Editorial: Back to Basics

Back to Basics: Start the New Year off with a review of your most important elements – the basics.

BerkowitzBy: Gary Berkowitz, Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, Inc.

First and foremost, air check your jocks. PD’s are busier and multi-tasking more than ever, and this art seems to be falling in-between the cracks. There is no better way to build relationships and help jocks sound better than to close your door, turn off devices, listen to their show, and offer constructive feedback.

Sell the product. Many radio stations sell everything but their number one product: the music. Promote the quantity, quality, benefits, and DIFFERENCE of listening to your station. Remember the power of titles and artists. Listeners always rate this very high. If you think they know all the titles and artists, please re-think this.

Do not worry about liners burning out. Let them “BURN IN.” They need to be updated and freshened, but make sure you do not lose the focus in the process.

Be involved with the daily editing of the music log. Since music is #1, there is nobody more qualified than the PD to make sure that the music on target. Constantly look at songs to make sure they are rotating properly. Not only through the dayparts, but the hours as well. Lookout for “vertical rotation” problems. Delegating music editing to a less qualified person could cost valuable rating points. Remember with the music, safe, familiar, and smooth always wins in AC.

Make sure your station is not dull and boring. Jocks, jingles, sweepers, and promotions give you a great opportunity to keep your station alive and vibrant. Make this week the week to invent some new imaging.

Remember, personality is all about the way you sound, not in the amount of words you use. Take a tip from the PPM markets. Keep talk elements to the point, and always make sure they are delivered with sincerity in the jocks voice.

Review and improve your website. Is there a reason for listeners to visit you more than once? With marketing budgets at a premium, do all you can to maximize this free marketing tool.

Work on technical improvements now. Do not wait for the start of the spring book to work on your audio processing or any other technical issues. Check with the jocks and production people to see what needs repair.

Plan ahead. Do not wait until the last minute to plan research, promotions, or marketing programs. We all know the upcoming sweep dates. If you are planning music testing for the spring book, plan to have it on the air between 3-4 weeks prior to the books start.

Review Christmas now. While it’s still fresh, look back at how this Christmas season went. Take notes on¬†improvements for next year. Make lists of songs you’ll need, and believe it or not, start working now on clock grids so they are ready next year.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.