Radio’s (Actually) Secret Weapon


(By Marc Greenspan) What are radio’s greatest strengths? Reach, frequency, and immediacy are typically the first to come to mind. It also reaches people closest to the point of purchase, as they can listen on their way to the store. But what strength does Radio have that other media do not and cannot have?

It’s that PERSONAL CONNECTION to the audience. That’s our secret weapon!

We never hear anyone say “my TV station” or “my newspaper” or “my (insert other media).” Yet, people will say “my radio station.” Think about it. How do people refer to their media preferences? Is there a personal connection? 

So how do I show this connection or loyalty of my listeners? Testimonials are great. Capture some posts from your social media that show how much your listeners love your station and why. If you conduct focus groups you will also be able to capture some nuggets from their comments.

Can I show this connection or loyalty with audience research?  Yes – here are two simple ways.

  1. Exclusive Cume – exclusive means that only your radio station can reach these people because they do not listen to any other radio station. Show the biggest number possible by using persons 6+ (or 12+) for the total week.
  2. P1 listeners – P1 means Preference 1, which shows that you are the station they listen to most often. This usually means that you are their favorite, but be aware that not all listening is by choice. They might be exposed to a radio station that they did not choose. Can you document that the majority of your listeners are P1s? This shows loyalty. It also means potential for higher frequency of the advertiser’s message as the listener spends more time with your station. Longer time means more chance to hear multiple ads. Look at P1s for both Cume and AQH and determine your best story.

Listening to your favorite radio station is like having a conversation with a friend. That connection and engagement does not exist with other media. It’s time to spread the word and tell the world about Radio’s secret weapon – the PERSONAL CONNECTION!

This essay is part of a series titled “Growing the Radio Pie.” To view past articles, visit The Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. online here.

Marc Greenspan is the CEO and founding partner of Research Director, Inc. He can be reached at 410-295-6619 x11 or by email at [email protected]. Research Director, Inc. offers consulting services to media companies to help them grow their audience, ratings, and revenue. Read Marc’s Radio Ink archives here.


  1. Yeah I have a personal connection with this guy/gal syndicated into my market from some far off city. Some personality that voice tracking and know nothing about me or my town.
    And for the record radio isn’t closest to purchase any longer. Look it up.
    Radios secret weapon? Filing for BK


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