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Brian Wright
Audience Development Group

Substance Over Hype




 For years radio has relied heavily on hype and not so much on compelling content. Why? Because it’s easier to come up with hype than to find and develop talent. As you look at your target listener today it is important to understand that they have much less in common with that same target of 10 years ago. The hype of more music, better contests, 10 in row, etc. now has less impact on them. In fact it may actually be a negative because it viewed as empty hype. Listeners are not looking for hype but they are looking for a companion that has a lot in common with them. And that’s where your station comes in.


First you provide the welcome-mat for them by developing a strong statement of what you are to them. Make sure this statement is a strong listener benefit because they are the only ones that fulfill their purpose. Don’t make this statement too though-provoking or deep or it will pass over their heads. The deepening of relationships with your audience comes from personality content and music and not from slug-lines or phrases.


Interacting with your listeners is the single most important step you need to take to create an emotional connection with your audience. Short-burst interaction with and about your listener’s thoughts and feelings is what differentiates us from the other stations and other media. A mother of two telling of how happy she and her kids were to be able to go to the concert you sent them to will not show up on internet music services and most other radio stations. We need to become known as THE interactive station because it makes US all about THEM. We recommend that your station have at least one type of audience interaction every quarter hour. These do not need to be themed or ongoing topics or even part of some elaborate bit. Instead they need to be free-flowing thoughts and feelings from our listeners.


We believe we need to change our thoughts about the way we image our stations as well. For years we have used listeners to accentuate our stations. I believe we need to change that so our radio stations accentuate our listener’s lives instead. In the long run, this will build deep and long lasting relationships with our audience. These relationships will far out live the thin associations we get from hype. Here is an example of what I mean:


OLD WAY: “Oh, I love 100.5 WADG they play the best music and have the best prizes.”


NEW WAY: “Getting the kids off to school can be really tough, they want this, they want that…Then I go to work and it’s the same thing. That’s why I love to turn on 100.5 WADG because they give me what I want.”


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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