John Frost “We Grade On The Curve”

We grade on the curve, and that’s too bad

 

Our currency is TIME.   We measure time, we sell time.   Some of us veterans remember when we “back-timed”.  We covet TIME SPENT LISTENING.  

 

We also WASTE time.   

 

In PPM lingo time is called “listening occasions”.   There are numerous things about PPM we can’t control (most importantly who wears a meter), but we can hopefully minimize missed opportunities to create listening occasions.  

 

But we tend to grade on the curve when we say……

 

It’s not all THAT bad.

 

It probably won’t hurt us.  

 

Nobody will notice.  

 

Not many people are listening on the weekend/nights/overnights/holidays.       

 

I recently drove by a business that was using their outside marquee to put up that day’s date.  

 

Yep, good ole 06-01-21

 

Needless to say no one at that business actually thought that putting that date would be helpful to their customers or drive new business.  THAT was a missed opportunity.  

 

What is the purpose of talent?   Clearly it is not to blabber on about things your listeners don’t care about.   So why then….

 

What is the purpose of traffic reports?   Clearly it is not to talk about traffic problems that most of your listeners aren’t in.   So why then……

 

What’s the purpose of news?   Clearly it is not to talk about things that divide us or share about bad things happening to people.   But isn’t that what much of the news has become?   So why then…..

 

What’s the purpose of promotions?  Clearly it is not to have dialogue with only the 9th caller about the prize up for grabs.  

 

Resist the temptation to grade on the curve.   The bottom line is…..

 

something either adds value or it doesn’t.

 

Or as my friend Tommy Kramer says it either pushes you forward or holds you back. 

 

Every song matters.  Every break matters.    Because it is a potential listening occasion.   A potential first impression.  

 

“First impressions matter.   Experts say we size up new people in somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes.”   Elliott Abrams

 

So, go check what’s on your station’s marquee.  Is it today’s date?  


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 [email protected]

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