It’s true that morning commuters have more options now than before. There’s the podcast. There’s the iPod. There are even books on tape. Still, radio is kind because it’s convenient and always on. There’s no setup, no downloading and there are so many options. So you need to make sure that you are the option for the commuter.
A poll shows that most commuters want to hear things of national importance most – current news, big stories, weather and the like. Is your programming offering frequent enough updates without going over the top? Have you done the research into the average commute time? Because that can determine whether your commuter is hearing this information too often or not often enough.
Interestingly, the same poll shows that most listeners prefer to dislike host-guest interaction calls. Perhaps these segments feel too gimmicky or maybe they interrupt the flow of music and meaningful content. Whatever the case, it’s time to evaluate if interaction is hindering your morning show. This doesn’t mean getting rid of it, but refining. Is the banter interesting? Does it touch on something relevant or is it mindless drivel? So unless if you have a proven host who can make these calls something worth listening to, it may be better to change the content completely. The same poll, not so surprisingly then, shows that comedic bits, caller contests and promotions were a turn-off. Many preferred to skip these segments and switched channels.
So stick to the essentials – the news, particularly regional news. And stick to music. Also stick to topics that are not polarizing. Fashion hits the women demographic, but not men. Sports and economics hits the male demographic, but not women. Crime, local policies and international events appeals to both. You need to have promotions, no doubt, but these need to be strategically placed and mixed in at a fair frequency. That means headliners with fewer gimmicks. It’s easy to get fancy and cute and start inserting sound bites and sound effects, but in this current environment, it’s more of a turn-off.
Lastly, personality matters. Genuine. Friendly. Relatable. With these tips, you can increase your listener base and become an even stronger radio station.