ArticlesFeature Article

John Frost “Familiarity is Preference”

“Familiarity is Preference; a Programming Lesson for Easter”


Don’t worry! I’m not going to ask how many times you play “Easter Parade” by Judy Garland and Fred Astaire.


Easter, from a programming perspective, is not like Christmas with 27 different versions of “Mary, did you Know?” that we can play.

But the principle is the same.


Familiarly IS preference.


One can’t prefer something one doesn’t know. If you don’t believe me then how Taco Bell can be voted America’s favorite Mexican food restaurant? (But that’s a Frost Advisory for another time).


While Christmas music programming may be more obvious, I would suggest we not forget the opportunity we face with Easter.


Both holidays have the potential to attract new listeners to your radio station, not unlike how an Easter service can draw newcomers to a church.


My friends at Z88.3 in Orlando have held an Easter sunrise service at Sea World for the several decades. They don’t assume that those attending are avid Z listeners. But they know that Easter is, and the Z could be if they were to become familiar to them.


While Easter songs may not be the bridge of familiarity, Easter themes can be.


Sacrifice for others.

Life changing moments.


In the words of Erwin McManus, “the worst thing that ever happened (Good Friday) was transformed into the best thing that ever happened (Easter morning).” Those are concepts that can be common ground for everyone attracted to your station.


“You can’t fake familiarity. It doesn’t happen overnight. And when your new competitor is fighting only for attributes, they’re missing the larger point. Attributes don’t create familiarity, only familiarity does that. Attributes may be proxies for familiarity, but always remember that being familiar, dependable, trusted, is the real goal, not simply checking off a win on an attribute scorecard.” Mark Ramsey

John Frost is a partner in Goodratings Strategic Services, and has been a successful major market disc jockey and program director for such companies as CBS, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Sandusky, Gannett, and Alliance during his 38 year broadcast career. John joined Goodratings’ partner Alan Mason in 1999. Contact John at john@goodratings.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *