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John Frost “Your Listeners Are Not Puppets”

Her name was Jane.  She was the first girl I ever asked out on a date.   She said no.    


I convinced myself that it was because of the big zit on my forehead.  Or that I wasn’t on the football team.   I found out later it was because she and her family went out of town. 


We think we’re pretty important, don’t we?   


We think our station fans’ (P1’s) behavior is a direct result of our programming tactics.  I’ve hear otherwise reasonable people exclaim that ratings went up because of the new jingles, ratings went down because we didn’t hit the spot breaks within the bow tie, or question our ratings because we didn’t have a specific number of songs on our playlist.   I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP, as Dave Barry would say.   (See Frost Advisory #221-Up is Good, down is Bad)   


Those fans we talk about?   Those people who hang on our every word, that attend all our events, that know all of our deejays by sight, that immediately know when we add a new song?  Those P-1’s, as Nielsen calculates them?  




Yep.  Just over 7% of your fan’s waking hours are spent exposed to your station.   Those are your FANS!   That’s less time than your dad stood with the refrigerator door open looking for the jumbo jar of dill pickles.   


That means you can’t trick them, tease them, or manipulate them to listen one more quarter hour if they aren’t interested in the first place.  You can’t remove the humanity from your station to make them care more, and you can’t generic-ize your station to be less to make them think of you more.  Like the telemarketer that tries to trick you into calling them back, we waste our time trying to trick them in to listening more.   


No.  You have to actually MATTER to them.  



“If you wanna see me do my thing, baby pull my string”  

“I’m You’re Puppet” James and Bobby Purify 


How does your station help them live a better life, be a better parent, be a better husband or wife?  How does your station help them focus on what’s important, to avoid being bombarded with the negative, and help them be the best of who they were created to be?   


Your listeners are not puppets.  You have to matter to them.  


John 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