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Brian Wright
Audience Development Group

Back To Basics




In today’s world of accelerated technology it is important to understand the risks relying exclusively on this it to improve your radio station. In some cases, the more we rely on technology the more impersonal we become and listeners are catching on. When was the last time a listener received a letter from you with an actual handwritten signature on it? When was the last time a listener has received an actual phone call from you to thank them for spending time with you? We try to make technology duplicate human behavior and actions, but it never really reaches that level.


Think about this in context with your radio station. Our goal is to connect with members of our listening audience in a very personal way; this is why we all try to stay away from mass mail campaigns where we address the potential listener with the word occupant. Still the truth of the matter is, many times the old fashioned, hands-on techniques still work the best. Here are some examples:


1. Personally signed letters to listeners you have in your database.

2. Personalities actually making calls to listeners. 

3. Having listener appreciation parties on a frequent basis, 3-4 times per year.

4. Sending out personalized birthday cards, signed by all of the announcers, with a pen.

5. Doing morning shows from listeners homes.

6. Hosting birthday/anniversary parties for listeners.

7. Contests that pay listeners bills or buy their Christmas presents.

8. Having pictures taken with contest winners and sending them an 8x10 framed copy

9. Not making listeners jump through a dozen hoops to be a part of a contest.


These are 9 things that have proven very powerful over the years that will work just as well today if not better. It seems that technology has caused many in radio to actually do less when it was meant to help us accomplish more! Look in many on air studios today and you’ll be lucky to even find a person. If you do, many times their feet are up on the counter and they are reading a magazine or talking to friends on the phone. Announcers no longer have to pull carts, take transmitter readings, look over the programming log, read live copy, pull music for the next hour, etc.


The use of technology in radio stations was designed (in theory) to allow more time for announcers to prepare material and information to better connect with the audience. This for the most part has not happened. Instead, cost cutting is the primary benefit of this technology and this is of no benefit to the listener at all! Remember, the further we get away from our listeners, the closer they will get to someone else!


Brian is a 30 year radio veteran who has successfully served many companies over the years as Program Director, Operations Manger and VP of programming. After many years of success working for individual radio stations and clusters, Brian Joined one of the most trusted consulting firms in the country, Audience Development Group. For the last 15 years Wright has enjoyed building alliances with scores of stations in the US & Canada helping them grow in ratings and revenue. Contact Brian at


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