In Week 2: Knowing your audience - how can you turn your listenership into money?
For a Radio Station, the Listeners and other stakeholders (e.g. advertisers) “Co-Own” the non- legal stake in the radio station business. In this case, the Radio Station is a vehicle through which their needs are met. Noteworthy though, the Statutory Owners must endeavor to keep the “owner s” in (b) & © above happy for the business to survive.
Before the Radio Station begins, a proposed “Pre-Start” audience –Research should be done through the Market Viability confirmation process. This should determine if both the radio station and the planned programming are viable or, that there is a need for them. If there is a go-ahead to launch the radio station based on the findings of such a research, then most likely 50% of the road leading to get to the audience shall have been covered.
From the “proposed pre-start audience research” appropriate programs should be designed to meet the Audience/Listenership needs. Here we look at content per program and any other program specifics that should at play.
We then hire and train the appropriate staff to run the program content at the designate time and format. We hire and at times fire but most importantly should be, to keep each of our staff motivated for the job.
Being a community Radio Station, you need a highly motivated set of program and other staff in order to survive. These guys greatly determine your success. So the question is; how motivated are the presenters and other staff? ……How suitable and practical is your manpower planning process?
When the programs begin running, your staff and audience will undergo a number of dynamics up to the point where it should be possible for the radio station to “own” the listenership and audience. The danger lies in the reverse when the presenters own the listenership. When such a presenter moves stations, a sizeable part of the listenership/audience may follow such a presenter. Many stations struggle with this scenario and the better approach should be that, the station remains aware and takes care of this eventuality in the event that it happens.
The listeners are sovereign. They have the power to switch you On/Off. Bad and poor programming will cause a station listenership exit and a possible total listenership migration. It’s therefore in the interest of the station to handle these powerful listeners with a great deal of care and respect. This will earn a station loyalty. Listeners want respect, relevance, station predictability and orderliness, resourcefulness and appropriate program content enabled by excellent delivery by drivers called presenters. Taken care of…the listenership should grow and grow! This is potential for money!