Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fixing A Problem Once Doesn't Mean It's Fixed Forever

As my last three posts have recounted, DR Audience Researchers Peter Niegel and Dennis Christensen used some clever research and training techniques to improve usage levels which dipped at the top of each hour, due to the start of newscasts on the Danish radio broadcaster.

.. but, then, "human nature" came into play as after a few months, things went back to where they were before:
After studying the hourly execution of the new "better flow" techniques and PPM results, they came to these conclusions on why newscasters had drifted back to the old way they did things which again cost audience at the beginning of each newscast:

The "cutbacks" meant, for example, that newscasters who were taught 'the new way' to do news reports in order to maintain listening levels had been replaced by individuals who had not received the PPM-friendly news training.

When news hosts reverted to the traditional approaches, listeners started changing stations exactly as they had before the changes.

It's an ongoing effort to keep news "alive" in the mind of the listener. If we don't constantly make an effort every single time, listeners will tune out.

This requires an ongoing effort to keep this issue in focus in both the newsroom and also the production departments.
"Every time we turn our backs, they have a tendency to slip back to the old ways and then the dips increase. We are still battling this issue. We have proven that the tools work, but it's a big challenge keeping journalists and presenters focused on what must be done differently. The problem is not solved yet," Niegel and Christensen reported last month to the BBM/Toronto audience.

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