The internal culture of every organization today weighs heavily on my mind in this challenging time.
As we wrap up a year of incredible pain and suffering for businesses of all type, I wonder whether leaders are compensating for the challenges of in person work, remote work and the fears of tomorrow.
That’s why I wanted to turn my attention to saluting an iconic radio industry legend who just announced his retirement and an internet giant who perished as a result of injuries that resulted from a house fire.
Both men led by impactful leadership that at its core focused on the importance of a great culture.
The radio legend I’m speaking of is Dave Crowl who after a 44 career just announced his retirement as Regional VP and Market Manager for Cumulus Cincinnati.
I had the privilege of working with Dave while I was at WLVQ in Columbus, after he had moved out of his role as GM at the station and entered into a senior management role for what was then Great American Broadcasting(previously Taft)and would ultimately become Citicasters.
Dave has many outstanding qualities ranging from integrity, class, creativity, competitiveness and humility just to name a few but standing tall in one of his pillars of leadership was fostering a great internal culture.
It was a special time with so many iconic brands in the company then like, WDVE, WFBQ, KYYS,WKLS and of course WLVQ and for Dave and I it seems like another lifetime ago, but the culture that was a part of “The Crowl-Man Brand” was a joy to be around.
People wanted to be on his team because they knew the magic would happen and it would be a fun ride if you were part of it.
We salute your great career Dave and I know you will have a well deserved blast playing every golf course under the sun!
The death of former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh hit the business world hard, even though most of us didn’t have the privilege of knowing him.
We were certainly as consumers aware of the business and culture he created.
According to Glenn Rifkin’s NY Times obituary “Mr Hsieh, a soft spoken and introspective executive developed a philosophy of business built around the idea that happy employees were the conduit to satisfied customers who would return again and again.”
Tony blended his pursuit of excellent internal culture with an obsession for excellent customer service and became a model for bigger than life leadership with what he built at Zappos, the internet shoe and clothing mega brand.
R.I.P. Tony Hsieh and thanks for the lessons and inspirations you left behind.
Leaders of today need to be mindful of how culture impacts the roadmap to success and they need to always be willing to improve upon their output.
The year 2020 is thankfully about to come to an end and the radio industry is grappling with our fair share of challenges and opportunities.
Among them is the important issue of diversity.
Are Radio companies welcoming the cultural enrichment that comes from diverse experiences in education, class background, age, culture, ethnicity, race, color, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, nation of origin, language spoken, able- bodiedness, religion and beliefs?
Alright, I’ll admit I took the specifics in the previous sentence right from a job posting to make the point about the specifics of diversity and inclusion.
There has been work done to enhance this effort over the recent months by the industry, with some companies specifically designating someone to watch over diversity and inclusion to ensure responsible actions are taking place, but is it enough or is it just “white noise?”
How does the work in diversity of the industry stack up versus other media brands and other industries and what are some potential action steps that need to be confronted?
As Futurist Rishad Tobaccowala recently said regarding diversity “Innovation happens with fresh insightful connections between cultures, expertise and backgrounds.”
For some perspective on this issue I turned to industry thought leader Annette Malave, SVP, Insights at the Radio Advertising Bureau.
Annette recently wrote a brilliant blog post for radiomatters.org http://www.radiomatters.org/index.php/2020/09/29/inclusive-diverse-and-community/ where she acknowledges the many ways that broadcast radio has been inclusive: “from music to talk, radio stations across the country have always invited different types of people to express their opinions and share their voice.”
She also mentioned in the blog how important radio’s sense of community is within diverse communities “meeting with and speaking to diverse audiences.”
How are other businesses and brands confronting the diversity challenge?
Honda and Ford are making financial commitments to non-profits that support youth learning and Latina-owned businesses affected by the pandemic.
The American Honda Foundation has awarded grants of more than $700,000 to non-profits across the nation to support programming with emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts and math as well as the environment.
Their goal is to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Ford’s philanthropic arm/Ford Motor Company Fund launched a $400,000 initiative to provide access to capital, educational resources and network opportunities for Latina small business owners impacted by Covid.
Starbucks recently took a major step in their hiring practices linking executive compensation to improvements in inclusion efforts.
They are also vowing that by 2025 30% of all corporate positions and 40% of retail and manufacturing jobs will be held by black, indigenous or people of color.
Starbucks describes the inclusivity push as the “next step in turning each store into “The Third Place” not home, not work but a spot where people can mingle and be part of a community.”
In the media world as a reference point ,“BuzzFeed ” CEO Jonah Peretti recently announced they increased representation of Black and Hispanic/Latino employees year over year incrementally and they will continue to make recruiting a focus in their diversity strategy.
Annette Malave asks the question: “Radio will celebrate 100 years and is certain to be around for many more centennials but how will it engage with its future leaders?”
She acknowledges that there is a great effort by the industry to target and connect with college-aged students via mentoring, internships and scholarship programs.
This has been evident in the last few years at the NAB/RAB Fall Radio Show with many in attendance.
But what about Gen Z(those born after 1996)?
Annette goes on to point out that “they will be the most ethnically and racially diverse group compared to other generations and they are also the generation that has only known a digital world. It’s time to start thinking about engaging with the younger segment of this group.”
When Annette and I touched base some weeks ago about the important topic of diversity she told me a compelling tale that struck a chord.
“A few years ago, I was asked by a school principal to speak to students at a junior high school because “it was important his students see someone like them speak to them about a career in radio. Those words struck me and not for the reasons you think. Surveys and studies have shown that it is important for consumers that are being targeted by brands include someone who looks and sounds like them in ads. If it is important to do this when targeting consumers, why would it be any different when targeting future radio professionals?”
While it is true radio has to meet the challenge of reaching Gen Zers as listeners there also needs to be more outreach to them as future leaders in our industry.
Annette suggests we try reaching them in high school via alumni programs so we can make an impact early with them.
Let’s not be afraid to try other bold options to increase diversity in our business.
CBS TV has doubled down on it’s promise for diversity on and off camera, expanding that vow to their reality shows.
All unscripted shows, beginning with the 2021-22 season will feature casts with at least 50% of the contestants being Black, indigenous and people of color.
Are their opportunities to grow audiences by expanding the role of diversity in content?
Are their opportunities for diverse audiences to be heard via other channels of distribution such as HD2?
Radio has taken a leadership role in so many areas of media and I believe the business can take a step back, re-set and do even more.
Recently, I connected with Mark Chernoff, friend, former boss and great legacy Program Director(WFAN-NY,WNEW-FM,WXRK,WDHA) about the traits of winning radio stations.
In our conversation he touched upon how the commitment of the team to winning was critical and how getting everyone focused on the same mission was a path to ultimate success.
Mark also spent a lot of time focused on the importance from a number of perspectives on listening.
As a manager he said “you have to listen to your people”
By listening very closely to their feelings, opinions and ideas you can extract great things.
The key is you have to be willing to invest the time.
This is such an important dynamic for the manager of today.
When we consider the impact leaders need to have in this difficult time, listening provides an important backdrop to leadership traits such as empathy, compassion, curiosity and caring.
In an article from Forbes.com on 8/17/20 called “The Power of Listening” by Jonathan Westover/PHD he describes “impactful active listening as more than just hearing the words someone is saying and understanding the context in which those words are shared, along with other verbal and non-verbal cues, such as voice inflection, tone, facial expressions and body language.”
In other words, don’t be distracted when you are communicating with your team, actually listen to them in a non-distracted way.
Additionally ,Mark Chernoff had another twist on the dynamic of listening which is equally important.
He said “A Programmer has to listen very closely to every aspect of their product.”
In Mark’s mind the listening comes in two forms, “listening as a PD and listening as a listener.”
A PD can listen to the mechanics and flow of their brand in a very technical way to evaluate performance with regard to content quality, storytelling, relatability along with the mechanics of teasing, stop-set placement and other elements of playing the game to win in the ratings.
But Mark’s point about “flicking the switch and listening like a listener” is equally important to effective programming leadership.
Listeners are living in incredibly distracted times and they are the judge and jury when it comes to evaluating the strength of content.
PPM has taught us that talent truly needs to get to the point in a content break in the first 7 to 10 seconds of getting into the break.
Programmers need to be able to boil down what is important from the listeners ears and communicate this to their talent.
They also should find ways to actively seek feedback from listeners and listen to their comments with a thick skin.
As managers are challenged with more on their plate then ever, it’s key for them solicit feedback and be proactive to find out where problems are brewing before the problems escalate and grow tentacles.
Keep your ears to the ground…LITERALLY…and you’ll be a better manager.
No sector has been left untouched by Covid 19.
Every industry has been stressed in a scenario no one could have planned for.
The Non-Profit/Charity sector is one that needs to be spotlighted so it can be helped.
The pandemic has increased the demand for services that the organizations provide, while along the way damaging their staffs and their finances.
It’s a terrible convergence and the full degree of the impact is hard to predict.
Radio has always played an important role in working to help causes and non-profits over the history of the business.
I think it is worth asking the question “Is Radio doing the best it can to help Non-Profits/Charities at this difficult time.”?
Just as an important reminder on the legal responsibilities of an FCC license owner I asked for clarity from David Oxenford/Partner at Wilkinson/Barker/Knauer in D.C.
David’s industry expertise covers a wide range of topics and he provides important clarity for this discussion.
According to David: “Formal ascertainments have not been required for any broadcaster for about 30 years.
But stations still have to informally determine the needs and interests of their community and address those interests in their programming as reflected each quarter in their Quarterly Issues Programs Lists.”
Maybe one suggestion for the industry is to remove informally and make it FORMALLY for the foreseeable future?
Could radio managers delve deeper into their markets to be certain they are truly determining the community needs as it relates to charities?
Consideration should be given to researching those local needs by tapping station databases for listener feedback.
To get a sense of how Non-Profits are faring I asked Paul Medeiros/CEO of the Massachusetts Chapter of Easter Seals what the impact has been.
According to Paul-“As a community based service Non Profit the biggest impact for Easter Seals has been:
Reduced ability to work with clients in person is the number one impact and issue as we always go to the clients environment to provide the best service. We have had to transition to a lot of remote work.
Constant work to keep our employees and clients safe as the rules and regulations change on an almost daily basis.
Reduced ability to meet donors and volunteers and help them learn about Easter Seals.”
I’m sure there are other areas of concern Paul hasn’t touched on such as reducing staff hours and other “pain point” decisions to help them have economic stability.
I asked Paul how radio could potentially be helpful: “Because Radio is a remote industry, it could help us spread the word on what services we have available.
We provide many free services that are not fully utilized because people don’t know we are here.
Help rally support from the organization from potential volunteers and donors. There are a lot of generous people out there who just want to know there is help needed.
Some of our clients would benefit from exposure for their own businesses that they create after working with Easter Seals and they have compelling stories to tell.”
I also wanted to get a sense on how another great organization is faring during these Covid challenged times.
Home Base is a Non-Profit/Charity benefiting veterans in the Boston area run by The Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Their Executive Director is Retired Brigadier General Jack Hammond who has a remarkable record of service to our country spanning operational experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and Paraguay.
According to the General: “This is a very difficult time. As you can imagine many of our fundraising efforts involve events of different types..many grass root community driven. Our largest event-the Run to Home Base held at Fenway Park was initially cancelled, and then it became a virtual race(raising half the projected funds), as was our Veterans Day Gala, and a number of golf tournaments…There has also been a tightening of the spikes from a number of corporate partners, based upon competing demands both covid and social justice related support.
We were effectively able to deal with 2020 budget shortfall of -20% through a number of measures to close out the year above water.
The wounded and injured veterans and military families we still treat still require our care and during this pandemic their issues have become worse-with a 20% increase in military suicide from March to September 2020.”
Now would be an excellent time for radio station managers to sharpen their commitment to Non-Profits and charities.
Radio has always been critical to the successful work of these organizations especially in times of need.
It always matters but it matters especially NOW.
Finding personal satisfaction and a sense of overall happiness can be an incredibly difficult thing.
Even in a non-pandemic moment there are days that pass where this sense of well being is elusive.
As you consider ways for you to personally be in a better space,consider also how happiness factors into your style of leadership management.
What you project defines part of your style and how your message is received.
Even with virtual management being a new normal, when you sign on to your morning stand up with a scowl on your face from a bad night of sleep, there’s no doubt you are sending the wrong message to the troops.
Some months ago I was fortunate to take a course via Coursera called The Science of Well Being taught by Yale Professor Dr. Laurie Santos.
During the course Laurie brought up the importance of gratitude as one of the cornerstones of happiness and well being and I couldn’t help wonder whether this is a missing link that the leadership of today should consider.
Her view is that happy people are:
Socially connected and they spend time with others.
They prioritize connection.
They also don’t focus on themselves as they are “others oriented”.
They are grateful and they look for good as they have a mindset of gratitude.
They find three to five things they are grateful for everyday.
I started to wonder if some of Laurie’s priorities from the course, especially gratitude were an opportunity for leaders to improve their teams and the entire organization.
In thinking about gratitude at the core of happiness, how can this permeate all employees?
Do you actively keep note of things to be grateful for as a leader?
Certainly your current employer is a good place to start being thankful for.
Times are challenging and the fact they have hung in with you means a lot.
When you consider the employees you manage are you going out of your way being as Laurie put it to be”others oriented” and acknowledge great work?
Do you consider the work of all departments during this difficult time and express appreciation for the good work being done?
This all sounds easy but it really takes individual focus.
As Seth Godin put it on January 10 2017 “entitlement gets us nothing but heartache. It blinds us to what’s possible.
It insulates us from the magic of gratitude.
Gratitude, on the other hand is just as valid a choice. Except that gratitude makes us open to possibility. It brings us closer to others. And it makes us happier.”
Now is a good time to consider adding gratitude to your leadership toolbox.
We are at a moment in time that requires incredible strength, intestinal fortitude and ultimate leadership at the highest level.
No matter what business you are in, the margin of error can be the difference between success and failure.
Rishad Tobaccowala knows what is necessary to push not only ourselves but our organizations to greatness.
He is a Senior Advisor to the Publicis Groupe and he is the author of “Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data”.
His spirit of marketing innovation along with his direct but gentle style makes him the business buddha of our time.
His session “Re-inventing Leadership with Heart and Soul” at the Radio Show produced tremendous insights to take back to your various teams and put into action.
One of the points in his speech that I was drawn to was his comment that as things have changed you should embark on an exercise with your teams that does a SWOT(Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities/Threats)analysis of your team, your competitors and of yourself.
What would a personal SWOT look like?
Great leaders know that they can rely on their strengths as an important backbone to success.
What characteristics of your strength give you a unique selling point and a competitive advantage?
It is worth pausing to truly think about this.
When you go beyond processes and systems and get to the core of strengths, there are many questions that you should ask about yourself to consider where you rank versus peers.
Just like a competitive SWOT or a full team SWOT you need the “ice in the veins” approach to get to the honest evaluation of your personal SWOT.
Where does appreciation of excellence fit into your view of yourself?
Those leaders that have an appreciation for excellence in the moment and value the beauty of tremendous performance, both in the present and the past serve their teams at a higher level.
Courage and tenacity is critical in your personal SWOT analysis because if these factors show up as weaknesses or threats than you and your organization will shrink when a challenge creeps up.
We must consider how organizations value innovation as part of their core philosophy and curiosity plays an important role in that process.
Curiosity may be placed in your personal SWOT in the strength category but it also can be a high value opportunity as well.
Many times when we consider how we “carry” ourselves in a business setting an important trait that hopefully stacks up as a strength in your SWOT is your social intelligence.
This is the important dynamic of knowing what makes people tick, essentially reading the room.
Take this aspect of your SWOT very seriously as it can easily be an opportunity for improvement or a threat to your personal brand as well.
When personal weaknesses are considered in your SWOT there are many backbones of success that can need long term work to turn around.
For example: your reputation is everything and at it’s core are elements such as: honesty and authenticity that are pillars of leadership characteristics.
Perspective is an important trait that hopefully is one of your core strengths as you can see that the individual that possesses this is the person who gives their team wise counsel.
As these are difficult times the leader who has humor as a strength in their personal SWOT can be an incredible asset to their organization.
I strongly consider you follow Rishad’s advise and find some quiet time in the day and conduct your personal SWOT.
This week at the Radio Show 2020 presented by the NAB and the RAB I delivered a presentation called “How Programming and Sales need a makeover”.
In the presentation, I discussed that today’s internal Programming and Sales teams should strive to re-set the internal culture as a first step to maximizing monetization in these challenging times.
Great collaborative efforts are producing tremendous results all over the country, but as the difficult task of budgeting for 2021 is beginning we have to ramp up our efforts of excellence to have a better chance at getting our fair share of revenue.
The internal teams need to improve their culture by being diligent about documenting success and building upon internal pride.
I discussed how there must be an obsession with our advertisers built upon understanding client “hot buttons” as a path to better client “partnerships” and the “next generation of NTR.”
One of the pieces of the process of preparing for 2021 that I discussed in the presentation was an internal planning meeting with all key stakeholders called a “Promotional Monetization Analysis” where each available station asset is discussed to ensure that it was monetized most effectively.
Also, part of the discovery process for the meeting involved getting specific client feedback regarding promotions they loved, what could have been improved and in general how the client partnership relationship can be maximized.
This reminded me of my late friend, former Beasley VP of Sales Bob McCurdy who in one of his last blogs in Radio Ink back on July 5th titled “What Got us here won’t keep us here” wrote:
“Enhance Relationship with key decision makers. Dig in with agency planning groups to understand how they view and go about choosing media. This knowledge would enable me to better “position” my media assets.”
I went to a select group of great thought leaders who like Bob McCurdy have supported our medium for years and asked the question: “What can radio do better when it comes to presenting creative solutions for agencies to get the best share of the marketplace.?”
Lauren Russo is the EVP Managing Partner, Audio Investments and Promotions at Horizon Media and she has been a long- time supporter of our business.
According to Lauren: “Radio Broadcasters need to provide holistic solutions utilizing all of their assets across broadcast and digital while leveraging their 1st party data to inform sales proposals to align with brand objectives. Measurement and attribution on the backend to prove the effectiveness and value against a brand’s KPI’s are critical in today’s data- driven environment.”
Going down a similar path to the question is Bruce Mittman, President and CEO Mittcom. Bruce sits at a unique vantage point because in addition to owning his agency, he is also the owner of radio stations (Community Broadcasters).
According to Bruce: “Deliver to the advertiser an attribution model with all schedule’s which measures and demonstrates ROI! Provide the agency with a clear rationale of radio’s contribution to the overall media strategy. Demonstrate radio’s unique creative audience engagement potential and cost efficiencies.”
Lastly, I asked the question to Glenn Rosenberg, the owner of Power Media in Jericho, NY and he said:
“Radio pushes their salespeople to develop new business but puts almost no effort to retain the business. Most of the time, when one of our radio campaigns ends, we don’t hear from the rep to ask how the campaign did or even if we’d like to renew.”
I hope if you saw the presentation you found actionable items and I hope in the spirit of Bob McCurdy’s comments you will seek feedback from key decision makers as a path to incremental improvement.
Challenging times demand strong leadership no matter what business you are in and our business needs great leadership in all facets of our business.
Here are some thoughts on the type of leadership great managers deliver that hopefully will inspire you.
My old friend Chuck Knight has always demonstrated great programming leadership and he says:
“Be a leader. Don’t get too high during the highs, too low during the lows. Ask questions of your listeners. Respect their answers. Develop a plan to give them what they want. Pay attention to detail. Value and work with talented people. A Brand Manager is an artist with a blank canvas. Hear it in your mind. Continually coach specifics. Give your people your time. Have regular meetings. A leaders job is really about giving your team confidence. Dream. Have fun. Always be honest.”
What a great series of thoughts from someone I know lives and breathes his words because of his love for our business.
Matt Basile has spent many years around our business and was one of the earliest digitally focused specialists that I observed and worked with years ago.
Matt has a beautifully simplistic view of leadership traits of great managers: “One doesn’t need a title to be a leader. I’ve always gravitated towards those who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. Someone who walks the talk and does what they say they will do. As a leader, I always try to be honest, fair and genuine. Everyone on your team is an individual and may be motivated by something completely different than another team member. A good leader recognizes that and knows how to communicate in such a way that inspires and encourages team members to achieve success.”
Matt’s mention of genuine authenticity as a leadership trait is key in a hyped up world that we live in.
When I brought up via Linked In that I was looking for input on great leadership traits I heard from a bunch of on-air talent who weighed in with there perspective: and seeing the potential of who the next “stars” are
John Willis who has worked in Boston Radio for many years and currently anchors for Total Traffic says “A good manager is focused, stays on message and can easily communicate with the staff. They stay positive and consistent in their demeanor. They are always willing to listen and are open to suggestions and ideas. They support their staff at every turn and are willing to invest in their success.”
Roxanne Steele who is on air for Cumulus Detroit highlighted some of her best managers and their leadership traits: “The best managers I’ve worked for were Todd Cavanah and Dave Robbins in Chicago, and Tim Roberts in Detroit. They always communicated with me personally so we knew where we stood as a company and where we were going. It’s truly the key to success! Also honesty. If you can’t be honest and share feedback(good or bad)you can’t grow. Having compassion and showing your employees you care goes a long way.”
I’m so glad in particular that Roxanne highlighted the late Dave Robbins because I also witnessed first hand how he loved his craft and practiced great leadership as well.
It was a mission for Dave Robbins!
Shawn Tempesta who is on-air for Entercom also weighed in as well: “In my opinion great leaders are accountable. They don’t project failures on other around them. Great leaders don’t wait for others to take the first step. They take bold action and act in discovery and desire to reach higher heights-not fear of an idea not working. Great ideas un-tapped are a massive waste. Honest is integral. Be a straight shooter. Don’t sugarcoat or beat around the bush. If you lose trust, you lose everything.”
Honesty is a key theme here as you can clearly see.
We’ve all heard the comment over time in our business that “for being in the communication business we don’t communicate well” and on air talent Marissa Lanchak adds “communication, consistency and building a spirit of great team work” are important leadership attributes.
Tim Moore is an SVP at Iheart and he crystalized things nicely from a managers perspective-“ Leaders need to set an example by being willing to dive in and work at day to day tasks that used to be delegated. I think that open communication-including the big picture stuff that is often withheld from the troops is critical.
Never has hiring been more critical and retention of exceptional people been more vital along with seeing the potential of the “stars” in their formative stages “
Lastly, my view on leadership is that these are all great words that MUST be backed up by actions!
DWYSYWD=Do what you say you will do remains an important guiding force for the present and the future!
As we wind our way thru a tumultuous year, it is important to stop and think about one of our most important assets, TALENT.
How are you keeping your talent engaged?
How strong of a bond have you solidified with your talent?
Does your talent believe you have their back and will they run thru walls for you?
Some thoughts on how to do this at a time it is more important than ever that they feel good about the work they are doing.
1)Share the state of the state with them on a regular basis.
This includes pertinent ratings results and goals, revenue goals, social meeting engagement goals.
Sometimes we take for granted that everybody has the scorecard and knows where we stand and that is not always completely true.
Communication is a key priority in keeping talent engaged especially in these times that can be so isolating.
2)Acknowledge great examples of flawless execution
This can be another instance of what we as programmers take for granted and don’t remember to acknowledge their talent.
Flawless execution is always a top priority whether it be: stop set placement, great storytelling, the art of the tease or in general spectacular content “in the moment.”
You can never overdo acknowledging flawless execution and it will help foster great talent engagement.
3)Do you listen to how talent currently themselves is feeling about their work?
Sometimes just listening and letting talent talk is the most valuable way you can engage with them.
This is especially important now as in many cases talent continues to work remotely and they can be feeling isolated like many of us due to Covid restrictions.
Ask good questions but make sure you are a good listener and you are willing to hear the answers.
4)Do you find opportunities to let your talent dream big?
Give them the freedom to think of what they have previously viewed as impossible.
Your job as a leader is to give talent the opportunity to dream and to help them realize their goals.
5)Discuss what talent is engaged with outside of their radio world.
By understanding the rhythm of their life you have a better chance of appealing to their most passionate interests.
Sometimes this discovery just happens in casual conversation and that’s ok as well!
6)Make it fun/not a chore for talent to be with you.
If they dread the experience with you they likely will be tuning you out.
Be sensitive that you aren’t droning on for the sake of conversation.
7)Practice empathetic leadership with your talent.
If they know you understand truly where “they are coming from” the better the engagement in the relationship.
By understanding talent in more detail you’ll understand the right buttons to push.
8)Knowing who talent is engaged and entertained by is a helpful window inside their thought process.
If you understand who has influenced or mentored talent throughout their career you’ll be more effective in managing them moving forward.
9)Make sure talent knows how obsessed you are with details of their show as a specific way to demonstrate that you care about them.
There is nothing worse than talent feeling you aren’t paying close attention to the work they are producing.
10)Don’t forget to fill talents “bucket” up with positive reinforcement on a regular basis.
This is such an underutilized technique and it is critical to building a positive and productive mindset for talent.
You have to be a straight shooter but keep the balance of the conversation positive and upbeat.
Radio keeps mentioning local whenever it can, but do stations really walk the walk?
It’s easy to throw the term around but like many truths often these are half- truths.
So what are some examples of localism at its best?
1)Your station is SO embedded in your community that the political leaders are friends and family to your organization.
They look to you in times of need and you have a track record of delivering.
They ACTUALLY listen to your brands!
2)Your stations are SO embedded in your community that getting your brands played on the radio in high traffic locations is a lay- up.
You are a dominant force in your community and are heard EVERYWHERE!
3)Your stations are THEE go to source from other media outlets in the community.
This is especially true in breaking news cycles around music, pop culture and other news worthy events.
4)Your charity relationships go well beyond just running a PSA to support an event.
Charities are true partners with you on a local level and together the partnership produces amazing results!
5)Your local sports franchises don’t hesitate to partner with you even if you aren’t the rights holder in the marketplace.
Team ownership knows the value of a great local relationship.
6)Your brand is so local that when out of towners consume the content they are occasionally lost and out of the loop of some of the conversation.
This local content can consist of slang, new local trends or anything that is hyper-focused to the market.
7)Your stations are so local that they truly are the local social network of the marketplace.
Great brands connect with an ear to the ground in the local marketplace better than any social network ever can.
8)Your local brands are so connected to a market that they set trends and create them rather than follow trends.
This can manifest itself in the form of local events, local catch phrases or any other local movement that unites an audience.
9)Your stations are so embedded locally that your programming leadership knows every zip-code and every nuance of every town and village, so you can super serve the audience and their passion points.
Your brands know how to blanket the local marketplace.
10)Your brand is so attached locally that with a world of competitive choices the other options are irrelevant to the marketplace.
Localism is clearly a competitive point of difference for the radio business.
Quality must always come first, but great local radio gives any competitive option a difficult battle to fight.
What are your examples of localism at it’s best?