5 Things You Might Not Be Doing To Increase Ratings
1. Commit to a weekly planning/brainstorming meeting.
Everyone connected to the show from intern to PD should attend this meeting. Use 100% of the available creative brainpower at your station. At the meeting, everyone is responsible for bringing in multiple ideas from categories like: phone topics, personal stories, games, new features, guests/interviews, production piece (song parody, etc.), promotion, stunt idea, serial story line, web/viral content idea.
2. Make imaging the show a priority.
Imaging speeds up the process of familiarizing people with the show, for both new and established shows. Many people cume the radio station yet may not listen to the morning show. Make the promos a priority as opposed to being the last thing the show does before flying out the door. We can help you brainstorm ideas on how to best promote your show.
3. Asking is better than telling.
An effective way to start a difficult conversation with an employee or coworker is by asking a question. Often a personality or employee will know themselves when and even why something didn't work. If you start with "That sucked!" or "Why did you do that?!" the person feels defensive immediately. By asking a question, like "How do you think that [break] went?" the person has the opportunity to learn from their mistake by taking responsibility. "I know. I hated that break."
Then you can follow up with questions like "What can [we/you] do differently next time?" and the person is still with you in the conversation, not mentally on the phone with their therapist.
4. Create more anticipation for content by mastering the art of the tease.
When you pose a question that creates mystery -- or what scientific studies call an information gap in the brain -- it arouses people's curiosity and they feel compelled to find the answer or the resolution. So the purpose of teasing is twofold: One: to retain listeners through each segment of the show. Two: to create a mystery or create an information gap that engages listeners emotionally. It breaks down to: mystery (the information gap) + resolution (fill information gap) = ratings (more listeners).
Raise a question (create mystery/set up an information gap) for every segment including every phone topic, show feature, guests and appearances by the show or individual players. Listeners will feel like they're going to miss something if they aren't listening.
There are two types of teasing:
#1) Vertical teasing is for content that is coming up later in that day's show.
#2) Horizontal teasing is for content you're doing at the same time on future days. You can be confident that most of the people listening at 7:45 am on Tuesday can listen at 7:45 am on another morning. Add a column to the show's run sheet that includes a "coming up in the next couple of days".
Horizontal sells should be longer and more exaggerated than vertical sells. It is not too much to spend three minutes selling something that is going to happen at the same time later in the week.
5. Take an improv class.
Improv sharpens listening skills, builds confidence, gets the creative juices flowing, teaches you how to build and expand the content and conversations, improves team rapport and bantering skills. Maybe most importantly, it stretches you and gives you practice being out of your comfort zone. The less guarded you are, the more your authentic personality can come through. And believe it or not, it helps not just talent, but also producers and even managers, to find their comedic voice and to loosen up.
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