Category Archives: Mentor

Listeners Don’t Care

If you think listeners hang on our every word – surprise – the reality is quite different.

Listening is a Habit

Radio listening, like many things in our lives, is on auto-pilot. When someone makes listening to your radio station part of their daily habit, you’ve struck gold.

However, two years of a global pandemic changed everyone’s routines and replaced them with new ones.

People who study people’s habits, usually say that it takes at least three weeks for a person to form a new routine and COVID forced changes on all of us that lasted for two years.

Award Winning

Go ahead and pound your chest that your radio station has won awards for its news coverage, its public service and its ability to break new hit songs, but appreciate that listeners don’t care. What is important to them is having your radio station deliver what they’re looking for, when they’re looking for it, and on the media platform they want it delivered on.

The Best Ads

It’s interesting that the ads listeners remember most are usually for products or services that have been around for decades and used the power of repetition to burn their ear worm into your brain.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean:

  • I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid.
  • The best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup. (Oddly, the brand actually sold the rights to this 38-year old jingle for $90,000.00.)
  • Plop, plop…Fizz, fizz…Oh, what a relief it is. This Alka-Seltzer ear worm was penned in 1976 and was so popular that Sammy Davis, Jr. actually recorded a version.
  • I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, and I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company, it’s the real thing.
    • I actually still play on my radio show, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” a song by Hillside Singers and it still makes me crave having a Coke, even though the hit record version never mentions Coca-Cola.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

Your Brand Messaging

You will never be all things to all people.

If your radio station uses multiple positioning statements, I’m willing to bet that your listeners, at best, can remember only one.

Back when I started in the broadcast business, radio stations spent a lot of money promoting their air personalities; they were the draw then, and they are the draw still, maybe even more so as Fred Jacobs TechSurvey 2022 so vividly points out.

Your personalities are your brand, and unique to your radio station; coach them, grow them and promote them.

If you don’t understand the listener’s needs, from the listener’s point of view, then you’re just spinning your wheels.

Your goal is to be the radio station a listener thinks of first,

and makes a daily habit.

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Great Radio Takes A Team Effort

Looking back on my radio career that’s spanned over five decades, one thing is crystal clear, the success of each of the radio properties I worked at, was due to a team of people.

It Takes A Team

Whether we’re talking about your education, working in an office, performing on a stage, participating in a sport or being on the radio, nothing would happen if it wasn’t for a team of people, all working together, to make the magic happen.

Great radio takes dedicated professionals in all areas, including engineering, news/information, promotions, on-air personalities, programming, sales, billing and management.

Successful teams are the ones that have learned how to work together to meet and beat their goals.

Your First Team

The first team you were on was “Team Family.” Your mom and dad, along with maybe brothers and/or sisters, offered you love, support and guidance. As you grew older school introduced you to learning and sports teams.

Each of these experiences prepared you for entering the workforce where you learned that personal limitations could be balanced by others who were strong in areas you were not; no one has all the answers.

We Need Each Other

Successful radio stations are filled with people who excel in different skills and caringly collaborate; much like the human body needs all of its parts working in harmony to produce a healthy person.

To carry this a bit further, for a radio station to truly be successful, it needs to become part of another team; “Team Community.”

Radio stations that are active participants in the area they are licensed to serve become interwoven into the fabric of their community. They bring people together and create a positive energy for the betterment of everyone.

If you’re a radio listener, can you name a radio station that does this for you?

If you’re an owner/operator of a radio station, can you honestly say your property is fulfilling this mission?

“If everyone is moving forward together,

then success takes care of itself.”

-Henry Ford

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Let’s Say Goodbye to Non-Compete Agreements

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just proposed a new rule that would ban employers from imposing non-compete agreements on their employees. Having spent the majority of my working life in the radio industry, I can’t remember a broadcasting company I worked for that didn’t have me sign one of these agreements, and I’m willing to bet that like me, you were never a fan of them.

What an FTC Ban on Non-Compete Would Mean

The proposed new rule eliminating non-competes would mean that employers could no longer make signing such an agreement a condition of hiring and that all existing non-competes would sunset within six months of the rule’s adoption. It would also require that employers give notice to their employees that the non-compete clause is no longer in effect and will not be enforced.

Should radio owner/operators be afraid? No, and let me tell you why.

The Day I Tore Up My Employee Non-Competes

Back when I was a general manager in Atlantic City, I had a sales employee walk across the street to my biggest radio competitor. I wanted to pursue this employee in court because I had them under a non-compete contract. However, the new owners of my radio stations said that if a person didn’t want to work for our broadcast company, to just let them leave.

Puzzled by this new operating philosophy, I asked the new owners, if they didn’t intend to enforce employee non-compete agreements, why did they keep them in place when they bought the radio stations from the previous owner. The company president’s response to me was, “darn if I know.” I said then, I’m going to tear them all up, and he said, “go ahead.”

Life Without Non-Competes

I have to tell you, as a young manager, the realization that every employee of my radio stations could walk across the street to my competitors, was scary.

However, something wonderful happened.

People who now worked for me knew they no longer were working under non-competes, and they now worked for me because they wanted to. It also made me realize that I too needed to provide a style of management that made people want to stay with me more than going someplace else. That, I would learn, is the best way to run a business.

Even better, having this type of work environment saw many talented people waiting in line to come work at our stations.

The FTC says the evidence to date suggests that non-competes suppress wages, reduce competition and keep innovative ideas from being birthed.

The rule making on this ban has just begun and the FTC is currently collecting comments from both supporters and opponents, and no timetable has been established for rendering a final decision on this proposal.

You can add your comments to the Federal Trade Commission decision making process by writing “Non-Compete Clause Rulemaking, Matter No. P201200” on your comment, and filing your comment online at https://www.regulations.gov

Today’s Media Environment

Radio today, unlike in 1920, operates in a marketplace that is over-served, and when that happens the basis of competition changes, opening the door for a new type of competitor.

Sadly, while this new media world was being born, the radio industry was focused on consolidation and increasing shareholder value, by replacing its radio personalities with technology and creating a radio medium that would play-it-safe to become predictable and boring.

“Never be boring.”

-Valerie Geller

Programming consultant, John Frost, recently asked this question in his weekly Frost Advisory,  “What does your radio station value?” Winning companies value encouragement and teamwork, according to Ken Blanchard, author of books like “The One Minute Manager.”

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure,

but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.’

-Francis Chan

Radio can only win the future by attracting the most talented people to work in our industry, and giving them permission to fail.

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Best of the Blog 2022

It’s been my tradition since I began this blog eight years ago to look back on the year just past and share with you the Top 5 Most Read articles over the last 52-weeks.

To date, 400 articles have been published and have been viewed over 273,800-times from folks around the world; maybe you missed them or perhaps you’d like to read them again.

Most Read Article of 2022

Radio’s most important assets are its broadcast radio personalities, yet the big radio owners continue to eliminate that very advantage. Worse, our industry has no plan to create a farm team of new broadcasters that will replace personalities who are retiring or have retired.

It’s this critical fact that prompted me to write Radio’s Leaking Listeners.” Apparently this article struck a nerve with thousands of readers when it was published in May 2022.

Second Most Read Article of 2022

I started off 2022 with a bang in my first new article of the year titled “Why I Stream ALL My Radio Listening.” Since my wife Sue (who edits this weekly missive) bought me an Amazon Echo in 2017, streaming has been my preferred way to listen to all thing’s audio and Alexa now inhabits four Echo devices and three televisions. Simple voice commands control what station I listen to and at what volume. In 2021, all of what was happening in our home was added to both of our cars using the Nulazy KM18 Blue Tooth receiver that immediately pairs with both Sue’s and my iPhones and our car radios have become nothing more than audio amplifiers.

Since I wrote that article, my good radio friend Gary James gifted me a C Crane Internet Radio that I’m thoroughly enjoying.

Third Most Read Article of 2022

Once upon a time in a land far away, a radio station had a team of people fully focused and dedicated to a single radio signal. Think of the incredible radio stations you listened to in your youth: WABC, WKBW, WRKO, WLS, WPRO, WDRC, KHJ, KFRC, CKLW etc. These were standalone radio stations with dedicated staffs that numbered ten or more times larger than today’s radio clusters, which are made up of 4 or more stations.

John Frost says that “Culture always changes in the hallways, before it changes out the speakers.” It’s a philosophy I’ve lived all my radio life, and was the genesis of “Great Radio Starts in the Station’s Hallways.”

Fourth Most Read Article of 2022

I often think about how much radio has changed since I began my career as a professional broadcaster in February 1968, 54 years ago. Local radio at that time told us who was born, who died, whether school was open or closed, what happened at the city council of school board meetings, what was going on in the world, our nation and our community. We depended on our hometown radio station for news, weather, sports and entertainment.

With so many of these needs now filled by other means, “What Purpose Does Radio Serve in 2022?

Fifth Most Read Article of 2022

Everywhere you turn you see “Help Wanted” signs, yet we see a radio industry that continues to eliminate people. In the article “Where Have All the People Gone”, I tackled the logic behind radio owners eliminating the very element that not only differentiates it from pureplay streamers, but is the attraction for most listeners – it’s radio personalities.

Most Read Article The Day It Was Published

Back on September 6, 2015, an article I wrote in the early days of this blog continues to hold the record for the most readers and comments the day it was published. Looking back, I see that it dealt with the same issue eight years ago that has only gotten worse, that being the elimination of the very thing that makes radio great – it’s radio personalities.

We Never Called It Content is the story of how a radio industry inspired me to make this my life’s career. It’s an article that’s now had over 5,000 views.

 Radio is an art form.

When you remove the artists, there’s not much left.

Why I Blog

I blog for broadcasters, educators and students, I blog to provide media mentorship and to pay-it-forward to the broadcasting industry that I have been a part of for over 50-years. I’m grateful for the more than 204,400-people from all over the world who have visited this blog (https://DickTaylorBlog.com) and have read an article that caught their interest.

Thank You for reading, next week I will begin my ninth year of blogging with all new articles.

Together we can all learn from one another by sharing our experiences, knowledge and wisdom. Feel free to contribute your thoughts to the discussion in the comments section. I read every one of them.

Happy New Year!

Dick & Sue

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UPDATE 1-7-2023: Both Sue & I found ourselves testing COVID+ as we started 2023 and are now focusing on our health to try and put this behind us.

The good news is that we’re both vaccinated and boosted and on medication that should have us back on the road to recovery.

While we were both very careful to always mask up when shopping and when we did dine out, we would go at off hours to avoid crowded restaurants, the new strains of COVID appear to be as reported, very contagious.

I will resume writing this blog soon.

Stay tuned.

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Community & Companionship Isn’t Built on Efficiency

The 1979 hit record by Charlie Dore called Pilot of the Airwaves perfectly captured a listener’s sentiment in the lyric:

“I’ve been listening to your show on the radio

and you seem like a friend to me.”

The two most important features radio broadcasting can provide for its listeners are a sense of community, and companionship.

While the pandemic exacerbated the situation, it’s been decades in the making.

Bowling Alone

In 1995, Robert D. Putnam wrote an essay entitled “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital”; the essay chronicled the decline in all forms of in-person social interchange. What Putnam saw in his research was that the very foundation Americans had used to establish, educate and enrich the fabric of their social lives was eroding. People were now less likely to participate in their community, social organizations, churches, and even their democracy.

This trend has only been accelerated by social media and the internet with the unintended consequences of the internet being, that it has isolated each of us to a web of one. Algorithms have taken what Putnam saw happening in the last century and put it on steroids in this century, all in the name of driving more efficiency.

Efficiency Bubble

The term “efficiency bubble” means that efficiency is valued over effectiveness in today’s world, it was coined by Will Lion of BBH advertising.

Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy in the UK, shared this personal experience that demonstrated the efficiency bubble.

“The absurdity of the efficiency bubble was brought home to me in a recent meeting with an online travel company. The conversation repeatedly included the mantra ‘the need to maximize online conversion.’ Everyone nodded along. Clearly, it is much more efficient for people to book travel through the website than over the telephone, since it reduces transaction costs. But then someone – not me, I’m ashamed to say – said something revelatory: ‘Ah, but here’s the thing. Online visitors to the site convert at about 0.3%. People who telephone convert at 33%. Maybe the website should have a phone number on every page.”

“Perhaps the most efficient way to sell travel is not the most effective way to sell travel. What, in short, is the opportunity cost of being efficient?”

“Nobody ever asks this question. Opportunity costs are invisible; short-term savings earn you a bonus. That’s the efficiency bubble at work again.”

Consolidation is Just Another Word for “Efficiency”

During radio’s massive consolidation, Excel spreadsheets produced by new minted MBAs screamed a multitude of ways to have radio stations become more efficient. Unfortunately, the fast-lane involved the elimination of tens of thousands of radio jobs.

And this is still going on as I write this article; not just in radio, but in television and social media as well.

I don’t ever remember anyone asking about “opportunity costs” being sacrificed in the process.

In the last radio property, I managed, my days would be spent going to corporate meetings about Reductions In Force (RIFs) and coming home with a thumb drive that had dates to open new pages in an Excel spreadsheet, that listed what people and departments were to be eliminated next.

Efficient radio chases away listeners,

effective radio creates them.

Blame It on Competition

When all radio companies chase the same efficiency metrics, they all end up sounding the same, their websites end up looking the same, and in essence, they’ve turned the creative medium of radio into a commodity.

As I wrote about in the article The Birth of Radio in America, deregulation of broadcast now has virtually all of the radio stations in a radio market owned by one or two companies.

Radio always stole great ideas from other radio stations around the country, but most often those stolen ideas were massaged and improved upon in the process. Everyone was upping the game through their own creativity lens, and each radio station had its own unique sound.

Unfortunately, along with corporation radio came the concept of “Best Practices”. This would be yet another contributor to the end of personal creativity at radio stations, all in the name of more efficiency.

Emotions

The pursuit of efficiency is a rational answer to an emotional problem.

The radio business was never built on Excel spreadsheets and doing what was most efficient, it was built by creative people who touched others emotionally. Be it station imaging, air personalities, promotions, contests, community events, advertising or marketing, radio always went for people’s hearts.

I was reminded all of this when I was listening to Music & Jingles LIVE with Jon Wolfert on Rewound Radio. The show featured the creators of the famous 1974 Nine Tape created by Howard Hoffman, Randy West, Russ DiBello and Pete Salant. Listen to this five minute and thirty-seven seconds of audio HERE and you will understand…

“9”

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Monkey First

There’s been many changes to the radio industry in the past fifty years, but one thing has not changed and that is the reason people listen.

People listen to radio that interests them.

This past week I sat in on a webinar that revealed groundbreaking data that is being produce by DTS AutoStage. Joe D’Angelo, Xperi’s Senior Vice President of Global Radio & Digital Audio, showed how granular, and in virtually “real time,” the data from vehicle listening produced by DTS AutoStage is. This research will give the radio industry unprecedented access to radio analytics and audience insights.

Train The Monkey First

The problem I see with all the technological advancements in the radio business these days is that it feels like we’re putting the cart before the horse.

Google’s division to foster innovation operates under the philosophy of “#MonkeyFirst.”

If you want to get a monkey to recite Shakespeare on a pedestal,

you start by training the monkey, not building the pedestal.

The hard part is training the monkey, as anyone can build a pedestal.

Applying this to radio broadcasting, the hard part is crafting the programming that goes out to a listener. The easy part is acquiring the technology to transmit a signal; whether over the internet or through the ether.

Headline News

CNN and Headline News (simply known as HLN) is under new ownership.

Back when Ted Turner conceived of the Headline News channel, it featured a full half-hour long newscast every thirty minutes, 24-hours a day.

With ownership change, came changes to Headline News, including the dropping of the name in favor of just calling the channel HLN. The channel also stopped doing thirty-minute newscasts round-the-clock and the only news program left was Robin Meade’s Morning Express.

That came to end after a 21-year run on Monday, December 5, 2022. Robin Meade explained that

“because of budget cuts and a changing industry HLN is no longer

producing its own live news. It means our news shows are ending.

In its place you will see a simulcast of CNN’s morning show.”

Once again, a broadcast company is expecting to do better by cutting costs and eliminating the very entity that drew people to the channel in the first place.

Too many broadcasters are hard at work building a better pedestal when where their attention should be focused on, is delivering the programming their audience wants.

The reason for this misplaced effort is because building technology is the easy part and management can show their investors early progress against a timeline.

The broadcasting industry is creating a world of outstanding pedestals, while the audience leaves.

Make sure you address the crux of the problem

and don’t waste time with the peripheral issues.

-Greg Satell

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Follow The Media Money

You’ve probably heard the catch phrase, “follow the money,” first popularized in the movie about the Watergate scandal, that detailed the work of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Since the 1970s, “follow the money” has seen extensive use by investigative journalists, and that’s what the most recent Borrell webinar looked at for 2023 with respect to media advertising dollars.

Media Spending Forecast

On November 29th Gordon Borrell and Corey Elliott presented Borrell’s Fall 2022 Fall Survey of Local Ad Agencies. Here’s how I interpreted the information they shared starting with the Top 5 types of media that agencies said their clients are planning to invest more money into next year, and also the 5 they will be cutting:

            Investing More $$$                Planning to Eliminate

            Streaming Video                     Printed Directories

            Social Media                           Newspapers

            Search Engine Marketing        Other Printed Publications

            Streaming Audio                     Magazines

            Website Ads                            Cable TV

At first blush, things don’t look so rosy for print media, however, wrapped into that media category “Website Ads” are the digital versions of newspapers and magazines, to name just two.

I’ve been a digital subscriber to the Washington Post newspaper for a couple of years now and I also read Atlantic Magazine digitally.

When it comes to radio, the number of advertisers who say they will buy more radio ads about equals the number who say they will buy less. In other words, broadcast radio advertising looks to be treading water in 2023.

High Usage, High Effectiveness

When it came to what types of media direct buyers say are the best, we find five of them:

  • Social Media
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Events
  • Banner Ads
  • Radio

OTT, Streaming Audio & ???

During the webinar I asked the following question:

“Streaming video is called Over-The-Top (OTT),

podcasts & other digital audio is called Streaming Audio,

what are digital newspapers and magazines called?”

Turns out the answer was both newspapers and magazines are included in the media category “Banner Ads” in this research.

So, while advertisers may not be interested in those paper and ink publications, they are interested in their digital products, and their digital offerings compete for the same ad dollars as broadcast radio and TV.

Broadcast TV was rated higher in effectiveness than radio by advertisers, but saw lower usage as one can assume it was most likely due to the cost of television advertising.

Streaming Audio

You can’t help to look at the high interest in “Streaming Audio” and not wonder why it doesn’t command more advertising dollars. Corey Elliott said the answer to this question of why they weren’t spending more ad dollars on streaming audio was simply that “no one pitched them.”

Search Engine Marketing #1

For direct buyers of advertising, Gordon Borrell pointed out that “for the first time in 13 years of surveying, broadcast TV doesn’t occupy the top spending spot, falling to roughly half of what it was in prior surveys.”

What beat broadcast TV was “Search Engine Marketing.”

Search Engine Marketing is a form of Internet marketing that involves

the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility

in search engine results pages primarily through paid advertising.

-Wikipedia

In 2023, DIGITAL will account for $7 of every $10 spent on local advertising and 45% of local ad buyers will purchase their advertising from fewer than 3 media companies.

2023 is forecast to see broader usage of virtually everything.

The media companies that are positioned to enjoy success in 2023, are:

  1. The companies that have invested in training and retaining their sales people in the area of all things digital, and
  2. Focused their company to deliver media products consumers want and enjoy on every digital media platform.

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Today’s Media Consumption Headlines

I can’t help but be struck by the headlines I read each morning when I log onto my computer or pickup my smartphone to read the latest news.

Here’s just a few recent ones:

  • More audio is now consumed in the U.S. through mobile devices than through traditional radio receivers. -Edison Research
  • 83% of U.S. Homes have enabled smart TVs or streaming media players. -Hub Research
  • 49% of registered voters don’t have traditional TV, 80% stream. -Samba TV & HarrisX
  • The steady climb of podcasting’s reach in the U.S. -Edison Research
  • Why mobile first is radio’s road back. -Jacob’s Media
  • Survey finds older adults are slowly warming to streaming audio. -Broadbeam Media

This last headline flies in the face of traditional wisdom that people over the age of 55, who grew up with AM/FM radio, won’t abandon the medium. However, the COVID pandemic has caused rapid shifts in media habits, even among older Americans.

Not surprising, it has been the shift to streaming video that’s taught people how easy it is to stream audio content as well.

Traditional Radio vs. Digital Audio

For twenty years, we’ve seen this day coming. With each passing survey, research study or anecdotal observation it’s clear that listening to audio content is moving from the world I grew up in, AM/FM radio, to digitally streamed audio.

The trend line is clear, everything is moving in one direction and there’s no signs of it reversing. Today 53% of audio time spent listening is to digitally streamed audio.

I started off this year of blogging with an article about how ALL of my radio listening is digitally steamed, whether I’m at home or in one of our cars. You can read that article HERE

Hallmark Christmas Movies

My wife Sue and I love watching Hallmark Christmas Movies. One of the things I’ve noticed about today’s movies, is how ubiquitous the smartphone has become in storylines. Everyone is constantly texting or video chatting with others in these movies.

But what really struck a nerve with me, was a scene in a recent Christmas film where a character in the movie tries to explain to another character what radio is:

Actor 1: It’s like TV without pictures.

Actor 2: You mean it’s a podcast?

It’s clear that we are living in the future that was predicted decades ago.

Life Is Change

It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Both public radio and Christian radio have found audiences that will listen and support them whether they are received by traditional radio broadcasting or via a digital stream on a smartphone or smart speaker.

Many of our country’s smallest radio markets are also some of the most successful radio operations. Why? Because they know their listeners, and engage with them on a very personal level.

It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who has been swimming naked.

-Warren Buffett

In other words, everyone looks like they know what they’re doing when business is good, it’s only when things become challenging, that we know who is prepared to not just survive, but thrive.

How many years must a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?

-Bob Dylan

Radio broadcasting, like the mountain in Bob Dylan’s song “Blowin’ In The Wind,” is dealing with its own type of climate change, a change in people’s habits for how they receive and consume their media.

Let’s hope the answer to radio’s future isn’t “Blowin’ In The Wind.”

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Sharing Motivational Thoughts, I’m Grateful For

With Thanksgiving approaching this Thursday, I thought it appropriate to share the wisdom I’ve collected over the years from some incredible folks.

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“Learn as if you will live forever, live like you will die tomorrow.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

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“Our lives improve only when we take chances – and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.”

-Walter Anderson

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“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

-Winston S. Churchill

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“We all become the stories we tell ourselves.”

-Tom Asacker

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“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”

-Mister Rogers

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“Eighty percent of success in life is showing up.”

-Woody Allen

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“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

-John Wooden

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“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”

– Will Rogers

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“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.”

– Dalai Lama

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“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

– George Eliot

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“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

-Zig Ziglar

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“The two most important days in your life are the day you’re born and the day you find out why.”

– Mark Twain

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You’ll never get bored when you try something new. There’s really no limit to what you can do.” – Dr. Seuss

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“NOTICE

If you want to sell your product to our company,

be sure your product is accompanied by a plan,

which will so help our business that we will be more anxious to buy

than you are to sell.”

-Don Beveridge

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“I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life.”

-Louise Hay

Today, we live a world consumed by measurement. The internet, along with social media, has put data tracking front and center. To people selling traditional media, where user estimates are still the currency, it might be good to keep this wisdom from Albert Einstein in mind. Einstein’s fame was based on numeric calculations that helped us to understand the universe, so it might surprise you that he had these words printed on a sign that hung over his desk at Princeton.

“Not everything that counts can be counted,

and not everything that can be counted counts.”

Have a

Happy Thanksgiving

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A Friend I’ve Never Met

People who write blogs, are faithful readers of other people’s blogs. Doug Erickson is “a friend I’ve never met,” who is a very respected radio programming consultant and yes, also writes a blog.

This past week, Doug went back to one of my blog articles from 2017 that posed the question: “What Can Radio Do That Other Media Can’t?

Here’s how Doug answered that question:

  • Engage the mind, spark the imagination, unlock old memories and the emotion connected with them.
  • Video, if done well, allows us to see what the creator sees. But, it is rarely the same image we would have seen if we would’ve pictured it in our minds first.
  • That’s why, when we hear a voice, it rarely fits the actual person speaking because we’ve already imagined what that voice must look like.
  • Writing can be incredibly engaging, but it seems fewer and fewer allow themselves the uninterrupted time to allow for character and story development to do their work.
  • Only radio has the power to use sound and words alone to literally paint images in the brains of those who listen, and because listening is often done while alone. the engagement is intensely and uniquely personal.
  • No two people listening see exactly the same images.
  • And while the very best radio talent will help us feel, and feel deeply, each listener’s emotional response is personal because each of us has experienced life just differently enough to make it so.
  • Words, carefully chosen; the timbre of each voice delivering those words; pauses to draw listeners closer; ambient sound that can help paint a scene; music, which uniquely communicates the inexpressible…these are your tools.
  • This is what makes personal human connection possible and deepens the experience of listening to you.
  • How many of your tools do you use?
  • How often do you offer something no other medium can?
  • How often do you create content that no one else, your listeners can hear today, can?

That’s the goal, isn’t it?

-Doug Erickson, Erickson Media

In Other Words…

Your radio station needs to be RELEVANT to the audience it’s focused on serving.

  • It needs to have a heartbeat and be ready to go LIVE on a moment’s notice when warranted.
  • It needs to provide a sense of COMMUNITY & COMPANIONSHIP to the listener.
  • Define who your audience is and then super-serve them 24/7, 365.

You know what to do.

Now you just need to do it.

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