Insights From a Competitive Review


(Jeff McHugh) What could you learn by studying your direct competitor? Consider taking a day off the air and listening intently to your main competitor with your program director, producer, and others whose opinions you value. A competitive review can show where they are strong and where they are weak, pointing you to do something compelling that they aren’t.

Do more often: Measure if your direct competitor is hitting the positives below more often than your show.

  • Killer content (engaging stories, comedy, friendly conflict, drama)
  • Relevant content (the target audience cares about this subject)
  • A clear point of view from each cast member (emotion, opinion, inner thoughts, personal stories.)
  • Identifiable HD characters (how many of their cast are generic hosts vs. real people?)
  • Fast setups – segments start within 08 seconds without the traditional preamble
  • At the end of content segments, tease the upcoming segment
  • # Songs per hour
  • Laughs (audible, genuine laughter from the cast)
  • Laughs (laughter from you as a listener)
  • Interaction in features and newscasts
  • Audio clips
  • Local content
  • Interactive topics and contests
  • Even content distribution throughout ¼ hour, hour and the show (mix of songs, content, information)
  • Recycle A/Power content
  • Mic balance among cast members

Do less often: Measure if they drive away the audience more/less often than your show.

  • Commercials per hour
  • Self-absorbed, inside content
  • Generic announcers, inauthentic hosts
  • Predictable content with all the features/benchmarks airing at fixed times
  • All prep sheet content, no original/innovative content
  • Caller 9-style contests with little or no entertainment value
  • # Minutes traffic reports (More listeners are getting info from apps)
  • Generic information (Content could be delivered by any show)
  • Talk segments over five minutes in length
  • Negativity

You can add/subtract specifics to this list as you see fit – especially if you have market research that indicates (for example) that local news is essential to your audience (do more of) and entertainment news is not relevant (do less of).

Afterward, break down both your programming and your competitors with a SWOT analysis:

STRENGTHS: (Significant advantage over a competitor)
WEAKNESSES: (Significant advantage over a competitor)
OPPORTUNITIES: (Areas that could be improved)
THREATS: (Areas susceptible to attack. Example: Too-long traffic reports, too few songs, content not relevant to target audience, etc.)

Then, write out your team’s Action Plan: Outline your show’s overall strategy and plan of attack in a paragraph. How will you highlight your strengths? How will you attack the competitor’s weakness? How will you emphasize the differences between imaging and marketing?

Jeff McHugh is known for developing remarkable talent for both morning and afternoon drive. He brings an uncommon mix of positivity, creativity, and strategy to the shows that he coaches. He is a member of the team at the Randy Lane Company. Reach Jeff at [email protected] and read his Radio Ink archives here.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here