What You’re Already Doing Right || Mike Couchman

You may find yourself depressed when you pay attention to news reports in our newly forming iWorld.  Smartphones, anything Apple makes, Pandora, and the Internet in general are allegedly conspiring to murder our beloved old fashioned radio medium.  And network TV.  And newspapers.  Maybe my head is in the sand, but I don’t believe it.  That’s not to say we shouldn’t adapt, modernize, and even lead iWorld changes.  Many radio stations are, and Christian radio is perfectly positioned to lead the charge going into 2011.

You’re already likely doing a number of things right: things that even listeners to non-Christian radio want more of.  Take a look at the Alan Burns Radio deep dives into AC, CHR, and Morning shows from this summer at http://www.burnsradio.com/HereSheComes.aspx for proof.  When thousands of women who listen to mainstream CHR were asked what they value, what’s important to them, they put Family, Relationships, Understanding Themselves, Education, and Music at the top.  When these 18-34 year old women were given choices, they picked “Helping Others” over “Hollywood Celebrities,” “Taking Care of the Environment” over “Shopping,” and “Saving Time” over “Sex.”

Yet when you tune to your market’s 18-34 targeted stations, do you hear them focusing on things today’s young adult women value most?  Doubt it.  You probably hear a lot of network TV rehash, lots of Hollywood dirt, and pervy DJ’s overdosing on any sexual pun or angle they can find.  I’m not passing judgment on them here.  They actually want the same thing most of us want:  the largest possible audience.  Most of them have probably been told that lowest-common-denominator topics revolving around sex and tabloid trash are the easiest paths to success.

I contend that as long as they believe and act on those assumptions, they’re leaving a lot of listeners on the table.  Those listeners will eventually tire of radio as a medium, leading to our demise.  Or, Christian radio will be packaged in such a high quality, compelling manner that WE will snag some of those ears.  Maybe most of those ears!

Yes, most.  “But, Mike,” you might say to me in person, “Christian radio can only grow so much before we max out.  Because, let’s face it, being Christian is a very niche’ thing.”  Except that it isn’t.  The Pew Forum says nearly eight out of 10 Americans claim to be Christians. (http://religions.pewforum.org/reports).  Which begs the question from some:  “Why doesn’t my Christian station have an 80-share then?”  That question assumes all your market’s Christians should naturally have an affinity for AC music (since that’s all CCM radio is known for in most of the Country).  (Shame on any Christian who might like a little energy, novelty, fun, youth, twang, Rhythm, whatever, with their music.)

Also, out of those eight-out-of-ten Christians, how many of them are passionately proactive in their Faith?  Since many agnostics and atheists know more about the life of Jesus than His active followers, not everyone (or even a majority) of that 80% clearly fall into being passionately proactive. (http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/28/dont-know-much-about-religion-youre-not-alone-study-finds/?hpt=C1)  Our spiritual ignorance is our own fault.  Christian culture at large, and even many of our “safe for the family” radio formats, have softened Jesus to the point of irrelevance.  And our future potential listeners see right through it.  The book “Almost Christian” tells us about teens that want to have “steak and potato” talks about spiritual matters, while the Christian culture elements they’re surrounded by continue to “serve cake.” (http://articles.cnn.com/2010-08-27/living/almost.christian_1_teens-share-moralistic-therapeutic-deism-dean-talks?_s=PM:LIVING)

What we have here, when you add up these things:  Secular radio alienating its own audience….80% of them with Christian-leanings….combined with your station already focused on things those people care about…..combined with a majority of culture being open to the real Jesus….combined with them being hungry to talk about Him in deep and meaningful ways….adds up to: a huge opportunity for you to have a deep, significant, market-leading relationship with today’s generation. (Although I’m sure these stats aren’t limited to the under-34 crowd; it just happens to be my area of passion and focus).

This isn’t a license to return to Christian radio approaches from decades ago where you open up the mic and pontificate on King James Scripture.  Or where you have to find a mandatory “God angle” on every song you backsell or every promotion you cook up.  Those tactics are what gave all things CCM-related such a bad rap for such a long time.  Instead, I’d say that you should simply let your relationship with Him breathe in and out through your radio job just as it does in your real life.  Unless you’re a judgmental, irrational, pharisaical person of course.  I kid, I kid!  OK, I only half kid.  If you’re one of those “bad Christians who happens to good people,” then yeah, maybe being totally authentic isn’t the right approach.  Unless you’ve recognized your issues and aren’t afraid to publicly, humbly work them out.

This is a license to keep doing what you do already for the most part, and encouragement to make it more fun and engaging for those Christians in your market who haven’t been tantalized by your station yet.  Radio isn’t dead, and won’t die in 2011.  The new Edison Research report on 12-24 year-olds finds that they still spend more time with radio than they do with many other things.  We’re #3, in fact.  But don’t get happy about being #3.  We were #1 just 10 short years ago.  Since 2000, the time we get per week from 12-24’s has been chopped in half. (http://www.edisonresearch.com/Edison_Research_American_Youth_Study_Radios_Future.pdf).  To decline at the same pace would leave radio devastated by 2020.

But you, yes, YOU, can do plenty about that.  And you should.  iWorld or not, it’s your Biblical calling.  See First Corinthians 15:58 and Colossians 3:23.

Mike Couchman is Program Director and Afternoon DJ for WAY-FM’s Colorado network.  He’s also heard on WRBS/Baltimore, WAYK-G/Grand Rapids, MI, and WHMX/Bangor, ME). Contact Mike waymike@gmail.com

Why Your Listeners Are Really Listening || Rick McConnell

It started happening quite a few years ago when I would stick the microphone in front of listeners and ask what they liked about the station. I love to use a LOT of listener comments in the imaging I do for stations. The more I talked to listeners, the more I began to get a hunch about a subtle (or may not so subtle) disconnect between why LISTENERS say they listen to Christian radio, and why we radio pros THINK they listen. Or even why some experts SAY people are listening.

As I continued to explore this disconnect. I didn’t go to the experts, or the managers, or the PD’s or the consultants. I consulted the REAL experts: The listeners. I asked them in many various ways simply, “why do you listen to Christian radio?” The more I listened to them, the more I became convinced of “the disconnect” that has gradually spread across our industry- and is reflected in many widely used slogans. Listen to some of the phrases and slogans that WE think reflects why people listen (or should listen.) “Clean Air” “Family Friendly Radio.” “Safe and Fun for the whole family.” “Safe for the little ears.” “You’ll never hear our jocks tell crude jokes, “ “Good for our community.” “Positive and Uplifting.”

Those are some common ones. And they REALLY are good reasons for people to listen. They are SOME reasons people listen. And they really are good to use as part of our imaging. But none of those come close to THE reason people say they listen.

“…It brings me closer to God.” “It keeps my mind on God and spiritual things.” “It makes me feel closer to the Lord…” “It really gives me a spiritual perspective.” It reminds me that God is in control.” “I feel like giving up and it reminds me that God is there to help me.” Comments like these are the MAIN reasons people are more passionate about listening to Christian radio- based on years of interviews with hundreds of listeners in various settings and in various markets.

These comments are not flukes. These types of comments comprise the vast majority of what comes out of listeners mouths when you let them ramble a bit about why they listen to Christian radio. (and this is consistent across all demographics) So it makes me wonder about this disconnect when many stations ignore the obvious- and create their imaging around one of the “lesser” reasons people listen.

My advice to stations looking for direction in their imaging is this: No matter what slogan they use, make sure they weave in the REAL reasons people listen into their imaging. We as radio stations can come up with fresh slogans till the cows come home. But at the end of the day, listeners still listen to Christian radio because it’s Christian radio. It’s about God. Any imaging that tries to ignore or hide that is somewhat disconnected for the REAL experts: your audience.                                


Rick McConnell is a 30 year veteran of Christian radio, a voice over pro, and producer of “The Airshow” imaging package. The Airshow has been used to image hundreds of stations over the past decade. Website: monumentalstudiosdenver.com

The Halo Effect || Tom Le Vine

You can maximize the success of your business — if you apply The Halo Effect in your advertising.  At Radiance, We utilize this strategy every day.

Psychologist Edward Thorndike* first identified the“halo effect.”   In 1920, he noted that, when military leaders identified subordinates with strong leadership qualities, they evaluated them positively on virtually every other character trait as well. 

This is The Halo Effect:  If an observer likes one aspect of something, they will have a positive predisposition toward everything about it.  Here’s how The Halo Effect can help you:

Your company fits into one of four categories:  well-known, with a positive reputation; well-known with a negative reputation; a positive reputation but mostly unknown; or mostly-unknown, with a negative reputation.   

Most good businesses suffer from low name awareness.  The good news is:  broadcast advertising can improve your name awareness and “positives” very quickly.

Here are proven ways you can apply the Halo Effect

Attach Your Little-Known Name to a Well-Known Name.

If I say the words “celebrity endorsement,” chances are you’ll say that you can’t afford it.  And yes … it would be expensive to get an endorsement from a national figure like Peyton Manning or Oprah Winfrey.  But hosts of popular local (or even national) radio talk shows are available to “voice” your ad at affordable rates.

Here’s how it works:  you’ll pay a radio station the regular fee for your ad. You’d then pay a separate “talent fee” to the talk show host or on-air personality to endorse your product or service.  These fees vary widely. But many are a bargain — $500 per month or less.

These are done on a “product-exclusive” basis, so your direct competitors will be blocked from using their voice.  Your host may even do a fresh, “live” (not recorded) ad every day.  The best host-voiced ads are “testimonials.” In these, the popular host doesn’t just tell listeners about you.  He or she tells the story of how you’ve helped them personally through your unique product or service.  You go from “largely unknown” to “known” almost overnight.


If you depend on “word of mouth,” please know that it is impossible to control.  This is “word of mouth,” on rocket fuel.

The Halo Effect is a transfer of credibility.  The credibility of top local hosts and broadcast personalities can become yours.  

You can say good things about yourself.  But how much more powerful it is to have a celebrity tell their fans about you?


It’s important to gain “market share.”  It’s even more important to avoid losing market share. It doesn’t cost any more to work with me.   In fact, you’ll probably pay less.  I can help.  Call for a free coffee meeting and a no-obligation written assessment of your marketing advantages.  (760) 415-6055.

*Wikipedia Dictionary

SD Radiance.  Unapologetically Radio. 

Tom Le Vine




“Radio is the most immediate way to change consumer habits and practices, and at the same time, demand a specific action at a specific time and place.” 

— John Lyons, Advertising from the Inside Out

Failure Is an Option || Dave Koch

In August of 1997 I wrote an article in Westar Media’s “Wireless Age” magazine titled, “Failure is an Option.” I was doing some archiving and organizing around the office a few weeks ago and came across the article. Its message still applies 24 years later.

I cannot imagine anything more challenging and rewarding than working in Christian radio.

Christian radio is what I’ve loved since 1979 when I turned on the mic as an announcer at WJSL-FM at Houghton College in upstate N.Y. In fact, I have always felt that Christian radio was what God intended me to do. He gave me a gift, a passion for the industry.

A while ago I was reminiscing and reflecting on success and failures in life. I took out a pad of paper and made two columns. On the left side I wrote “Successes.” On the right side I wrote “Failures.” I won’t bore you with the details of what I wrote down, but for some reason the failure side list was longer than the left. I found that interesting.

About a month ago I was invited to speak to a group of people as we honored a young man who was turning 16 and entering adulthood as a Christian. The topic I was asked to speak on was “A Man and His Work.” I knew exactly what I wanted to say. I did some research and thought I would share an excerpt:

On the evening of August 6, 1999, a major league baseball player stepped up to home plate and made another out – the 5,113th strikeout of his professional career. If a player made all of those outs consecutively, and he averaged four at bats per game, he would play for eight complete seasons or 1,278 games without ever reaching first base. That’s quite a stat.

Earlier in the same game, in his first plate appearance, that player had reached a milestone only a few people in the history of professional baseball have ever achieved. He had made his 3,000th hit. That player was Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres.On the evening of August 6, 1999, a major league baseball player stepped up to home plate and made another out – the 5,113th strikeout of his professional career. If a player made all of those outs consecutively, and he averaged four at bats per game, he would play for eight complete seasons or 1,278 games without ever reaching first base. That’s quite a stat.

During that game Tony went 4 for 5. But that’s not the norm for him. Usually, he fails to get a hit two times out of every three attempts. Failing to get a hit 2 out of 3 times doesn’t sound very good, but if you know baseball, getting a hit one out of 3 times made Tony Gwynn the greatest hitter of his generation. Tony recognizes that to get his hits, he has to make a lot of outs. He has to fail to succeed.

Why do some people skyrocket like Tony Gwynn, while others plummet?

Why do some people in life, in business, even in relationships work hard, get promoted, receive recognition, and get that management or “VP” title, while others struggle and don’t grow and don’t succeed? What makes the difference? Why do certain people achieve much, and others don’t?

Is it family background?

Well, having a good family growing up is certainly something to be grateful for, but its not a reliable indicator of achievement. High percentages of successful people come from broken homes.

Is it wealth?

Some of the greatest achievers in business come from households of average to below-average means.

Maybe its opportunity – being in the right place at the right time?

Opportunity is a unique thing. But two people can look at a situation and one person can see tremendous opportunity while the other sees nothing. So that can’t be it.

What about high morals? That should be the key, but its not. There are people with high integrity who achieve little, and scoundrels who are millionaires.

Maybe it’s the absence of hardship in a person’s life? No, for every achiever who has avoided tragedy, there’s a Helen Keller who overcame disabilities or a Viktor Frankl, who survived the horrors in Nazi Germany.

So, its not family background, it’s not wealth, it’s not opportunity, it’s not high morals, nor is it the absence of hardship. None of these is the key to success in life.

When it comes right down to it, there is one factor that stands above the rest. It separates those who consistently shine from those who don’t. The difference between average people in business and achieving people is their perception of, and response to one simple thing…


Nothing else in life has the same kind of impact on people’s ability to achieve and accomplish whatever their minds and hearts desire like failure.

In the 1930’s as a young second grader, a boy discovered that he could buy a six pack of cokes for a quarter, sell them for thirty cents and make a 20 percent profit. It wasn’t long before this boy was buying soft drinks by the case, icing them down and increasing his revenue and profit. When the weather turned cold and sales lagged, he sold magazines. Then at age eleven, he started helping a neighbor with his paper route. By age twelve, he had built his own route.

Like many young men of his era, he joined the Army. When he was finished serving in 1945, he was ready to pursue other opportunities.

What appealed to him was a restaurant and his dream to work with Ben, one of his brothers. After learning a little about the business, they scraped together some money, located a site, built a restaurant, and opened it as the Dwarf Grill in Hapeville, Georgia just outside of Atlanta.

It was open 24 hours a day, six days a week and through an incredible amount of hard work, it was profitable from the first week. But it wouldn’t be long before he would face the first of several major setbacks.

The first came early, only 3 years after opening the restaurant. His brother Ben and another brother were in a small private plane that crashed, killing both of them. Losing a business partner is tough. Losing two brothers was horrible. The man was devastated. Once he got over the emotional shock, he went on alone.

Just a year later, he was awakened one evening by a phone call. There was a fire at his restaurant. He dashed off to see what was going on, but when he arrives, he discovers that the fire has totally destroyed the operation. That alone was bad enough. Worse was the fact that he had practically no insurance.

Then, just a few weeks later, he faces another debilitating setback. He discovers he has polyps in his colon that would have to be removed. He could not restart his business. One operation turned into two and he was in and out of the hospital for many months.

On his last visit to the hospital, he lay in bed and came up with what would ultimately be a multi-million-dollar restaurant concept called Chick-fil-A. The man is Truett Cathy. He would later say that had he not experiences those unfortunate setbacks and failures in life, he may never have come up with his Chick-fil-A idea while laying in that hospital.

Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize just how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Leadership expert Peter Drucker said, “The better a man is, the more mistakes he will make. For the more new things he will then try.”

You’re going to go through life, and you will fail. Count on it. Expect it. It’s OK to fail. It can be one of the most freeing and peaceful things you can do for yourself. Trust me, I know. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.

In fact, the Bible is full of important people who failed.

Abraham, founder of Israel and labeled “the friend of God” was once a worshipper of idols.

Joseph had a prison record but later became prime minister of Egypt.

Moses was a murderer but was the one who delivered his nation from the slavery of Pharaoh.

Peter openly denied the Lord and cursed Him, only to return and become God’s choicest spokesman.

Paul was so hard and vicious in his early life, many who knew him refused to believe he’d actually become a Christian. But we know how greatly God used him.

Most people think that failure is bad. Its not. It is the opposite. NBA coach Rick Pitino said, “Failure is good. It’s fertilizer. Everything I’ve learned about coaching I’ve learned from making mistakes.”

All roads to achievement lead through the land of failure. But here’s the catch. Sometimes the easiest thing to do when failure hits is to blame someone else. It started with Adam and Eve.

When was the last time you heard someone say, “You know, that’s my fault. I blew that project and I take full responsibility. I’m sorry. I know what I did wrong, and I know how to fix it so that it won’t happen again.”

Any person worth anything will stick up for what they believe is right. But it takes a bigger person to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that they are in error. That kind of person will be extraordinary.

The only way to get ahead and to succeed is to fail early, fail often, and fail successfully. To achieve your dreams, you must embrace pending adversity because its coming at you right around the corner.

Shall We Laugh? || Finney Media


Throughout the year, we do research with Christian radio listeners across North America to gauge where their heads and hearts are for what we provide on the radio. You’ve heard and read much about how these listeners want encouraging, positive, hopeful songs and messages. All of that is true. And on-air humor is a part of that.

There is another side, though.  We’ve seen this from less churched listeners all the way to more legalistic believers and from all different denominations. This other side angle seems to be especially true now that we’re in lockdown, wearing masks and under restrictions and folks are just sick and tired of all the negativity.  

The other side is this. They want us to lighten up. Have fun. Be funny. Use humor. 

I’m not kidding. 

The last few times we’ve played things in Focus Groups and music tests that were fun or funny, listeners rated the humor high, commented on how they loved it, wanted it from us, hoped we would play more of it.  

They just need a break from all of the hopelessness in the world around them and just want to laugh. 

Examples of Effective Humor

So, how do you add humor and make it effective? A couple of cautions. First, if you’re not funny, we’re not recommending you begin telling jokes. You should consider incorporating fun and funny into your show or station, but don’t try to be funny if you’re not. For what it’s worth, I’m not naturally funny, so it’s generally better if I don’t try to tell jokes. 

Secondly, be careful with the type of humor you use. Some types do poorly with Christian audiences. And I don’t just mean bawdy humor.  But self-deprecating/self-reflective humor.

We’ve seen some kinds of humor work really well. Other kinds work not at all (ask me sometime about the piece I played in a music test where I thought the respondents were going to throw things at me). Sorting through what kinds of humor work and what doesn’t is something we can help with.

Link to Original Source

Is Radio Loyalty Back In Style? || Fred Jacobs

Over the last year of the pandemic, we’ve talked a lot in this space about some of the unintended consequences of the pandemic.  Media disruption has taken many forms, creating winners and losers.  In our COVID studies, conducted in three waves among fans of commercial, public, and Christian music stations, we were able to track these patterns.

By and large, Netflix, cable and broadcast TV, and social media all received a boost during the throes of 2020.  On the other hand, satellite radio and broadcast radio – not so much.

But when you took a closer look at the data, it became clearer the forecasts for radio weren’t so clear.  The chart below is among commercial radio listeners from the first wave (late March/early April 2020).  Overall, 16% said they had been spending less time listening to their favorite station since the onset of COVID.  But 18% reported actually spending more time listening to their preferred stations.  So, lots of give and take.

But when you worked down the list, you could see more erosion for secondary stations – P2 and P3 choices – with a much larger percentage tuning away from these other in-market options.  So, how do we explain this?

A look at our public radio companion survey, conducted at the exact same time, was more revelatory.  Public radio local stations as well as NPR (we included both just to be sure) fared even better – 23% more/10% less.  And like we saw in the commercial radio version of this study, local P2 stations were more likely to be abandoned by these public radio fans – 8% more/15% less.

Jacobs Media Strategies

Email Marketing for Radio Stations

How can you use email marketing to engage with your radio station’s listeners without overworking your staff? Our webinar will show you.

At the time, we posited this idea:

While work from home led to less time in the car, and the scourge of unemployment were the culprits in decaying radio listening time, many other respondents actually were spending more time with their P1 stations.  We theorized that familiar and dependable radio choices – music and talk stations and their personalities – provided a sense of comfort and reliability “during these uncertain times.”

Photo: Clay Blackmore 2007

Now, an analysis by David Giovannoni in public media’s Current confirms what we’ve been seeing for more than a year.

If you’ve spent more than a cup of coffee working in pubic radio, you know Gio.  He’s a 35,000 foot observer of the medium, a researcher who has consistently and brilliantly used analytics and logic to lay out the rationale for why things are the way they are in public radio.

Above the fray of the insane news cycles, changes in ratings methodologies, and the other variables that tend to confuse programmers and managers in the trenches, Giovannoni has held fast to his megatrend theories about public radio’s true health, its challenges, and its opportunities.

His AudiGraphics service puts Nielsen data (formerly Arbitron) in a much different perspective than commercial radio stations typically see.

In an aptly article titled article, “For their listeners, NPR News stations are the last thing worth listening to on the radio,” Giovannoni lays out a compelling case.

He makes five key points:

  1. As pandemic listening quickly shifted from out-of-home (at-work and in-car) to in-home exactly one year ago, NPR News fans found a way to tune in their favorite stations.  We’ve talked about the upsides of easy, seamless, and well marketed digital distribution.  NPR and most of its member stations have been well ahead of this curve with apps, streaming, on-demand content, podcasts, and clever smart speaker strategies.  As cars sat in driveways, public radio P1s were tuning in their favorite stations on other devices – in droves.
  2. Listeners focused on their NPR News P1 stations, often at the expense of their in-market competitors.  You can see that in our slide above, as well as in David’s data below.  This convergence toward one’s favorite, most trusted station benefits brands that have consistently done great work.
  3. COVID amped up core loyalty to favorite stations – especially NPR News outlets.  Public radio has always been near and dear to its fans.  Often after conducting focus groups for stations or the network, I’ve walked down to the parking lot only to discover a group of passionate, energetic respondents still talking about the station, the shows, and the personalities they love and value.  COVID served as a call to action for fans who were already dyed-in-the-wool believers.
  4. Listener loyalty didn’t just happen – it’s been “decades in the making.”  That’s Giovannoni’s quote, and he’s spot on.  And it took the pandemic to trigger this behavior.  A lot of money, effort, and time has been spent researching the audience, and responding with programming, content, and services that meet their needs.  It all paid off during COVID.
  5. A greater percentage of an NPR News station’s audience is now made up of core listeners.  In fact, it is now pushing the 2/3s mark.  (It used to be closer to 1/3.)  Listeners are truly coalescing around their favorite stations –and spending less time with everyone else.  What implications does this have post-pandemic?  While it’s impressive to see P1s expanding their time (and contributing financially), is there a downside for secondary and fringe listeners perhaps not being as engaged as they once were?   Gio’s slide below shows the growing importance of core listeners to public radio’s new-found success:
Chart courtesy of Current

Perhaps it took a life-changing event like a pandemic to put all this into focus, and the aftermath of the “Trump Bump” as it was referred to in public radio circles is uncertain.  But Gio’s analysis suggests NPR News has never been more important to its audience during the COVID Era, and never served its audience better.

This is no accident.  Both at the network and station levels, public radio has spent years understanding its audience, crafting content to meet their needs, and developing distribution channels that keep up with – or even stay ahead of – the trends.

The result?  An even greater willingness to support these stations financially – one of the key metrics that determines public radio’s health and success.

So, how do we measure this phenomenon of loyalty – especially when it morphs into word-of-mouth recommendations, the Holy Grail of marketing?

Is public radio loyalty an anomaly with these stations – especially the news outlets – or does commercial radio have a similar story to tell?

That’s why we’ve been asking the Net Promoter question since 2004 in our Techsurveys.  Now, we have nearly two decades of tracking data, creating a clearer picture of how public radio has fared over the years.

And thanks to our new Techsurvey 2021 coming out of the Excel oven, we’ve got comparative data for commercial radio – as well as the 14 different formats we track – everything from Rock to News/Talk to Urban AC to Country.

Loyalty and word-of-mouth are key performance indicators for radio – the perceptions that drive listening, support, and engagement.  And like in David Giovannoni’s research for public stations, commercial radio listening has also evolved into more of a fan-based activity.

In this year’s Techsurvey 2021 – the first one conducted during COVID – there have been some fascinating shifts, fueled by the impact of the pandemic.  There’s plenty of good news here for commercial radio and some surprises when we drill down to formats.

We’ll break it all down in tomorrow’s blog post.

Loyalty is back.  So, how do we hold onto it?

Thanks to Abby Goldstein for the heads-up. 

Link to Original Source

Your Worst Enemy at Work Is…|| Jay Nachlis

You have an enemy.

You may think you don’t, but you do.

Not only is this enemy vicious and unrelenting, you are accompanied by the enemy every single day of your life. The enemy shows up in brainstorming sessions. When you’re writing copy. When you’re live on the air or when you’re recording a show.

Who is this enemy? It’s not a “who.” It’s a “what.”

Your enemy is the preconceived notion.

Preconceive: to form a conception or opinion of beforehand, as before seeing evidence or as a result of previously held prejudice. – Dictionary.com

Preconceived notions

Preconceived notions slither through the halls of radio stations, convincing you that you’ve got a total handle on how listeners think about your brand. They tell you how well-known the morning show host is and how everyone plays your contests. They shape your feelings about the competition and their listeners.

Preconceived notions are equal opportunity offenders, invading the podcasting and streaming industry the same way they permeated radio. In fact, no industry or brand is safe from the preconceived notion.

The worst part? There is great comfort in the preconceived notion. A strong preconceived notion can feel like a warm blanket draped around your shoulders. But rather than empowering your brain, preconceived notions offer a false sense of security. They offer a sense that you know more than you do–and the alternative to that is unpleasant.

(whispering) You don’t have all the answers.

Trevor Noah preconceived notion

That is an understandably intimidating realization for many. Those hired as strategists are expected to understand how to strategize, and removing preconceived notions can feel like an admission of defeat.

The reality is that market conditions and audience behavior is shifting in ways we’ve never seen in our lifetimes. The smartest strategists and most cunning tacticians are using research to understand these changes. So, what do they do with preconceived notions? They often include these preconceived notions in research to either validate them or smash them into pieces. In this way, the preconceived notion is no longer the enemy–it’s a superhero ally in an ongoing battle for positive image perception.

Recognize that preconceived notions are impossible to eliminate, but they can be managed. Challenging them doesn’t make you less of a strategist, it makes you a better one.

Sun Tzu strategy

Legendary Chinese military strategist and “The Art of War” author Sun Tzu

“Know thy enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are sure to be defeated in every battle.” – Sun Tzu

Jay Nachlis
Coleman Insights Associate Consultant
Tuesdays with Coleman

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Marketing vs. Advertising: What’s the Difference? || Tom Le Vine

Advertising is “a form of marketing communication used to promote or sell something — usually a business product or service.” *

Marketing, though, goes much further.  Marketing represents everything you do — above and beyond advertising.

You may be so close to everything within your business … that you are unable to see the marketing failures around you.

Many times, I’ve seen broadcast advertising succeed — as the overall marketing campaign self-destructs.  It often goes something like this:  a business owner makes a wise decision to launch a broadcast advertising campaign.  A professional 60-second message is planned, written, recorded and produced.  After a few weeks, it begins to generate solid incoming phone calls and website visits.  The advertising works.

Many companies consist of two major elements — sales and fulfillment

Unfortunately, the company receptionist or other staff members tasked with responding to incoming calls or customers (“fulfillment”) — may not carry the same passion and sense of urgency for the ad campaign’s success as the business owner.  Often, they don’t even know about the ad campaign.  If the receptionist is unfriendly, bored, terse or overwhelmed, the end result of your ad campaign may literally do more harm than good.  If employees simply ask “so, how did you hear about us?” then you’ve employed an inadequate tracking system.  

Often great broadcast advertising points people to a passive, ineffective website — robbing the entire campaign of its effectiveness.

Advertising is your most powerful marketing tool. But what else are you doing to guarantee that your incoming calls actually convert into sales?  Fulfillment must fulfill.

A broadcast station is not at fault if their viewers and listeners call you, and then do not commit to spend money with you.

The act of converting advertising leads into sales is much like a relay race.  If you fumble the baton after it comes into your hand, you can’t blame the previous runner. 

A carefully crafted advertising message — on a great radio station — delivers the flow of customers you need.  Then, the advertised “selling proposition” must translate into a good value in the minds of consumers.  “Advertising … without an offer or strategy … is just entertainment.”


Ad executives can help you create advertising. Often, though, they’re limited to the ad options provided by just one media company.  Radiance is independent.  I can choose from the full array of stations and media options  —targeting any quantitative target or qualitative demographic.   My job goes beyond the act of placing advertising.  As a marketer, I work to spot the challenges you face in converting incoming respondents into clients and customers — and will even engage your staff to coordinate your full marketing plan. 


It’s important to gain “market share.”  It’s even more important to avoid losing market share. It doesn’t cost any more to work with me.   In fact, you’ll probably pay less.  I can help.  Call for a free coffee meeting and a no-obligation written assessment of your marketing advantages.  (760) 415-6055.

*Wikipedia Dictionary


SD Radiance.  Unapologetically Radio. 


Tom Le Vine





“Radio is the most immediate way to change consumer habits and practices, and at the same time, demand a specific action at a specific time and place.” 

— John Lyons, Advertising from the Inside Out

Do You Enjoy Listening to Your Station? || Mike Prendergast

I love to sample other radio stations throughout the country, stations of all formats.  Top-40, Hot AC, AC, Country, CCM, Greatest Hits etc.  Most of these formats put out good music and thrive on the tempo of the station.  While not shying away from a well-placed ballad, the majority of their songs drive the tempo of the station forward.  It’s toe-tapping at its best.

One thing that I’ve noticed in our format is the lack of fun and tempo in our music selection.  It’s epidemic.  Just look at PlayMPE.  We have more slow songs than up tempo in which to choose from our format.

You can argue that the best testing songs in our format are the worship ballads. And you’d be right, they are our best testers.  It’s what Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns and Hillsong Worship have made a career on.  There’s nothing wrong with them.  We need those songs for sure.   Plus, songs with tempo usually takes a back seat in our tests, so we should just play the biggest hits even if that means a boatload of ballads, right?

Before I answer that, let me share with you this anecdote.  I love ice cream.  It’s been my favorite since I was a kid.  In fact, those of you who really know me, know that I once ate 8 Blue Bell ice cream bars while working our Celebrate Freedom concert.  Let me be the first to tell you, eating 8 ice cream bars while working outside all day on a 100+ degree North Texas day does not do your gut any favors.  As much as I still love ice cream, if that’s all I ate, I would be grossly overweight or dead from diabetes.

Those worship ballads are our format’s ice cream.  You have to have it, you want it, especially cookies ‘n cream, but you need some other foods and flavors to fill out your meal.  There is a sameness to those ballads.

I’ve heard many stations that will play two, three sometimes four or more of those songs in a row.  Your listeners are either turning your station to see what else is on or they’re driving off the road.  If you’re only looking at testing numbers to program your station, then you’ve given up the thought and feeling behind your station.  Use your gut.  Bring up your tempo. Find variety.  Sprinkle the ballads in, they are certainly needed, but spread them out.

I have built KLTY around tempo, I’d argue we’re likely one of the hottest Christian AC stations out there.  And it’s worked out well for us.  Not only do we compete with the plethora of other Christian stations in the market, but we go head to head with the legendary top 40 in our market as well as the AC and Hot AC formats.  We do that by the mix of music as well as extraordinary talent, involvement in the community and great contesting.  But strip all that away and it gets back to just the music.  When listening to KLTY, I want the listener to feel encouraged, loved and uplifted.  But I want them to have fun as well.  I want them to turn up that new TobyMac song with windows down…ok maybe this time of year in Texas, the windows are up with the AC on full blast…but you get the picture.  I also want a station I enjoy listening to when I’m away from the office, and I do.  I am a P1 of my own station and I love how we sound.

So, look for variety.  Bring up your tempo.  Have fun, let your hair down, be more like your audience.  Your listeners will thank you.

Mike Prendergast
Program Director, KLTY

Mike Prendergast, Program Director for Salem Dallas’ 94.9 KLTY has been with the station since 2005, serving as PD since 2009. KLTY has long enjoyed success in Dallas/Fort Worth most recently achieving an overall #1 Persons 6+ this past October and setting a station record for share and another #1 this past January 2020. Mike married his high school sweetheart Teresa 23 years ago and has two daughters, 18 & 16, the oldest about to head off to college. When Mike is not working in Christian radio, he’s spending his time with family, with the Youth at church or trekking across the country seeking all kinds of severe weather including tornadoes, hurricanes, and thunderstorms.

Article reposted with permission from Christian Music Broadcasters 

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Find Perspective Outside of Your Radio Station || Terese Main

Patience is not my “thing.” I get impatient with circumstances. I get impatient with other people. And most of all, I get impatient with myself. Last month, after finishing the morning show, I was working on some programming projects. Not much was getting done; I was spinning my wheels and knew I needed a change of perspective. Impatiently, I announced “I’m heading out. Not sure when I’ll be back.”

I got in my car and wound up at the grocery store. I had no list. And no agenda. The Valentine’s merch was out, so I picked up a couple things for my girls and got in line. I chose one with a cashier instead of just speeding through self-serve. After all, I was there for a change of perspective.

The woman in front of me had two kids: a toddler and a preschooler. Her cart was overflowing. She was wrangling coupons and wiping runny noses. She kept apologizing. I just smiled and shook my head. “No need to apologize.” The man behind me was doing the impatient “huff.” In that moment I was overflowing with patience. As I made goo-goo faces at her toddler, the Mama swiped her benefits cards and headed out.

My red and white Haribo packages rolled up the belt. The cashier looked at me, exhausted, “My back is killing me.” “Take a second. Ring up my order real slow,” I replied, with a smirk. I entered my pin at a glacial pace, told her to have a good day and grabbed my bag. Thank you, Lord, for perspective, and an opportunity to practice patience.

Jackie Hill-Perry recently posted some practical advice for anyone in ministry: “Study the community and the people that God has given you proximity to.  You don’t have to know everything about everybody, but you should know something about the people God has placed you near. It’ll help you love them so much better. Trust me.”

When was the last time you got out of the four walls of your station and saw how your listeners really live? What do they truly need? What are their struggles? We can say the same words at the same time, but the heart behind what we say is the difference between serving your community and lip service.

I’m still learning. I’m glad God is so patient with me.

Terese Main
Assistant Program Director, Family Life

Article reposted with permission from Christian Music Broadcasters 

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So You Work in Radio || Mike Prendergast

“So you work in radio? Christian radio, you say?  You guys play that church music right?”

Yes, but there’s more to it than that.  As a Christian music radio station, we have a responsibility not only to play music that expands Christ’s message, to be an encouragement and inspiration to those listening, but also be a beacon of light in an increasingly darkened community.  If you’re simply playing music about Jesus, but not being the hands and feet of Christ in your community and on the radio, you are no different than someone’s Spotify playlist.  You’re simply a jukebox. (That’s an old timey record player for you young folk. J)

94.9 KLTY is in the heart of the “Bible Belt”.  But that belt isn’t what it was when your parents were around, it’s become worn around the edges and some of the belt loops have loosened.  The Millennial generation is less likely than past generations to consider themselves as “Christian” or to attend a church service regularly.  Blogger Frank Powell hit this on the head when he lists some of the reasons churches are not reaching Millennials; churches have a hard time changing with the times, they are not authentic or transparent, some do not take care of the community around them and others are divisive.

Millennials are also much less likely than any other previous generation to listen to terrestrial radio.  Preferring to get their music on demand from the multitudes of streaming platforms.

But one thing we have learned that Millennials are looking for, is a way to be involved and to give back to the community around them.

And that is where our Christmas Wish, Speak Love and Win Win campaigns come into focus.  It’s a way our listeners can come together as a community to help those in need, to donate their time or money, to bless others with their blessings or sometimes to help with a community project.

Christmas Wish:  Bridgett had to live in her car while she was homeless. She got a job at Chick-Fil-A, was able to move into an apartment and was beginning to get on her feet when she totaled her car.  When a listener let us know her story, we knew we had to help.  Christmas Wish, with the help of listeners and one special advertiser, was able to provide her with a car so she can continue to support her family and get to work every day.  The video of afternoon host Bonnie Curry surprising Bridgett in the drive thru to give her a car will bring you to tears:  https://www.facebook.com/949klty/videos/740231366484366/

Speak Love:  April, a social worker in Watauga, told us about Janette and her kids. This family has endured years of terrible abuse and the aftermath left their whole world in shambles.  Janette was in a wheel chair, a result from the abuse.   What they needed was a fresh start, a clean, repaired, wheel chair accessible home, and a chance to begin healing. Over three days, with the help of listeners and advertisers, the Speak Love team brought Janette’s house back to life:  https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=10156400189112200

Win Win:  It’s fun to win prizes on the radio.  You know what’s more fun?  To win prizes on the radio AND another prize to bless someone in your life. Win a pair of concert tickets and get another pair to invite someone in your community.  Win cash and get additional cash to bless someone in need. Win a family ski vacation, there’s another trip to bless a good friend.  We call it a Win Win.  One example of this is Orella who won cash in our Secret Sound contest.  While she was excited to win the cash, she was even more excited that she was receiving an extra $500 to bless someone.  She quickly told us she wanted to bless her sister, and single mother Dorcas who had been going through a difficult time.  But even better than this was that one of our listeners heard her story and was moved by her story and wanted to help the sisters even more.  This anonymous donor matched the winning amount and when we gave these additional checks to Orella and Dorcas, the tears flowed:  https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=551415945401075

We should all be playing music that glorifies Christ and tells the saving message of Jesus Christ. When we’re on the radio we should be encouraging, we should be inspiring, and we should be compassionate. But if we stop there, we are missing God’s purpose for our lives.

To quote the late Rich Mullins… “It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine. Faith without works, it just ain’t happening.”

Go be a light in your community.

Mike Prendergast
Program Director, KLTY

Article reposted with permission from Christian Music Broadcasters 

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Consumer Engagement with Christian Media || Rick Dunham

There’s no doubt that the modern media landscape is a fast-changing force. But you might be surprised at how people of all ages are consuming media – especially Christian media!

Watch as Dunham+Company founder and CEO Rick Dunham unpacks the latest US-based research on who’s consuming Christian media and why. Whether you’re a programmer for traditional media or otherwise involved in Christian radio, you’ll learn how best to engage your audience – and what you can do to maximize your impact in the future. This video series will show you…

• The similarities and differences in media preferences for American adults and teenagers

• The top four reasons why adults and teenagers tune in to Christian radio

• Six major implications of the study findings that will help shape your strategies for the future


To understand the results of this new study, it’s important to know what, exactly, is being studied. In this introductory session, Rick explains the purpose of the study and gives you an overview of its methodology. 

General Media Consumption

What’s the general population like when it comes to media consumption? The answer may surprise you. This video dives into some of the highest-level results of the study, looking at the spiritual state of US adults and teenagers, and their general media consumption habits.

Media with Christian Content

Now that you know how general media performs, how does Christian media compare? This video explores the most popular types of Christian media for each demographic, the four major reasons why each demographic tunes in, and how we should expect each demographic to consume Christian media in the future.


Understanding the trends shown by the study, this video draws six major implications from the study – and they’re surprisingly encouraging. You’ll also learn strategies that your organization can implement to reach the masses and expand your impact.

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Rick Dunham
CEO, Dunham+Company

For nearly 40 years, Rick has helped nonprofit organizations exceed their fundraising goals and increase their impact. Since founding Dunham+Company in 2002, he’s served organizations around the world creating fully integrated fundraising and marketing strategies. He is also a well-respected voice on issues surrounding charitable organizations.