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.