Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Pre-Fall Book Programmer's Action Plan

1. Focus on fun. This is why they listen and how we'll keep them. Calling yourself 'fun' doesn't make you 'fun.' Creativity and originality in content is the path to a more fun image and perception. Ask yourself every day what you created today to make the station more engaging, interesting, up-to-date and more fun for listeners to experience.

2. Relevancy. Talk about things that interest country listeners and provide a sense that the station is current and up-to-date. Listen for 20 minutes. How often are your personalities relating relevant content? More is better.

3. Improve unaided awareness. Eliminate silent cume by continually reinforcing your branded identity with creativity, humor and freshness, thus being consistently top of mind on the air and by being visible "everywhere" in the community. Repeating position statements and call letters over and over no longer works. Now, the key is to hook the listener in the first few words as many times per quarter hour as possible. Doing and saying lots of very memorable things is the best way to be memorable.

4. Improve usage. Create more specific occasions of listening per day and days per week by building strong 'reasons to listen.' Real radio usage is driven more by what the listener is doing at any given time, less by what YOU are doing. Understand where, how and when they are available to listen to radio and get in synch with that. Stop incessant teasing with lists of artists, songs and benchmarks which are "coming up later." PPM has demonstrated that the average listener is on to these tricks and either ignores them or, even worse, hears them as a warning that commercials are coming up immediately.

5. Improve the morning show. Create a presence in entertainment value, weather, traffic, news/sports/celebrity gossip that's fresh, full of interesting story-telling. Communicate feelings, not facts.

6. Increase listener interactivity. Provide an outlet for the passion new country listeners have for the music and the lifestyle which resonates with core values. Use listeners to SELL your key impages, not your "big" station voice.

7. Use the morning show, once it is fully developed and ready for the exposure, to market the station. Build credibility for your morning talent, then use them as marketing salespeople for the station. They should personify all the desired elements, but especially FUN.

8. Make the morning a launching pad for other dayparts, especially at work listening. Create regular "at work" daily benchmarks shortly after 8 am, 10 am, 1 pm and 3 pm that will remind ARB diarykeepers in the station's audience that they start their day with the station and then listen at work at those "memory posts" that involve all three weekday dayparts.

9. As time permits, once the above objectives have been accomplished, recycle to weeknights and the weekends. Goal: get at least 35% of your total week cume into each of these dayparts.

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