s column here, the holidays are coming. Thanksgiving and Christmas will mean something different this year, but the emotion is likely to be deep and represent large opportunity. If you missed last week’s column on Christmas music strategy, it’s available at RadioInk.com in the archive.

Messaging is always important, but it is easy to lose track of the scope and focus of your messaging across time. We are so busy trying to do what is now because radio is always demanding, but we must take the time to critically look at the messaging that has been on your station through this very volatile year. It’s easy for something to fall through the cracks.

Instead of missing something that could be clouding your progress or making you appear just like everyone else (or even lowering the expectation about your relationship with listeners), wouldn’t it be great to know you are on point going into potentially the most important holiday season of your broadcast career?

Radio’s most powerful strength is the ability to immediately gravitate to the emotion of listeners and connect with them right now. There may be less broadcasters on the air live or even on the air at all, but there’s enough with you right there to connect with your local audience if you are sending the right messages. Start thinking about the two months coming up as critical, powerful and important to what 2021 may look like for your business.

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]

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