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The Jay Stevens Corner (Radio One SVP of Programming): Focusing on What Matters [professional development]
To win in business, you need a 360-degree approach, a solid team doing great work, a well thought out plan of attack, strategic marketing and promotion tactics and exemplary customer service. As I sit and think about how it all connects, I would like to share some thoughts on a variety of these winning tactics
Listen To Your Listeners :
When was the last time you sat down with your listeners and talked about what they like and dislike about radio, local radio stations and specifically, YOUR radio station and website? When was the last time the sales manager and program director joined an account exec at a client’s location and brainstormed with them on how we can be a marketing solution. Whose Got next? Who and where is the next generation of radio people? PDs, on-air talent, promotion directors, sales managers, account execs, general managers… do you know? It is up to us to find them, groom them and coach them. Imagine if baseball didn’t have minor leagues. Where would they find the next generation of pitchers and hitters? Imagine if there was no college basketball. Where would the NBA find new talent? We are in that position now. Through cutbacks and the elimination of positions, we have no minor leagues. Some of us more “seasoned veterans” started by doing overnights and weekends, driving the vans, running the board, or in my case at one station, painting the studios. We don’t have some of those positions any more, so we must get creative in how we find the next generation of radio talent. I think it starts with interns. I feel very strongly about this: we must ALWAYS have several interns in our stations learning the ropes. We can then grow our own talent and create that next generation of radio stars, plus, interns can also be an asset to us. They live the digital and social media life. so they can help with our station websites and digital initiatives. They can help us find and pick the new music. And they can add energy and that fearless attitude.
RECRUIT INTERNS AND GET THEM INVOLVED IN YOUR OPERATION!
Customer Service Always Wins : When listeners come to our stations, make them feel like a star. You have heard from me or read my previous articles on customer service. But I can’t emphasize it enough. If you make that listener feel like a star and treat them as a true friend when they enter your building, they will be fiercely loyal to you. In Philadelphia, Bruce Demps, Elroy Smith and Boogie D. have instituted a mandatory policy that all listeners upon entering the building get to meet one of the personalities from the appropriate station and get a tour. Imagine how that makes them feel and how many people they will tell. And it doesn’t cost a cent!
Keep your Websites Fresh :
Maintaining your website is a team responsibility. I have sat in several listener focus groups in our markets in the past month and every single one of them said they visit our websites. That is great. But every single one of them also expressed disappointment. Some said the sites are hard to navigate, others said the news stories and posts were old and others said there weren’t updated pictures and videos. Social Media Is Crucial: The moral of the story is that we need to do a better job keeping our websites fresh, topical and updated. And all of us need to participate in this. All staff should have their station website as their home page when they light up the computer. All staff should randomly go to our various pages and posts to see if our articles are fresh. And of course the sales folks need to be sure the ad copy is updated and correct. How about Tweeting? Do your DJs all Tweet and are they setting appointment-listening through Twitter? Twitter was made for PPM! You can have your talent creating events and then setting appointment times to drive on-air traffic with their Tweets and then the re-Tweets. This is especially true on our mainstream stations since the younger listeners tend to be more engaged with Twitter. And as a manager you should make it a point to follow all of your talent to see how they represent the station and to verify they are taking advantage of the opportunities that Twitter offers to our stations. As always, we need to be making it “Good To Great” in the 2K11!