Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Birthdays, Anniversaries And Such

Two decades ago Jon Coleman released morning show research his research company had done at a national broadcast convention.

The specific percentages have changed over the intervening years, as this more recent Coleman graphic shows, but the ranker of interest in entertainment elements still rings true along with the finding that listeners normally recall no more than two to four elements, so making the most of the ones you choose to do becomes imperative.

Highest interest (more than 2/3’s agree):  Off beat stories, Humor, Trivia, Fun joking back and forth between appealing characters

Less than half of listeners said they like:  Spoof songs, Making fun of local personalities, Off color jokes, Impersonations of famous people

Fewer than one in five are positive about:  Talking about personal experiences and Birthdays

Why is it that even talent who “gets” that if they talk about themselves the content needs to be especially relatable - like even Garrison Keillor - still feels that it’s acceptable wasting valuable time with an element - birthdays - that anyone who has been paying attention for the last 20 years ultimately knows that more than 80% of listeners don’t care about them?

People call and write and ask.

It’s hard to say “no” when someone does this, especially if the precedent has been set that you’ve done it for other people.

One of the most popular features of social apps is wishing friends a happy birthday, but of course Facebook is many to one whereas radio is one to many.

It takes courage and advance planning to make sure that your content is superior to anything else available on radio right now. 

One way to wean an audience from a bad habit like calling to ask for requests and birthdays:  never use anything with less than majority appeal that can’t also carry with it an off beat story, humor and solid rapport.  Even something as statistically popular as a crutch like trivia gets better when it contains those ingredients.

If you prefer to be imaged as a talent who stands up for radio's grand past traditions that the majority of us have long ago left behind, be like Garrison and do it with plenty of hot buttons included too.

No comments: