Michael O'Malley's take (the red circle is where we need to be vs where we are now) on Jeff Vidler's Vision Critical research on Pandora users' use of and opinions about broadcast radio, highlighting the need to move farther away from "getting tired of it after awhile" and "boring" toward "for people like me," "puts me in a good mood," and "interesting" reminded me of all the articles over the years in Redbook Magazine with lists (and lists and lists and lists!) of things couples can do to make their relationship stronger.
The shortest of them - five tips - is a good start for any radio broadcast personality to practice.
Daily Habit #1: Talk to Each Other
The word "broadcast" and the fact that we're a "mass" medium makes it easy to feel like you're doing the job when you're talking. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Are you listening too? Can other listeners tell that you are? This starts, of course, with social media, but it has to also include txting and even tightly-edited phoners.
Daily Habit #2: Flirt
No, don't try to pick up the opposite sex in your interactions. Just ask anyone who's done that. Sometimes it does work out, but more often than not it can turn ugly.
Audio "flirting" can be fun, however, as long as it's done in front of the entire audience and they know that they are welcome to flirt back too. Smile, tease, share relatable stories, Act interested in the target listener. Constantly, let them know you care.
Daily Habit #3: Get Stupid Together
Be silly. Laugh.
Poke fun at yourself and invite listeners to poke fun at themselves as well.
Daily Habit #4: Declare Your Independence
Don't be like everyone else.
Don't use the same words that every other voice on the radio also does.
Be yourself by sharing - not opinions that might polarize listeners against you or each other - but your point of view, perspective in a way that lets the listener know you want to learn what theirs is too.
Daily Habit #5: Share a Spiritual Moment
Religion and politics, yes, should be off limits for most of us. If you want to go there, you need to have earned incredible levels of trust and that starts by deeply understanding all of the beliefs and priorities of the folks who listen to you.
Instead, look for common threads that overlap with yours and start there. Raise money and awareness for the Red Cross, St. Jude, Children's Miracle Network, World Vision. Even better, find something you personally feel committed to and work to get your listener involved.
Make a difference by making listeners FEEL what you stand for.
Finally, once you've done those five and incorporated them into your daily content, it's time to go back to all of those Redbook articles in their archive and work through another list.
Sustaining a relationship requires a daily commitment to keeping things fresh and new, every break, every day.