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?
With the passing of Labor Day means the passing of the Summer and on to Q-4 and with that it’s important you and your team come out of the gate strong.
Here are 10 steps worth considering that can help you be effective doing that:
1)Pull your team together(in whatever form of in-person or virtual)and do a State of the State Meeting. This is all hands on deck and it is designed to give everyone a sense of what the current state of the marketplace is, how you are performing and what you intend to do to be successful.
This is step one allowing you to set the table to organizing your mission.
2)Meet one on one(or virtually)with your key team members to get a sense of how they are doing personally, how you can set them up for success and what are the priorities in doing that.
This is a way for you as a leader to look them in the eye and really determine if and how they are up for the challenge.
3)Have your sales leadership do a quick assessment of the largest clients by category by reaching out to the clients, asking them what their key priorities and needs are and determine next steps.
4)Have your programming leadership work with marketing and promotions and do a quick database survey of your audience to see what they are feeling these days as well.
This is a reality check to help guide your brand’s tone and temperament in communicating to the market.
5)Evaluate current imaging campaign for a station brand and freshen up the production pieces to reflect the mood of the market.
If the audience for example desires each brand EVEN MORE for “escapism” in this current climate then have that reflected in the attitude of the imaging.
6)Evaluate all music clocks(if you are a music station) to determine effectiveness relating to your most recent research and make necessary tweaks to freshen up what is coming out of the speakers.
7)Evaluate your current airplay(if you are a music station) to determine it most effectively executes your latest research and if you are playing the best music.
8)Make sure that all social media platforms are consistent with best messaging for the current times.
9)Do a post mortem of all promotions for first three quarters as a beginning step of planning for 2021. What worked, what didn’t and how to create more of the magical elements that are needed to stand out.
10)Dream big as an organization with your sites set on how to turn our many challenges into big opportunities!
Return a phone call
Answer an email
Help a colleague who has lost a job
Encourage a colleague with a new venture
Support an industry initiative
Propose an alternative idea before shutting a good idea down.
Salute a past mentor
Find someone new to mentor
Share an interesting article that might improve someone’s work
Thank someone for their valuable time
Challenge the status quo
Respect the past
Re-imagine the future
Seek great before settling for good