Is Your Station a Good Date?

Bored black guy listening to his girlfriend

This pandemic slog is tough on everyone and, until recently, I hadn’t thought about how hard it is on single folks who had been going on dates at the start of 2020. One single friend remarked that, as hard as it’s been, at least there’ve been no bad dates in eight months – the ones where the date talks about himself non-stop and shows no interest in anything you care about: a bad date.

Listening to a station this week, the bad date concept came back. In the half hour I listened, the station hadn’t talked about anything other than itself. There were promos for the station’s contest, a weekend specialty show and the morning show. The production elements were fine. The bit clipped from that day’s morning show was amusing. But, all of it was about them.

There was nothing that pertained to things I cared about (other than some songs I liked) and nothing that made the station unique to the market (other than the commercials). Sure, I use my phone to look at the weather, but I’d have been interested in the current temp or hearing about coming weather changes. There were no construction projects on the route I was traveling, but I know there’s lots of road construction – so maybe I’d have learned about an area to avoid if they’d mentioned traffic. With the increase in coronavirus cases, I’d have appreciated hearing if there were changes coming for in-person school, indoor dining, other restrictions.

Causes are a good way to plug into the local community and to connect with things listeners care about. A quick survey of your station’s loyal listener database can put quantitative numbers to the process. While you’re unlikely to find a single cause that all of your listeners care about, you may be able to find two that cover most of your audience. Maybe the two focus on different segments of your audience: one younger and one older; one more male and one more female; one oriented toward the city and other toward the suburbs. If your database won’t get you enough data, NuVoodoo Consumer Insights product can get you a bunch of answers at minimal cost.

With causes selected, your sales department has new opportunities to make connections with clients who share your interest in a cause. That combination could result in extra billing and/or extra support making a difference for your chosen cause(s). Whatever the cause is – helping children, supporting the environment, preserving a local landmark, helping the elderly, battling a disease, the list goes on – you’ll have something to mention on the air that concerns a substantial segment of your listeners; a common interest.

You still have to cross-promote your morning show and give support to specialty programming and sell your contests, but having items that break that up and focus on things listeners care about makes your station more relatable; more in tune with listeners; a more enjoyable date.