Can Your Station Handle the Truth?

By David Kidd, BPR

If we ask a question, we should be able to accept the answer (provided the answer is honest and not tainted with bias).

The problem is that as humans we sometimes find it difficult to accept the truth …the reality……over our own perceptions.

For many years, I’ve sat in strategy meetings and presented the results of a strategic/perceptual study to program directors who are left shocked that their “perfect” radio station ……the output of all their creative endeavours and sheer hard work……is considered less than perfect by the listeners.

If you are going to ask a well-balanced sample of listeners what they think of the music on your station, whether the breakfast show really is fun and entertaining, which station plays the best music variety, how relevant your station is in the current media landscape…….then be prepared to accept the jury’s decision.

The respondents in a properly designed strategic study aren’t answering the questions with any malice. They are providing HONEST opinions. It is their perceptions that matter…. NOT yours!

We are often too close to the action…….. perhaps in some ways even biased.

This is why asking the listeners what they think is so important to a station’s success.  You think a song is going to be a hit……. the listeners think otherwise. You think your new breakfast show…. the one that you put together….. the one that you have spent hours each day, week on week, monitoring and directing…….is the game changer in the market. But the listeners, as it transpires, do not share your opinion.

Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions about your station………the only way to make strategic improvements is by hearing the truth.

And when it comes to programming radio stations, the “truth” is what the listeners think……it is their perceptions……it is their reality.



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