Monday, December 10, 2007

Why Promotions Fail

There are a myriad of reasons promotions can fail. Here are just six of them.

  1. The promotion doesn’t fit the station
  2. The promotion doesn’t have concrete goals
  3. The listener doesn’t hear enough about it
  4. The listener doesn’t understand it
  5. The listener isn’t excited about it
  6. The listener has to work too hard to be a part of it

With proper planning and excellent execution, you can avoid these and other promotional pitfalls.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Ten Best Markets For Radio Listeners

What are the ten best markets for radio listeners? Larry, Sean and the entire team at Edison Media Research put their heads together and came up with their list of leading cities. Let’s see if you agree.

1 -
Chicago: A huge, eclectic variety and still the best morning-show slate anywhere;
2 -
Philadelphia: It's made a surprise recent comeback in the "best Rock radio market" sweepstakes, but we're proud to have all of its radio in our backyard, including at least two "best-in-class" stations;
3 -
San Francisco: Only Boston rivals it as a News and Talk market. There's local character and a lot of choice, particularly when you add in the South Bay and Santa Rosa;
4 -
Miami/Fort Lauderdale: Like radio nowhere else;
5 -
New Orleans: Like radio nowhere else, an even more remarkable achievement post-Katrina;
6 -
Los Angeles: A lot of undeniable stations and talent. Not quite the bench strength you would want in a market with so much radio;
7 -
Washington, D.C.: Pushed into contention by the fiercest Urban competition anywhere, a monster News outlet on FM, and some surprising market entrants in recent years;
8 -
Austin, Texas: Radio that matches the city's own eclecticism and appeal;
9 -
Salt Lake City: Long the most crowded medium-market: frustrating perhaps for programmers and owners, but great for listeners;
10 -
Louisville: A longtime great radio market where the past is still present ... in a good way.

Read more

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Brand Building And Marketing As Investments

From the Brand Insider:

(1) Brand building is an investment that results in a significant leverageable asset.
(2) Other shorter-term marketing actions exist for the sole purpose of increasing sales.
(3) You can measure the asset value of brands.
(4) You can also measure the non-financial aspects of brands that drive positive financial consequences in the long term – awareness, relevant differentiation, loyalty, etc.
(5) You can and should measure ROI for other shorter-term marketing programs.
(6) Brands are a primary source of value creation for organizations.
(7) While some business people (typically finance and operations types) may view marketing as an expense without significant corresponding benefits, this is untrue. Marketing is one of the most important investments a company can make.

Implication: Don't look first to marketing (and employee training, for that matter) when expenses need to be trimmed to achieve short-term goals. This will only hamper value creation [ratings] and revenue growth in the long term. Read more

I.G.N.I.T.E Sales Tip: 10 Commandments for Using PowerPoint

From Nick Souter’s Persuasive Presentations:

Here are the ten commandments for using PowerPoint. Write them in stone.

  1. Only one idea on each page.
  2. Give each page a title.
  3. Abbreviate.
  4. Be ruthlessly relevant.
  5. Use full sentences for quotes and statements.
  6. Build, don’t reveal.
  7. Aesthetic consistency.
  8. Use icons and images.
  9. Avoid dynamic typography.
  10. Have a Plan B.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I.G.N.I.T.E. Sales Tip: 4 Essential Tips For Developing Excellent Client Relationships

What does it take to deepen and build client relationships? Scott Weibrod at Experience Matters offers four simple yet often overlooked ideas. They are:

  1. Get out of your office (and into theirs)
  2. Make yourself available
  3. Go deep, go really deep (by building long-term relationships and learning the language of your client’s world)
  4. Entertain them (by creating relationship building opportunities and environments outside of the office)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday Motivation: Boom! Manifesto

You Are Designed to Choose…and Defined by Choice.
You are a product of your choices, not your conditions.
-Kevin & Jackie Freiberg

Best-selling authors and culture gurus Kevin and Jackie Freiberg encourage you to expand your influence, become a positive force for change, and live with fewer regrets with their Boom! Manifesto.

Be a Player
Extraordinary Happens When Ordinary People Do Whatever It Takes

Be Accountable
There is No “THEY”—Only You and Me

Choose Service Over Self-interest
Me-First Rarely Delivers the Desired Outcome

Focus Forward
Your Future Isn’t in the Rear View Mirror

Play to Your Genius
Your Work Is a Statement About You

Get It Done
Success is the Reward for Those Who Make a Difference

Risk More – Gain More
The World Isn’t Changed by Those Who Are Unwilling to Take Risks

The choices are YOURS!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I.G.N.I.T.E. Sales Tip: What's Your Web Plan?

From Mel Taylor:

Here’s a check list, that may help you realize your ‘readiness’, for Web success. Does any of this concern you ?

> Is corporate mandating that YOU ( at the local level ), come up with a profitable Web game-plan ?

> Do you have a web strategy, or does the webmaster or ND/PD “handle it” ?

> Are your websites: advertiser, search engine & user friendly? How can you tell ?

> Do you know your ’share’ of local Internet advertising revenue ? ( Corporate will demand this info )

> How much time & money are your clients/viewers spending on other web sites ? Do you know why ?

> Can your sales staff comfortably sell and discuss your web offerings ? Overcome common objections ?

> Just how web and computer -savvy are your News directors, PD’s, producers, marketing, sales and on-air staff ?

> Are you taking full advantage of online video, RSS, SEO, Blogs, social networking, crowd sourcing & aggregation ?

> Is it OK for your on-air staff to have their own websites/blogs, or have their own MySpace or YouTube channels ?

> When should you develop separately branded/niche sites in your own market ?

> What do advertisers and agencies really think about your Website, and how you are selling them ?

If any of these questions were tough to answer, you may not be fully prepared to effectively compete in the emerging online marketplace.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Be An Outside Thinker!

Warren Kurtzman of Coleman Research revealed insights into the paradigm shift that radio is currently experiencing in his 2007 Radio Fest presentation "Inside vs. Outside Thinking."

The paradigms are defined in the slides below.

I think Kurtzman's definitions are spot-on. In a connected world filled with ever-evolving and emerging content and media options available to consumers, radio must become more externally-focused on listeners - and clients - rather than internally-focused on ourselves.

There are a number for implications for this shift in thinking. But most importantly, Kurtzman concludes that as an "outside thinker," you must:

  • View your station as the listener does

  • Become a student of learning and communication processes

  • Use your knowledge to market strategically

  • Recognize that music testing—while vital—is only one step to building a successful music strategy

Are your ready to be an "outside thinker"? I hope so.

View the entire presentation here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I.G.N.I.T.E. Sales Tip: PowerPoint Sins

To improve your sales presentations, avoid “The Seven Sins of PowerPoint.”

  1. Center Spacing
    Keep the body of your work flush
  2. Colored Text
    Keep text black…if you gotta have color, let it come out in your logos
  3. Too many fonts
    Use a single clean font
  4. Too much information
    Speak in bullet points and short sentences…not paragraphs
  5. Not staying client/prospect focused
    Remember, it’s about them, not us
  6. No word art
  7. No chessy clip-art

Remember, when building your sales packages and presentations:

  • Keep it simple
  • Basic sales packages (1-2 pages)
  • Multi-Month packages (3-7 pages)
  • Maintain a look of continuity between all your sales packages and media kits
  • Write in bullet points (not paragraphs) as much as possible
  • List features and benefits whenever possible
  • Always have your contact information on every page

More at

Monday Motivation: Desire

"Desire is your unlimited potential seeking expression."

-James Arthur Ray

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Little Book Of Leadership

Want to become a better leader? Let The Leadership Hub's "The Little Book Of Leadership" to teach and inspire YOU!

Link to e-book here.
Pass it on!

Friday, October 19, 2007

10 Ways To Light A Fire Under Your Ass

  1. Call out the elephant in the room.
  2. Offer up solutions.
  3. Write a manifesto.
  4. Seek opinions.
  5. Share something personal.
  6. Shake up your career.
  7. Do something that scares you.
  8. Tell a story.
  9. Evangelize.
  10. Know who (or what) you are.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Designing Experiences For Young Consumers

From Bruce Temkin and Ross Popoff-Walker's "Designing for Young Consumers," here's their Top 10 list to keep in mind in designing experiences (or radio stations) for Gen Y, those adults ages 18-27. These young consumers:

  1. Are continually connected - Text messaging, IM and social networking sites are key communications tactics for these tech-saavy consumers.
  2. Speak their own language - They use abbreviations, emoticons, and slang.
  3. Are skeptical of authority
  4. Are influenced by peers - The rely on recommendations from friends and family when making purchases, and are peer reliant overall.
  5. Seek recognition and fame
  6. Enjoy absurdity and odd humor
  7. Embrace a variety of subcultures
  8. Skim text and information quickly - These young eyes process information 5x faster than adults, according to Resource Interactive.
  9. Easily bored
  10. Expressive and digitally creative -, created by a 17-year-old CEO, features the tools that allow people to personalize their MySpace page. Double trouble for this point; a young CEO features products for what is usually a younger demographic.

Monday, October 15, 2007

4 Burning Truths

MTV President Christina Norman revealed 4 Burning Truths this month's Forrester's Consumer Forum. They are:

• It’s not the medium, but the content that matters most
• Build an emotional connection with audience on foundation of creative content
• Give audience the means to find each other
• Let your audience help you shape your brand

Follow these truths to set your content and consumers (listeners) FREE. Thanks, Christina!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Permission to Fail

From Dave Armano of Critical Mass:

"When was the last time you gave yourself permission to fail? Seriously. When was the last time you said screw it, if this doesn't succeed, at least I gave it a shot--at least I did something. When was the last time you did the right thing--even if the only person you needed to prove something to was yourself. When was the last time you had a good night's rest, because deep down in side--you did something you believed in. Speaking of, when was the last time you believed?"

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Do You Know Who Your Premium Class Listeners Are?

If you want to improve the impact of your loyal marketing programs, you must know who your premium class listeners are.

Are they:

  • Heavy users of radio who are deeply engaged in your radio station?
  • Your at work listeners?
  • Your listeners who love winning contests and prizes?
  • The ones who enjoy giving their opinions in surveys?
  • Your morning show regulars?
  • The folks who love the kind of music you play?
  • People who use you to stay in touch with the local community?
What can you do during this current ratings survey to make money with that information and make them feel more engaged with you?

Thanks to fellow consultant and country format specialist Jaye Albright for sharing her thought-provoking questions with me! Read more from Jaye here.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Seducing PPM: The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Ratings

In his “Seducing PPM” presentation at the NAB, researcher Mark Ramsey revealed “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Ratings”:

Habit #1
Recall DOES Matter

Habit #2
Ride the HIGH Tide

Habit #3
The "ONE" Rule

Habit #4
When your Direct Mail Drops, The Game Is On

Habit #5
“Tactical” is the New Black

Habit #6
Events Drive Ratings (Up or Down)

Habit #7
Fulfill Expectations

See the full presentation and get the hand-out here.

Friday, September 28, 2007

How Execs Are Stumbling In A New Media World


Executives at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia took great pains earlier this year to make certain the company's redesigned website looked flawless before rolling it out to the public.

After all, this is a media company whose magazines, books, products and programs feature ideas about attractive and tasteful lifestyles. Why not a beautiful site?

"That was a big mistake," Wenda Harris Millard, the company's president of media, said this week during a panel discussion at Advertising Week. "We put beauty before utility."

She said the front page, with its video player and jazzy graphics, included only about five links to actual content, "so the things people were looking for couldn't be found."

The mistake, she said, was in failing to understand that "when the reader or viewer or listener becomes the user, what she's looking for is much different — at least initially."

Read the entire article here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Are You Keeping A PPM Diary?

From Dave Martin's PPM News & Comment Blog:

The early days of PPM include a growing store of advice, counsel on how to win in a PPM world. My thought is one of the most important and effective strategies is not yet getting the attention deserved.

Keep a diary.As a practical matter keeping a diary, or journal if you prefer, affords an outstanding return on investment. Your diary will prove invaluable in gaining an understanding of the PPM data.What is happening?
What is not happening? What are the players doing to influence the action?

Dave makes a great point. The level of granularity in the data we can see with the PPM is uniquely insightful.

Aside from what Dave mentions here, I would further recommend that each department in the station/cluster, especially Programming, Marketing and Promotions, track the activities and events happening inside and out of side of the station/cluster.


Ultimately, combining your diary/journal information with Arbitron ratings data, Media Monitors data and other market information will provide a comprehensive, multi-level tracking system to help you better determine how your station/cluster is performing under the PPM. Those insights will prove invaluable when crafting actionable strategies and tactics for operating in a PPM world.

Monday, September 10, 2007

2008 Demographic Targeting

2008 Demographic Targeting Tool

With the 2008 budgeting and planning season underway, here's a demographic targeting tool you can use to help determine the music years and/or eras most relevant to the your target (or hyper-target) audience.

Legendary programmer/consultant Todd Wallace first shared this focusing tool with me some years ago. And ever since then, I've kept it in my programming tool box along with other tools that I've created or collected. The tool covers all ages within the 25-54 demo, lower and upper end, making it easy to identify your audience's "coming of age" - and most passionate - music years.

If you would like a copy of the "Demographic Targeting Tool" excel spreadsheet, just drop me an email at and I'll get it right to you.

Monday Motivations (from The 100 Greatest Leadership Principles of All Time)

Here are a few of my favorites from The 100 Greatest Leadership Principles of All Time:

“The ultimate leader is one who is willing to develop people to the point that they surpass him or her in knowledge and ability.”
Fred A. Manske

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I used to think that running an organization was equivalent to conducting a symphony orchestra. But I don’t think that’s quite it; it’s more like jazz. There is more improvisation.”
Warren Bennis

Read more here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What Is Your Dream?

From Matthew Kelly’s The Dream Manager:

What Is Your Dream?

“The temptation is to convince yourself that your employees’ dreams are not relevant to your business. That is only true if your employees are not relevant to your business—and if that were true, why would you employ them?

Most employees feel like they are being used. But if you can genuinely convince them that you have their best interests at heart, then you will reverse that belief, and in the process create a spirit of teamwork and loyalty rarely unleashed in the corporate world before now.

Dreams are invisible, but powerful. You cannot see them, but they keep everything going.”

Mathew emphasizes that a key and critical role of leadership is the ability to recognize the dreams of those that we lead and inspire them to achieve those visions.

What are you and your management team doing to inspire your programming and sales talent to achieve their dreams?

Monday, August 27, 2007

10 Questions to Improve Your Communications

“How people talk to each other absolutely determines how well the organization will function.”

–Larry Bossidy, Chairman, Honeywell International

In her new book “Voice of Authority,” communications consultant Dianna Booher shares ten questions that will help you convey your message clearly, credibly and competently.

  • Is it correct?
  • Is is complete?
  • Is it clear?
  • Is it purposefully unclear?
  • Is it consistent?
  • Are you credible?
  • Are you concerned and connected?
  • Is it current?
  • Does your communication make you look competent?
  • Is it circular?

More at

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It’s A PPM World—And There Are The Rules

Paragon Media Strategies unveils a new rule book for radio in a PPM World.

Here are the first ten rules:

Rule #1: DON’T PANIC!!!!
Rule #2: Get “married” to your core audience, but stay “engaged” to your cume audience
Rule #3: Retain listeners for longer periods
Rule #4: Set more listening appointments
Rule #5: Understand the value of different listeners
Rule #6: Delineate between your “Loyal P1s” and your “Fickle P1s”
Rule #7: Integrate programming
Rule #8: Location, location, location
Rule #9: Avoid “punch out lines”
Rule #10: Don’t play “rubber clock” games


Monday, August 20, 2007

9 Things A Leader Must Do

Psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud says there are 9 secrets that will help you focus on the dynamics that make a difference in your organization, enabling you to break through to the next level of success.

A leader must…

  • Discover and invest in your inner desires and drives
  • Not allow a sense of negativity to take up space in your mind and life
  • Evaluate your decisions in the present based on how they will affect the future
  • Continually ask yourself, “What can I do to make this situation better?”
  • Achieve big goals by taking small steps over time
  • Develop the ability to hate the right things well
  • Give more and better than you are given
  • Not strive to be or to appear more than you really are—but really embrace your own identity
  • Make decisions without fear of other people’s reactions

Now ask yourself, "Are you ready to be a breakthrough leader?"

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Power of Experiential Involvement

Some time ago, Science of Influence author, corporate trainer, and former radio sales executive Kevin Hogan shared this piece of advice with me for working with clients and their copy. I’ve passed his useful sales secret along to many of my friends in sales and consulting clients, but now I want to share it with you. It’s a simple persuasion tactic that will lead you to more sales.

Kevin’s advice (and I also recommend): Deliberately make a mistake (or two) on the proposed copy of your client’s commercial, so they get their pens out and correct the copy.

You might be asking yourself, who would want to bring attention to their own mistakes? Not me. Yes, YOU! And here’s the reason why: It helps you leverage the power of “experiential involvement” with your clients.

Although it may appear counterintuitive at first, this persuasion tactic gets clients more involved in the sales process. The act of physically making the copy corrections with pen in hand enhances the feeling of ownership of the project for your clients. And once that occurs, it will lead to conversation that will trigger more sales.

Again, it sounds simple, but it works!!

When you get your targets involved in the experience, they will readily accept your suggestions and easily comply with your requests more often. The power of “experiential involvement” will lead to more sales for your station or group.

Monday, August 13, 2007

T.I. + A.I. = Higher Ratings

“…[People] they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you, and they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting until you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”

–William Bernbach

When legendary advertising executive William Bernbach expressed this quote years ago, he was referring to what was needed in the advertising world of yesterday. However, I feel Bernbach’s words can provide insight and inspiration for personalities and producers in the “audio entertainment” world of today.

Using Bernbach’s words as a content model/checklist, (during the creative process and on-air execution) personalities and producers should continually ask:

Is this bit/contest/segment/feature…

  • Imaginative?
  • Original?
  • Fresh?
  • Interesting (Relevant and NOT Boring)?

Like a laser beam, personalities and producers must focus on creating content that captures listener attention and creates conversation. If not, listeners simple will not engage the talent/show/station enough to become fans and increase their listening.

Think of it like this…

T.I. (Talent Imagination) + A.I. (Audience Inspiration) = Higher Ratings

Do Client Testimonials Work?

Testimonials are intermediated word-of-mouth marketing, and they do work when credible. In fact they work very well indeed if you work hard to get the right kind of testimonial. They can provide the much-needed social proof that tips a wavering prospect into a paying customer.

It’s hard to sing your own praises, and it rarely works when you do. In a testimonial, you have a third party saying what you might not be able to. Effective testimonials avoid hyperbole and specifically address a potential sticking point that a prospect might arrive at.

Here are five tips for making good use of testimonials:

  1. Don’t over-edit. Testimonials work best when they are in “real” language. Those small grammar and language quirks help the reader connect and demonstrate they are real.

  2. Use testimonials that fit. Place appropriate testimonials along with a particular point that you are trying to make.

  3. Address objections. If a prospect discovers that another customer’s worries have proved groundless, then that person is more confident to reach for the wallet (or into their budget).

  4. Never fake it. While testimonials are crucial, it’s not worth the risk to fake them. Most people have well-trained BS detectors that can smell a fake a mile away.

  5. Encourage specifics. Specificity works - and it is especially effective in a testimonial. Rather than “we saw a big improvement,” get your customer to state exactly what the improvement was, such as “we saw a 217% improvement.”

Ask for testimonials!

If a customer ever tells you how much they value your service or asks what they can do for you, ask them for a testimonial. In fact, even if they don’t, ask anyway! Testimonials are that valuable.

Thanks to Chris Garrett for the tips!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Internet Radio Made Easier

In his New York Times article, “Internet Radio Made Easier,” David Pogue discusses the variety of internet radio devices now available to access internet radio’s “endless smorgasbord of audio entertainment.” Click here to read the article.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mistakes Sales Managers Make

John Klymshyn, President of The Business Generator, Inc., lists common mistakes sales managers make. They are:

  • Thinking that salespeople are continually motivated.
  • Thinking that salespeople can sustain their momentum.
  • Thinking that their salespeople do not need nurturing or guidance.
  • Thinking their salespeople are completely self-sustaining and sufficient.
  • Assuming that salespeople have all the answers.
  • Assuming that their salespeople have mastered the skills required to sell effectively.

And the biggest mistake of all:

  • Changing commitments and not following through (I will visit with you on such a date, and then postponing or not making it at all.)

No matter how you rationalize it, this tells the salespeople that they or their work are not priorities for you.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

VSS: Consumers Shift to Digital Media

From Mediaweek, Katy Bachman reports:

For the first time in a decade, consumers spent less time with media last year than they did in 2005, according to a study released Tuesday by Veronis Suhler Stevenson. Media usage per person declined 0.5 percent to 3,530 hours driven by “the continued migration of consumers to digital alternatives for news, information, and entertainment,” the study concluded.

“We are in the midst of a major shift in the media landscape that is being fueled by changes in technology, end-user behaviors and the response by brand marketers and communications companies,” said James Rutherfurd, executive vp and managing director at VSS. “We expect these shifts to continue over the next five years, as time and place shifting accelerate while consumers and businesses utilize more digital media alternatives, strengthening the new media pull model at the expense of the traditional media push models,” Rutherford said. Read more here.

12-Point Strategic Checklist

Alan Burns, consultant and creator of the Movin’ format, shared this critical 12-Point Strategic Checklist with me some years ago. I still refer to it – along with other tools, checklists and processes - when I am working on strategic plans for stations that I am either programming or consulting.

You, too, may find this checklist useful as a basic framework to help you quickly analyze your station’s ratings future.
  1. Does everyone on the staff know the target?
  2. Does everyone know the goals?
  3. What’s the station’s word?
  4. What need (or mood) do we serve?
  5. Is every quarter-hour consistent?
  6. Is on-air positioning/branding creative, focused?
  7. Outside media: simple message, concentration of force?
  8. Are we seizing the moment?
  9. Are we thinking “outside” or “inside”?
  10. What makes us more local?
  11. What are we doing to be different?
  12. What are we doing to learn?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Bit Basics

Here are a eight basic guidelines for bits:
  1. Any bit should be relative to your format audience.
  2. The bit should have its 3 main elements—including the opening, body & close.
  3. The bit should tell a story.
  4. The bit should be concise and timed within reason, which will depend on what any given PD prescribes for the format (different for, say, a CHR with its perpetual forward momentum delivery than for Smooth Jazz with its more conversational delivery style).
  5. The bit should be interesting enough to hold the listener throughout its entirety.
  6. The bit should be placed within the hour correctly (depending on stopset length and bit length).
  7. The bit may be delivered over a bit bed (again, something that is relative to your format).
  8. The bit should be rehearsed beforehand, prior to actual on-air delivery.

Are You Ready For Fall?

Are you ready for Fall? If you can answer "yes" to the following questions, consider yourself are prepared. If not, don't delay any further - get stuff done (GSD)!

Fall sweep planning…done?
SIP update…done?
Creative finalized and final production scheduled for Print, Direct Mail, TV and Interactive campaigns?

Tune-up meetings with on-air and off-air programming staff scheduled?

How Do You Measure "Engagement"?

Researcher and Hear 2.0 blogger Mark Ramsey on The Difference Between “Listening” and “Hearing”:

"...for many listeners radio isn't about high-testing songs and engaging personalities; radio is about comfort. Indeed radio is as much a part of the ambient soundscape as the whistle of the wind, the chirping of the birds, and the songs of the crickets. Something to be heard rather than listened to."

Monday, August 06, 2007

10 Steps For Radio Renegades To Get Stuff Done

The key to getting stuff done is maximizing your forward motion. In her book, Rules for Renegades, business guru and serial CEO Christine Comaford-Lynch lists 10 steps to build your momentum.

  1. Rock responsibility.
  2. Get visual – visualize success.
  3. Solicit superb support.
  4. Toss toxicity.
  5. Pump up the positive.
  6. Log on to the Law Of Attraction.
  7. Persevere.
  8. Pay attention.
  9. Continuously course-correct.
  10. Celebrate success.


4 Basics To Good/Great Morning Show

Here are four basics to a good/great morning show:

  1. Don’t clutter up your talk breaks with too many words. Listeners have short attention spans, so get to the point.
  2. Be local and relatable to your specific market/demo.
  3. Let the listener have the last word/punch line. Listeners will find your show more entertaining and be more involved.
  4. Keep your audience listening longer. Always promote or tease something coming up.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Why Don’t Radio Personalities Do Show Prep?

From Bill McMahon at Authentic Personality:

The majority of radio personalities don’t adequately prepare for their shows. Most dislike show prep and believe it hurts their performance. They prefer instead to create content spontaneously during the show. Why?

Here are the primary reasons radio personalities don’t like show prep and consequently don’t do it:

  • They don’t know how to prepare.
  • Their attempts to prepare consistently result in failure.
  • The time gap between preparation and performance.
  • Constant failure in show prep becomes debilitating.
  • (They feel) The ideas that seem to work best are created spontaneously during the show, without preparation.

Bill McMahon “gets” talent and has created a unique approach to talent development. I share Bill’s commitment to helping create an environment in radio that attracts gifted artists capable of creating extraordinary audio entertainment content. And I encourage you to become a truly “authentic personality.” Visit Bill at Authentic to find out more.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Toxic Employees

From Seth Godin:

Toxic employees are the ones that have difficulty with their co-workers, or worse, far worse, with your customers.

They make two big confusions:
  1. They confuse "How can I help this prospect/customer (listener)?" with "How can I get rid of this person and get back to work?"
  2. They confuse, "How can I have a better day by treating this person (listener) with a great deal of respect?" with "Why isn't this person treating me with the respect I deserve?"

Read more here.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Difference Between Higher Or Lower Ratings And Revenue

Is your station providing radio that’s compelling enough to attract and hold your listeners? Ultimately, to answer this question, you must first answer the following two questions:

A) Are all programming elements working together for a consistent audience?

B) Are all program elements as powerful as possible at all times for that audience?

The difference between higher or lower ratings and revenue is found in your answers to these questions. Next step: Audit your programming to find your answers.

Friday, July 27, 2007

5 Questions For Morning Shows

Morning show consultant Steve Reynolds recommends five questions that morning shows should always ask:

  1. Are we talking about what people are talking about right now?
  2. Is this original and new for P1s? Did they hear this yesterday?
  3. Does this evoke some emotion for the audience? Is it something they care about?
  4. Will it make people turn us on for fear of missing something?
  5. Does it fit? Does it make sense for this show to be doing this at this time?

Thanks for asking Steve!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

10 Guidelines For Effective Brainstorming

Creativity can be taught, nurtured, and enhanced. It does not belong solely to the artist among us, and certainly not genetically limited to the gifted. –Randah Taher

How many brainstorming sessions have you participated in that you can consider effective?

Project developer and consultant Randah Taher spotlights 10 guidelines to help you conduct your next brainstorming meeting and make it a successful one. They are:

  1. Come prepared. And invite others to do so too.
  2. Invite others to the party.
  3. Think and re-think the real issue.
  4. Record as you go.
  5. Defer judgment.
  6. Become a generator machine.
  7. Force large quotas.
  8. Elaborate and improve.
  9. Enhance visuals.
  10. Threaten yourself.

Find more at Contagious Creativity.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Make Your Station A Killer Brand

What's the difference between a ho-hum product that hurts your bottom line and a Killer Brand that compels people to choose it and use it? In Killer Brands, marketing guru Frank Lane reveals his recognized three-step method to unlocking the marketplace and creating brands that annihilate the competition. Here are his secrets viewed through the lens of radio:

  • FOCUS: find the one singular, differentiating, and powerfully compelling quality that will make your Killer (Radio) Brand known—not because of what it says it does, but because it does what it says
  • ALIGNMENT: connect everything that you do in perfect harmony to deliver that focus consistently time after time, making sure that nothing you do inadvertently detracts from that (listener) expectation
  • LINKAGE: make your Killer (Radio) Brand synonymous with the product ( pop, rock, hip hop or r&b music/lifestyle) in the marketplace, so the consumer (listeners) thinks of only your brand when the need arises

By following these three tenets of branding - and applying them to your station's branding, content, and marketing - you're guaranteed to kill the competition and create a dynamic, thriving radio brand with higher ratings and revenue.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Publicist’s Rules for Life (and for PR)

PR Guru Peter Shankman offers his rules for life and PR:

  1. Your goal is to make other people happy (the reporter, for instance). Do this, and you, the boss, and the client will be happy by default.
  2. We have a finite number of seconds on this earth. Don’t waste them. Get to the point, be direct, and get your information out there. Don’t waste time.
  3. Don’t be traditional. If you have something to say, find an interesting way to say it. If you can’t, it’s probably not worth saying in the first place.
  4. Don’t bore people. Boring turns people against you. Nothing makes someone put a block on your email quicker than being boring and repetitive.
  5. Have fun, and help someone out when you can. Karma is strong, especially in PR, an industry where you have nothing until a reporter, editor, or producer gives you something.

Peter’s rules could easily serve as guidelines for any station or morning show that wants to stand out from the competition.

Remember, Arbitron tends to reward those stations and personalities who are different with higher ratings.

Follow these rules. Be different - never boring -and watch the difference in your ratings.

For more from Peter, visit the Geek Factory website

Friday, July 13, 2007

Perspectives On The Return Of WCBS-FM

The New York Daily News’ David Hinckley offers his perspective on the return of WCBS-FM. Read the full article here.

After a two-year hiatus and losing millions of dollars in revenue, CBS Radio President Dan Mason is making the right move in NYC with the return of WCBS-FM.

No matter your format preference, WCBS-FM is a case study for a station launch/relaunch.

The former Oldies station now positioned as “New York’s Greatest Hits” is packaged with fresh imaging and an updated, well-researched playlist that includes 80s music along with its 60s and 70s classic hits.

And the website allows the station’s former and new fans to listen live and experience video highlighting the station’s historic return.

For more perspectives:

Sean Ross, VP of Programming and Music, shares his “first listen” insights

Media Arts and Sciences’ Dave Martin shares his thoughts

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Fuzzy Tail

David Armano’s The Fuzzy Tail is a play on Chris Anderson's Long Tail—but that's where the similarities end. Being "fuzzy" means unlearning the way we've always done things and moving away from rigidity toward adaptability.

After viewing the above presentation, I could only think: Is radio too rigid?

Have we in radio adapted quickly enough to the evolving and ever-changing media consumption habits of the consumer? In many ways, we have. In other ways, we’ve failed. And those failures arise only because we often forget what business we are actually in. Radio is not about transmitters and satellites. It’s not about just about clock design and management or internet strategies alone. Radio is greater than the sum or its parts: RADIO is all about RELATIONSHIPS! It’s about the EXPERIENCE we provide listeners and the ENVIRONMENT we create for advertisers to share their brand messages with consumers.

Just as motivational speakers encourage “life design,” for content creators (radio programmers and marketers), it’s all about designing interactions + experiences that connect your radio brand to the audience and the audience to each other.

Advocate for the audience and never forget that whether content is delivered via internet, Wi-Fi, satellite or terrestrial, radio is all about relationships. Compelling content creates memorable moments that allow us to CONNECT with the audience on a deeper, more meaningful level! And with each interaction or experience, the relationship grows – and so will your ratings and revenue.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Management And Leadership Defined

In his book “Leading Change,” Professor John Kotter defines management and leadership as follows:

"Management is a set of processes that can keep a complicated system of people and technology running smoothly. The most important aspects of management include planning, budgeting, organizing, staffing, controlling, and problem solving."

"Leadership is a set of processes that creates organizations in the first place or adapts them to significantly changing circumstances. Leadership defines what the future should look like, aligns people with that vision, and inspires them to make it happen despite the obstacles."

So, what are you – a manager or a leader?

Monday, June 18, 2007

What Will You Choose?

J. Michael Straczynski, creator and executive producer of Babylon 5, shares his perspective on leadership and change:

We have tremendous potential for good or ill. How we choose to use that power is up to us; but first we must choose to use it. We’re told every day, “You can’t change the world.” But the world is changing every day. The only question is…who’s doing it? You or somebody else? Will you choose to lead, or be led by others?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Top Ten Reasons Why PR Doesn’t Work

Margie Zable Fisher from provides the top ten reasons why PR doesn’t work:

  1. The client doesn’t understand the publicity process.
  2. The scope of work is not detailed and agreed upon by both parties.
  3. The client has not been properly trained on how to communicate with the media.
  4. The client and the PR person or firm are not a good match.
  5. The client has not gotten results quickly enough and ends the relationship too soon.
  6. PR people don’t explain the kind of publicity placements a client will most likely receive.
  7. Clients don’t realize that what happens after you get the publicity coverage is sometimes more important than the actual placement.
  8. Clients refuse to be flexible on their story angles.
  9. Clients get upset when the media coverage is not 100% accurate or not the kind of coverage that they wanted.
  10. Clients won’t change their schedules for the media.

Great tips for publicity-seeking personalities and broadcasters in both small and major markets.

Politics (or Programming) for the Facebook Generation

Can we learn about programming and marketing from a politician? I think so.

Watch David Miliband, UK Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), as he talks about politics for the Facebook generation at the 2007 Google “Zeitgeist” Conference. Simply substitute the words "politics" and "citizen" for “radio” and “listener” ("business" and "customer") and you have an enlightening point of view on what programmers and marketers need to see. Try it for yourself...

Link to video here

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bob’s “16 Rules”

Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons shares his “16 Rules for Success”:

[View larger image]

Check out Bob’s “Hot Points” blog here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Close The Brand Gap

Close your knowledge gap on branding with this presention from the author of the Brand Gap:

Oh, No! Not Another Meeting?

Here we go again (and again)…

From the moment you walk into the conference room door, do you feel like you are in a J.A.M. (Just Another Meeting)?
Seth Godin advises to turn away from the typical meeting and do something different. Read his thought-provoking insights here.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tiger Traits

In his book Tiger Traits, corporate trainer Dr. Nate Booth reveals nine success traits you can discover from Tiger Woods to be a business champion.

  • Tiger Trait #1: Identify and Develop Natural Talents
  • Tiger Trait #2: Create a Clear and Compelling Dream
  • Tiger Trait #3: Select Teachers, Heroes, and Teammates Who Guide, Inspire, and Support
  • Tiger Trait #4: Be Confident
  • Tiger Trait #5: Manufacture Magnificent Mental Models
  • Tiger Trait #6: Let Actions Do the Talking
  • Tiger Trait #7: Constantly Improve in Good Times and Bad
  • Tiger Trait #8: Be Likeable
  • Tiger Trait #9: Be Grateful, Give Back

Emulate these traits today to become a better manager, programmer or personality – and inspire others. Resolve to be a champion in your company/cluster, family and community.

Download a free chapter from the book

*Note: The book and author are not affiliated or endorsed by Tiger Woods.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Mancow's Ten Commandments for Radio Personalities

In the wake of the Imus, Elvis & JV firings and the Opie & Anthony suspension, now might be a good time to take some advice from Mancow. Not the Bay Bridge blocking Mancow of old, but the new, rested, relaxed, reflective and self-regulated Mancow who’s now advocating that radio personalities practice responsible radio. To aid jocks in being responsible on-air, Mancow has created Ten Commandments for Radio Personalities. They are:

1. Thou shalt never endanger listeners.

2. Racism is always a dumb idea.

3. Complacency on the inside loses listeners from the outside. Work at your art.

4. Contests must always be straight forward. (Being too cute with contests can be costly.)

5. Advertisers pay you. They are your friends.

6. Have a delay button (preferably 20 seconds or more) and when in doubt use it.

7. Don’t dis someone’s religion.

8. Don’t let anyone curse in your studio ever. Get them out of that habit. If they are comfortable with cursing, it can someday accidentally get on the radio.

9. Instruct guests on your radio standards so they don’t get you in trouble.

10. Do good. (We’re not on earth to mark time. We’re here to make a difference).

Monday, May 07, 2007

Punk Marketing Manifesto

"Mediocre marketing does more harm than good" is just one of the new marketing paridigms revealed in Punk Marketing - the best-selling book from co-authors Richard Laermer and Mark Simmons. In a world where the lines between commerce, concent and consumers are continuing to blur ever more rapidly, Laermer and Simmons present a manifesto for any businessperson (programmer) needing to engage consumers (listeners) - or any consumer seeking to understand and employ their newfound power.

1. Avoid Risk and Die
In times of change the greatest risk is to take none at all.

2. Why Not Ask ‘Why Not?’
Assumptions are just that. Anything you assume is usually a half-truth or generalizations that once served a useful purpose but now hinders truly creative solutions.

3. Take a Strong Stand
Trying to be all things to everyone on the planet inevitably results in meaning little of interest to just about anybody.

4. Don’t Pander
Customers are important but they are not necessarily right.

5. Give Up Control
Consumers now control brands. Smart marketers recognize this and embrace it rather than fight the powerful truth.

6. Expose Yourself
A relationship of trust between brand and consumer, like that between two people, is built upon honesty.

7. Make Enemies
All brands need to position themselves against an alternative.

8. Leave Them Wanting More
Avoid the temptation to reveal all of your assets at once. Or as the masters have said: You don’t teach them everything you know. You teach them everything they know.

9. Outthink the Competition
Think smarter than the other dude. Do not be led into temptation by the fast buck and don’t try and outspend them.

10. Don’t Be Seduced By Technology
The media is not the message anymore. The message is the message is the message.

11. Know Who You Are
If you don’t understand what it is that you are good at you might be tempted to try and be something you are not.

12. No More Marketing Bullshit
Get to the point. Express it clearly and simply. Einstein said — we believe he meant marketers: “Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.”

13. Don’t Let Others Set Your Standards
Sorry to tell you this but good no longer means anything while mediocre does more harm than doing nothing.

14. Use the Tools Of The Revolution
Go write your own Manifesto. Remind yourself of its articles whenever you lack resolve.

Join the Punk Marketing revolution here.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Arbitron's First PPM Ratings Ever

Mediaweek's Katy Bachman reports:

Arbitron made radio history Friday, releasing the industry's first currency ratings from the industry's first electronic measurement system. From this point forward, there will be no more diaries and no more quarterly measurement. Ratings will be delivered monthly for persons six and older.

“This is an important day for the American radio industry. Radio advertisers have been united in their desire for radio to enhance its accountability by adopting electronic measurement of radio audiences,” said Steve Morris, president and CEO of Arbitron.

The March Portable People Meter survey covered the period March 8 to April 4.

The top-10 stations (in Philadelphia) by average quarter-hour rating for persons 12 and over were: WBEB-FM; KYW-AM and WMMR-FM (tied for No. 2); WOGL-FM; WDAS-FM, WMGK-FM, and WXTU-FM (tied for No. 5); WBEN-FM and WPHT-AM (tied for No. 8); WHYY-FM, WIOQ-FM, WIP-AM, WISX-FM, WPHI-FM, WRDW-FM, and WUSL-FM (tied for No. 10).

The top 5 stations (in Philadelphia) by average-quarter-hour share for persons six and over were: WBEB-FM (9.2), Adult Contemporary owned by Jerry Lee; KYW-AM (8.4), News, CBS Radio; WMMR-FM (7.9), Rock, Greater Media; WOGL-FM (7.4), Oldies, CBS Radio; WMGK-FM (5.7), Classic Rock, Greater Media. Arbitron plans to roll out the PPM ratings service to the top 50 markets by 2010.

The next PPM market scheduled to go live is Houston in June, followed by New York in December and Chicago and Los Angeles in March.

The PPM has been in market trials since 2001.

More from Mediaweek here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Brand Formula

What is a brand?

According to Seth Godin, it is a product of two things:

[Prediction of what to expect] x [emotional power of that expectation].

Seth goes on to say...

If I encounter a brand and I don't know what it means or does, it has zero power. If I have an expectation of what an organization will do for me, but I don't care about that, no power.

Seth's advice (and I agree):

If you want to grow a valuable brand, keep awareness close to zero among the people you're not ready for yet, and build the most predictable, emotional experience you can among those that care about you.

Consider this: Does your station consistently deliver on listener expectations? Is your content engaging and emotional at all times? If not, the only thing you will deliver with inconsistent programming and non-compelling content is low ratings.

Click here to read Seth's entire post.

Jack Trout On Branding

Jack Trout, the prolific branding, advertising and marketing author, comments on branding in the latest Forbes:

"The last time I looked, there were over 2,000 books covering some topic related to brands or branding. What used to be just the logo and the name of a product or company has now become this almost mystic creation that encompasses unique identities and qualities separate from the product names. There is an army of consultants trying to sell you some branding system or another. Forget all that. Let's begin at the beginning. As Walter Landor once said, 'Products are created in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.'"

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fast and Furious Formats 2012: Demographic Shift and Internet Drift

Bridge Ratings released their format trends study, which projects with audience growth/loss by format into 2012.

According to the study, the top 5 terrestrial formats based on audience growth through “Demographic Shift”:

  1. Country +24%
  2. News Talk +20%
  3. Urban +15%
  4. Spanish +14%
  5. CHR +3%

The formats projected to be the hardest hit by audience attrition through demographic shift: Oldies, Adult Contemporary, Classical, Rock and Adult Hits.

Although the Adult Hits, Adult Contemporary and Rock terrestrial formats will suffer audience declines, these formats are among those that will benefit from the migration of listenership to the internet.

The top 5 formats that will gain the most from “Internet Drift”:

  1. Rock +45%
  2. Adult Contemporary +38%
  3. Alternative +35%
  4. Adult Hits +30%
  5. Smooth Jazz +30%

Click here to see more on the Bridge Ratings study including “Youth Inclusive” and 2 other youth-oriented formats that tested most positively with 15-22 year olds.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Are You "The Cup"?

From Kim George @

People living in scarcity see the cup as half empty.
People who are positive thinkers see the cup as half full.
People living abundantly see the cup as overflowing.
But people Living into their Greatness ARE the cup.

What's keeping you from seeing yourself as "The Cup”?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Two Reasons People Say No To Your Idea

According to marketing guru Seth Godin, two reasons people say no to your idea are:
  1. "It's been done before"
  2. "It's never been done before"
Seth's advice (and I agree): Even though neither one is truthful, accurate or useful, you need to be prepared for both.

More from Seth here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

How Listeners Will Fare In Merger

From the Wall Street Journal, Lee Gomes writes:

Business doesn't always look too kindly on a duopoly. True, there are the occasional twinned rivals that manage to sit happily atop an industry for decades -- Coke and Pepsi, say. But there are also many examples, like VHS and Beta, of pairs of competitors that battle it out in markets where, in the end, people want not a choice, but a single unambiguous winner.

Depending on antitrust regulators in Washington, the market for satellite radio may soon undergo a 2-for-1 deal of its own. In this case, the winner would involve a marriage of two incumbents, XM and Sirius, who have asked the Federal Communications Commission to be allowed to merge. A decision isn't expected for several months.

The request from the companies is, if nothing else, brash. XM and Sirius received permission to set up their satellite networks back in 1997, fully aware of an FCC rule specifically prohibiting the very sort of merger and resulting monopoly now being sought.

Click here for the complete article.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

To Win, Radio Must Be...

“To win, brands must be relevant, responsible, honest, definable, and a welcome part of contemporary culture.” – Scott Bedbury, former Starbucks executive

The above quote from Scott Bedbury could easily be adapted into a framework for evaluating the competitiveness of your "radio brands."

Think about the programming and marketing of the stations in your cluster/company. Is each station relevant, responsible, honest, definable and a welcome part of contemporary culture in the community it serves? If not, get your team together to share, and quickly implement, ideas that will improve each station and enhance the experience listeners have when they tune-in.

Make sure listeners not only hear your stations, but FEEL them. Engage. Entertain. Differentiate. And most of all, make a difference.

Monday, March 26, 2007

60 Ideas In 60 Minutes

Great minds, great ideas…

At this year’s Canadian Music Week in Toronto, fellow programmers Tracy Johnson, Chris Kennedy, Mike McVay, and Steve Young shared “60 Ideas In 60 Minutes.” The panel discussion was facilitated Chris Byrnes. Here are a few ideas from the session to help to jumpstart your thinking.

  • Have Talent Critique Themselves –Steve Young
    Allow your air talents to critique themselves during air check sessions. It will give you as a PD a sense of what they are thinking and what they see as the priorities to address in their air work.
  • Target Marketing To Create Sampling –Tracy Johnson
    Target your marketing to create SAMPLING of your station, not merely imaging or positioning it. Be sure to include a specific call to action…that is easy for consumers to respond to, and don’t ask for too much. You can’t convert someone who doesn’t listen now to become their favorite station tomorrow. But you can create marketing that asks for a LITTLE sampling…at a specific time…and get them to try you out.
  • Are You Blogging? –Chris Kennedy
    Are you blogging? Gives the station personalities a forum to be connected with the community and for listeners to comment and interact. Content can be anything from show bit discussions to appropriate content matching station style to community events, etc.

Get the complete list here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Your Station Website Sucks - And Here's Why

When it comes to the internet, it's amazing how many stations still don't "get it."

Web 2.0 offers unique ways to further engage your audience, link them with other listeners, enrich their listening and online experiences, and make them feel more passionate about your radio brand.

For creative and management types alike, here's a video that explains Web 2.0 in just under 5 minutes. Watch carefully...

Monday, March 05, 2007

RCS – 2007 Daylight Savings Time (DST) Changes/Updates

In August of 2005, Congress passed an energy bill that included extending Daylight Saving Time beginning in 2007. The new DST will start on this Sunday, March 11th 2007 and end on the first Sunday in November of 2007.

Most versions of Selector® and Master Control were designed to take Daylight Saving Time directly from the Microsoft Windows™ Operating System. This means that as long as your copy of Windows is updated to recognize the new DST changes, Selector and Master Control will automatically follow these new dates. Read more here.

Email RCS Support Team here.

Microsoft Support:

Microsoft Article: 2007 Time Zone and Daylight Saving Time Update for Windows XP:

Microsoft Article: Adjusting Daylight Saving Time manually for Windows 2000 and XP:

>> Note: For the new Windows Vista, changes are not needed as Vista will update automatically.

The Master Motivator

In 1995, New York Times best-selling authors, Mark Victor Hansen and Joe Batten, first shared their secrets of inspiring leadership in the book, “The Master Motivator.” When I discovered their book, at that time, I was serving as Program Director for the newly relaunched WKYS in Washington, DC. Mark and Joe’s leadership insights became invaluable to me. And I quickly adopted, and adapted, many of their tips and techniques to help me motivate my programming staff in new ways.

After blowing the dust off of this classic book again this past weekend, I believe that Mark and Joe’s insights are just as relevant today as they were years ago. For me, “The Master Motivator” helped to shape my coaching style for inspiring high-ego, high-energy talent in the office and behind the mic.

A Master Motivator…

  1. [Sets] clear expectations (goals and motives) requested firmly with caring confidence and consistency.
  2. Bases all requests (not orders) on known and suspected strengths and on the empathic awareness of needs, desires, and fears.
  3. Insures that full training, mentoring, and support are scheduled at all times.
  4. [Provides] continuous, confident, and caring feedback. When firmness is needed, mean what you say!
  5. Expects the best, being firm and caring. Provides generous earned praise and an example of constant commitment to learning.

Are you successfully coaching and motivating your staff to achieve their personal and professional goals, including higher ratings and revenue for your station/cluster? Be honest with yourself and those who look to you for leadership. Maybe it’s time for you to make the transition from being a “task master” to becoming a “master motivator.”

To make “The Master Motivator” a part of your leadership library, order your copy at And for more from the “Master of Mindset,” Mark Victor Hansen, visit here.