Moneyball: Two Weeks Until Your Big Party

Group of friends dancing at music festival

You’re throwing a party starting on Thursday, March 28. If you program or manage a radio station in the US, that’s the day that starts the spring book for PPM and Diary markets. You’re probably hoping that something north of one person in six in your market will attend your party every week through late June. You’re counting on many of those attendees to drop in daily – and some of them to drop in a few times every day.

You’ll want to make a guest list — or, in this case, develop a ratings-savvy list of who you want to invite (that is, target). While you’d like as many people as possible to attend, in this analogy you want to limit the number of people you have to pay to invite. Big Data helps find the needles (those who are likely to be wearing meters or keeping diaries) in the haystack of the overall population.

And with just a couple of weeks to go, you’ll want to use digital tools rather than the USPS for invitations. Reminders to listen as we head toward and through the spring ratings period make great sense, whether they’re within your stations’ organic outreach or via paid promotions. (Disclosure: NuVoodoo provides such services, including ratings-savvy targeting – at which we are experts).

Preparing for a party, it’s common to ask those you’re inviting what food and beverages they like. Making sure your music research results are up to date so you can tailor your playlist perfectly is, of course, of paramount importance. (Disclosure: Yes, NuVoodoo provides these services, too.)

Getting the house ready, cleaning the bathrooms, decorating for the party – you can follow this part of the analogy where you will. But it IS important to have anticipated what you’ll need during the spring book. Sufficient staffing for your event team. Key on-air staff members locked down to be on-the-air; vacations held off until after June 19. Station vehicles serviced and spruced up. Transmitters maintained and ready. On-air chain ready. PPM encoders working. Booths and banners cleaned and ready, etc.

At the party, the host thanks people for coming. It may be a small point, but thanking people for listening gets forgotten too often. Done well, it makes listeners feel good (and, ultimately, good feelings are a huge reason that people tune in/come to your party). And, since your house party runs for a full twelve weeks, thanking guests for coming gives you an opportunity to invite them to stop by again tomorrow – or even later that day.

Great hosts introduce party guests to other guests. The analogy here is shoutouts to people who are listening. There are examples of stations and hosts that do this wonderfully. It’s another way to make people feel good. Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” The more you say names on the air and the easier you make it to submit names, the more people will participate.

We like parties in part because we like shared experiences. That bond, being able to talk to someone else about the shared experience is important. It’s one of the aspects that radio retains over Spotify/Pandora/etc. Even if you don’t know “Sherry and the crew at Costa Auto Repair in Narberth,” you may be able to relate to the town or occupation. With enough names and towns on the air, something relatable is likely to come up for every listener. Hearing a friend’s name or workplace may inspire someone to contact that friend and talk about your station.

Want more ideas? We’ve got new insights to share from NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study 23. We’re sharing results from our new nationwide study by appointment even with those who aren’t clients yet. We’re enjoying these meetings a lot more than the webinars we’ve done in the past. In about 20 minutes, you’ll get six key takeaways covering new ground for 2024 to help your radio station play and win the ratings game. Of course, we’re glad to spend as much time as needed to answer questions and talk about the data. An email to will get you scheduled for a presentation of our latest data.