In radio, while the image of ‘just doing good for the community’ is seldom sufficient to win the ratings race for a station (especially in PPM markets where actual usage trumps all), the positive passion and powerful emotions that strong community involvement generate CAN often improve audience loyalty and station memorability.
Once we get beyond musical images, is there anything more important than being the station that helps kids or wounded vets?
In fact, there is.
Of course, doing a radiothon or a personality trip to a needy part of the world to dramatize the urgent need for them to lend a hand is often seen as a great way to activate your community and be experienced as a truly well-rounded Country
Savvy programmers understand that raising a large amount of money can require programming tactics which harm audience retention even as they build a brand.
Of course, in the long run, it is worth it and I encourage you to weave doing big things for your community into the fabric of everything you do year round, but there's another - often forgotten - way to achieve powerful brand depth without sacrificing a single quarter hour of listening or one cume listener.
It's simply being as responsive to everything your listeners care about in brief, meaningful ways all the time.
Get involved. Share their stories. Help. Provide leadership. It's what radio - voice tracked or live and local - does best, every day.
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