When I was growing up there was a television station in Dallas that kicked off the 10 o’clock news with, “It’s ten o’clock. Do you know where your children are?”
Despite being an ABC affiliate, which was the third place network in those days, Channel 8 always dominated the news ratings. Many of their news anchors were on Channel 8 for decades!
Trust is not impulsive. Trust can only be built over time. Trust is built with a mindset of a farmer, not that of a hunter. Plant, tend, plow, fertilize, weed, repeat. Build relationships and be there when they need you.
What is your station’s role while the Coronavirus is in the headlines and impacting your listeners’ daily lives?
Consider three things.
Balance the latest news (mostly negative) with context. For instance, did you know that 93% of all cases are from only four countries in the world? Did you know that the Coronavirus has a greater likelihood of affecting older adults who already have lower immune systems or existing health issues? Did you know that no cases have been reported in any children under the age of 15? 80% of those impacted by the virus have recovered. *(Obviously these numbers change daily). Avoid what one psychologist called “gloom and doom entertainment.” (I’m not suggesting we minimize the severity of the situation, only that we offer context.)
Enlist someone to add to your team that is a health expert who can share tips to help keep your family safe. My friend Dwight Bain of Z88.3 in Orlando says,
“The more you panic the more your immune system goes down. A strong immune system will fight any virus or bacteria. We want our immunity system to go up. When you panic your immunity goes down.”
Like Channel 8’s “Do you know where your children are?”, you can be a good neighbor and remind your listeners how they can best protect their health. My friends at The Fish in Atlanta connect their Fish “bloops” , to the practical reminder “when you hear this sound “Bloop Bloop”, it’s time to wash your hands.”
Faith and where we find our hope
Be a constant reminder (and contrast to other media) of the true hope we offer every day of the year.
“Fear Not’ is the most frequently mentioned command in the Bible. If fact, 365 times, one for every day of the year. I’ve recommended to some stations that they incorporate a “one minute prayer at one” with local pastors and community leaders praying for the containment of the virus, the protection of our community, and for the researchers and scientists who are searching for a cure. This is also a great opportunity to utilize social media to connect your purpose to the tribes of those pastors and leaders.
“Want to supercharge your immunity system? Focus on positivity over fear. The more you laugh, the more you meditate on scripture, the more you practice diaphragmatic breathing, the more you pray – the stronger your immunity grows. Breathe. Trust. Believe. That’s how to increase faith over fear.” Dwight Bain
It’s March 2020. Do you know how your listeners are?
John Frost, consultant and partner in Goodratings Strategic Services, has been an integral influence in the dramatic growth of Contemporary Christian radio, bringing mainstream programming strategies and research principles to help create and develop some of America’s most successful Christian music stations.