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Kim Snyder
Kim Snyder Media

Are You Worth Investing In

 

 

 

 

I was perusing movie reviews while trying to arrange a night out with my husband recently.  Scrolling through pages of online comments I realized that the more unpopular selections shared a running thread, "There was an absence of characters worth investing in."  I don't know about you, but to me that spells a waste of my time and hard earned money.

We were all created to seek connection.  Even with fictional characters!  And when we hope to find it somewhere and come up empty handed we're usually happy to warn others to steer clear.  Which begs the question:  Are your characters worth investing in?

Christian radio is one of the few remaining loyalty based formats.  Our listeners listen longer, they interact more deeply and they invest more in us, both emotionally and financially, than in most other formats.  And that used to be enough to sustain a Christian radio station.  Maybe not so much anymore. 

Our audience doesn't have to know the current media trends to know that they have options and that what they think matters.  In fact, there has never been a time in which individual consumer opinions bear more weight in the success or failure of a business than now.  So how do you make them want to invest in you? 

Interaction….right?

Not so fast.  We can tweet until we're twittered out, make more Facebook friends than we'll ever remember and take endless text requests from our audience.  Interaction has come to be expected.  And I for one, am a huge fan.  But at the core, listeners are still just looking for relationships that are worth their time.

If we expect our listeners to invest in us they need to see us investing in them.  Sure they feel good when we do great things in the community and support other groups who serve.  But like all consumers; all humans, the song playing in their heads is 'What have you done for me lately'.  And it's a honest question.  Because none of us invests in a relationship unless we see evidence of a personal investment from the other party.  It's a two step dance.

Step 1: We Connect  

The best advice I got when I started on the air at the age of 15 was "talk to one person at a time".  Great advice.  But which one?  Is it the stranger I brush by, flashing a fake smile to look more friendly than I feel?  Is it the one who looks a little more needy than I have time for?  Or to keep it super holy, maybe it's that small group leader who's scripture memorization skills never cease to remind us just how far we have yet to go.  Maybe not.

The one person we should be talking to on air is our new best friend.  It's the one you've had coffee with a few times who you're discovering you have so much in common with .  It's the one you know just well enough to admit a mistake you made to.  The one you're willing to talk to about a struggle you're going through.  The one we should be talking to is the one you hope, but don't yet know for sure, will just except you for you. 

Step 2: They Connect

If I were to talk to you like I described in the last paragraph, how would you respond to me?  Honestly.  Would you sit back with your arms folded and think of ways to pick me apart?  Would you draw designs in the foam of your latte and count the minutes until it ended?  Or would you be engaged….maybe lean forward and share something back with me?  When we engage our listeners at gut level, they will want to do the same.

At any given time you probably have a handful of produced pieces running on air featuring listener comments.  They're great to help listeners relate to other listeners and to help the group feel of the whole thing.  But are you making room for your listeners to complete the connection with you personally? 

Do your talent ever interact at a personal level?  Do other listeners get the feeling that they're over hearing your private coffee house conversation?  Do you give updates on air so they feel like thy want in on your private group?  Many people will never call the listener line but all of them are making up their minds if you would be worth the time.

Station sponsored or other public events are perfect opportunities to build real life relationships with our listeners.  Ask them more than surface questions whenever you get a chance.  If they have good news be happy for them just like you would with a close friend.  If they're hurting, make the time to pray with them.  It only takes half a minute and for goodness sake, you're allowed to in this format.

Just these few simple things will turn listeners into investors…in you.  Not just for this quarter.  Not just for one day part.  But for as long as you choose invest in them.  And that makes everything worth both of your time.

Now go tweet this already. 

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Kim Snyder has spent over 15yrs. on-air.  Formally heard on the Air1 and KLOVE Radio Network's at EMF Broadcasting, she has written, produced and voiced thousands of pieces for nearly 500 stations and clients including Women of Faith, Samaritan's Purse, Premier Christian Cruises and World Vision.  Her voice talent credits include Sprint, Hallmark, the NFL, Christian Dior and Disney.  Kim Snyder Media, provides imaging, tracking, voiceovers and production services for radio and multimedia.