The Listening Experience

What do listeners experience when they listen to your radio station? One of the goals you have as a program director or on air talent is to get your listeners to become emotionally attached to your product. The more attached they become, the higher your ratings will be and the bigger impact you will have. In theory, it’s that simple, the practical application to this can be more complicated, but still not that difficult and certainly not insurmountable.  Here are some steps you can take to develop the desired emotional attachment.

  1. Talk and write in a down to earth manner. Skepticism runs high in today’s society, so promos that are too slick and over-produced may be seen as pure hype and no substance. There are some radio-speak terms that are completely lost on the average listener….Stay away from them.  Send a clear, fun message that is unmistakable and make them all about the listener and very little about you.
  2. Stress your listener benefits and the emotion behind them. The listener must feel (know) that you are constantly in touch with their wants and needs. Many times it is important to actually tell people how they’ll feel when they listen to a particular feature or segment of your station. Also, tell them how others feel about those features and segments. Make sure you stay focused on the listener’s emotion and not simply your station’s emotion. If you are going to send listeners to a show or an event, tell the listener how it will benefit them to the point where even they are imagining all of the possibilities.
  3. Understand what emotions people already perceive in relation to your station. Listen carefully for the emotions behind what they tell you about your music and other station activities. Once you start gathering this information, you need to feed it back to them in the form of promos, enhancers and testimonials. At this point you really begin your listener harvest. There are some “ready-made” emotional links to various formats that seem to hold true from market to market. Country is tied to patriotic, family oriented thoughts. Hot AC, is escapist by nature and makes people feel young.  Rock is often outrageous, shocking and sometimes rebellious. Christian is all about the God, family and spreading The Good News. Find your “fit” and go after it with focus.
  4. Keep your emotional link consistent and realistic. If you try to go against any emotional predisposition you will most likely fail or disconnect with your target. In other words, if there is a mainstream Country or Hot AC station and they rely heavily on shocking their listeners, they will most likely shock them right into the waiting arms of another radio station, poised to make a real emotional connection with them.

 


Brian Wright is a 30 year radio veteran who has successfully served many companies over the years as Program Director, Operations Manger and VP of programming. 

After many years of success working for individual radio stations and clusters, Brian Joined one of the most trusted consulting firms in the country, Audience Development Group. 

For the last 15 years Wright has enjoyed building alliances with scores of stations in the US & Canada helping them grow in ratings and revenue.

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