This has been a series on
the “SHIPS” every radio station needs in its fleet.
The first week we looked at LORD-SHIP. The week
after, LEADER-SHIP. Last time, we looked at PARTNER-SHIP.
This week, we talk about RELATION-SHIP. Believe
it or not, each of these SHIPS that our organizations need are
interconnected. When it comes to RELATIONSHIP, this is one of the
most important SHIPS today for those of us in Christian radio. If
we want PARTNERSHIP, we must have RELATIONSHIP. There’s been a
tendency in recent years to swing the pendulum in the opposite
direction of RELATIONSHIP when it comes to programming. Play more
music. Talk less. Say “that was…, this is…” and get out of the way.
Some may say that equals more LISTENER-SHIP (which we will talk
about next time and I will argue not necessarily), but it doesn’t
make for more RELATIONSHIPS. Those of us in non-comm radio stations
have to understand it’s RELATIONSHIPS that make PARTNERSHIPS. If
your station struggles to meet fundraising goals and get support for
the things you are doing, you have a RELATIONSHIP problem. You may
have a listenership problem, too. But it’s the RELATIONSHIPS that
make for better listenership and ultimately, partnership.
What am I saying here? I’m saying your
organization can’t thrive without RELATIONSHIPS. It may survive, but
it won’t thrive. If you are behind the desk, or mic, and think that
people will build relationships with your station SOLELY on what
they hear on the air, you need a better perspective. Yes, some will
have a relationship with your station based on that but very few. A
RELATIONSHIP takes time and involvement with your listeners. And for
your organization/station it should be a priority, especially if
your station is non-comm. People give to people.
And if your listeners don’t have a relationship with you or someone
at your station, they will never turn into partners. I thought most
of us knew that the days of “just playing” great Christian music and
programming and asking for folks to fund our station are gone. You
and I may think that is enough, but we aren’t the ones that have to
be convinced. Some stations have not come to that realization yet.
A new generation of listeners has emerged, and we must ‘super-serve’
them. We must be out building relationships with them. Being at
concerts, bookstore events, major community events, pastor meetings,
etc. building relationships. I will never get support from someone
who doesn’t know who I am.
At Heart Share, one of the things we specialize
in is helping stations develop simple, creative ways to serve their
listeners that build RELATIONSHIPS and therefore, partnerships. We
would love to serve you. If we can help, please contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org . Next time, I will share some easy
ways to build RELATIONSHIPS.
Jack Eason is
a partner and consultant with The Heart Share Group. He and Tom
Lewis (co-founders of Heart Share) are dedicated to equipping
ministries to be all that God has called them to be. They work with
Christian radio in the areas of fundraising, non-traditional
revenue, programming, underwriting, and more.