Tommy Kramer Tip #41 – Listeners don’t listen…

The great singer Harry Nilsson once said “Everything’s the opposite.” There are examples of this all around you. “Call now to get your free gift. All you pay is shipping and handling.” (But shipping and handling charges are NOT free.) Chesterfield cigarettes used to offer “Proof of no adverse effects to the nose, throat, and sinuses.” (Throat cancer apparently didn’t qualify as an ‘adverse effect’.) I’ve actually heard radio station sweepers where the station voice says “Less talk, more music.” TALKING to say “less talk!”

The people that use your station are called “listeners.” But “listeners” don’t actually listen all that much. As much as we’d like to not believe this, to a large extent, the radio is an appliance, like a light bulb or a microwave oven. We can’t really expect them to listen intently to everything we put on the air. Although putting it this way may sound weird, Listeners don’t listen—until they do.

They do when you provide what they CARE about, and then attach your call letters—your “brand name”—to it.
(It works like this: Nike = Michael Jordan = successful and athletic.)

Don’t do something just because you want to talk about it, or just because you thought of a funny line about it. It’s not about YOU. It’s all about creating a connection in the Listener’s mind between your station and what he or she (1) already wants to hear about, or (2) needs to hear about. That’s why we do Weather and Traffic reports—because people care about them.

Air Talents (and show Producers) should work hardest on the selection of what things to do on the air. If the Listeners don’t care about them, they won’t hear them.

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Tommy Kramer
Radio Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2014 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.