Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Benchmark Brainstorm

A few years ago Mike O’Malley and I conducted a day-long air personality development seminar in Atlantic City.  We used it to test eight hours’ worth of presentations which we have since used with great impact at A&O&B client radio stations.

One of the most fun exercises we did that day was called “Benchmark Brainstorm.”  The two of us took turns suggesting ideas for bits, stunts, contests, promotions and content that would be memorable to listeners, bringing them back day after day to hear more.

Alternating with our ideas we called on the audience to contribute their best and most successful creative.  A scribe wrote them all down and everyone left that day with four or five single-spaced pages of things to do on the air for fun and buzz.

Later as we reviewed all of the off-the-wall suggestions both Mike and I were at the same time proud of our group’s creativity and fearful that one of the stations in attendance would put them all on the air immediately.

Rating success is not driven by the number of clever nicknames for various forms of content a station does every hour.  It’s the very small number of them that listeners care about, like and use as road signs for their reason to turn the radio on.

The difference between “clutter” and “benchmark” is defined by the listener.

Almost universally the average radio station has far fewer “benchmarks” than they think.

The final step in any “benchmark brainstorm” is finding out which ones listeners love and dropping all of the others which are only wasting time.

Find out the small number of things you’re most famous for and do them a lot more.

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