This is the second version of this blog post. The first will never see the light of day, nor should it. It was a clunker about building content clocks for sports radio.
I just fell asleep while typing that. Yes, it was that boring.
Oh, it had all kinds of great information, and even neat-o photos like this Arbitron graphic to the right…
In a nutshell, the post said to take advantage of PPM and listening habits, it’s better to build clocks that have as much consecutive content spilling over the quarter hours as possible. For example, taking content from :50-:10 or :05-:25 because as much as you hope people tune in when you come out of spots, the truth is they tune in WHEN THEY TUNE IN. And for a myriad of changing factors and reasons. The idea here is to give your show the best possible chance to win quarter hourszzzzzzzzzz…
Psst, if you’d like to geek out on this stuff with me, shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh, and you’re a weirdo.
So what killed that post? In doing research, I stumbled upon a blog post by Coleman Insights’ Jon Coleman entitled “Misreading PPM And What Drives Ratings,” that made me pause.
There is an old story about the ratings of a radio station and how ratings are built that I learned years ago from programming great Michael O’Shea. He taught me that in the share of every station there are two numbers, the number to the left of the decimal point and the number to the right (e.g. 6.0, 6.3, etc.). He told me that the number to the left is affected by the big things that a station does, like what it is known for and the big benefits the listener gets from the station. The number to the right is based on the tweaks and minor modifications that the station does to the music, the commercial sequencing, etc. You can make a mediocre station only slightly better by working on the number to the right all the time. You can make a mediocre station great by working on the number to the left of the decimal.
This is done by evoking emotions and making people seek out your station. PPM has cleared out a lot of unneeded junk, but I think it has also thrown the baby out with the bathwater in many cases.
Ugh, this is so right on the money. Clearly clocks are important, but they are right-of-the-decimal-point-important. You know what’s to the left? Stories like this one about how The Josh Innes Show turned the Greg Hardy/NFL Domestic Violence story on its ear …
…coupled with the support Cowboys fans and Dallas sports radio have given Hardy, caused Sportsradio 94.1 WIP’s Josh Innes and co-host Spike Eskin to create a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support in Dallas.
“Philadelphia is going to show the country how much we care about things that aren’t football-related,” Innes said on the air Friday. “Let’s raise money and show the people in Dallas that while their lousy radio station and football team doesn’t care about domestic violence … the people here are good people.”
Now that’s left-of-the-decimal-point important. Josh tells me he came up with the idea “mid-show, Friday.” Josh will be “known” for this for a long, long time. Talk about making an emotional connection.
The larger point to all of this is, while programmers tweak imaging, fiddle with spot loads and adjust clocks, that’s NOT what leads to wins. Great talent, STARS and shows with chemistry create emotional connections with the audience, and THAT’S what leads to ratings and revenue. Oh, and partnerships with big-time sports teams, especially baseball certainly helps.
What is your station “known for” and what is your unique “benefit” to the audience? Are you making emotional connections? If you can’t answer those questions quickly, then you may be in trouble.
Breaking News As A Marketing Tool
I was listening to a major market yesterday and found myself fascinated…
I love listening to competing sports radio stations when news breaks to see who executes the story better. Listening to two major market…
— Owen Murphy (@SportRadioCoach) November 12, 2015
…stations right now as medium news breaks. One station had it right away, while the other has missed the story for 26 straight minutes… — Owen Murphy (@SportRadioCoach) November 12, 2015
Talk about a missed opportunity on one side of the dial and a win on the other side. I can’t stress this enough, when news breaks, audience pours into your station. Deliver greatness to them right away.
Oh, and bloody well notice that the news broke.