In sports, it happens all the time. A team of highly-rated, highly-paid superstars is taken down by an opposition of lesser players…who got the basics right and played as a team!
Radio also has its superstars. These are the hosts in the high-profile time slots, who get the high ratings and get their faces on billboards! However, these high-profile hosts are not the radio station. One day they will move on, and the radio station will still be there, still doing all it can to reach its target audience.
Irrespective of ratings, each time slot on a radio station is important. Each fulfils a slightly different role toward the station’s goals, and each meets a unique need amongst its listeners. It is essential that despite these minor differences, all of a radio station’s content and all of its hosts need to present a unified face to the listening audience.
Here are a few thoughts on how to do this:
•Presenters never speak negatively of other programmes or hosts on the station.
•All presenters actively promote the programmes of other hosts and other time slots on the station.
•While retaining their own unique feel, all presenters and time slots present a consistent message and values to the listening audience.
•All presenters, programmers, producers and writers at the station are fully aware of, and have bought into the station’s message, values and goals. This is reinforced during regular staff meetings, where staff discuss how to implement these on air. Team sessions and day retreats are great for this.
•Some radio presenters talk as though the whole radio station ends when their shift ends. However, for the listener the station continues, only with a different host. So, a presenter needs to give less priority to saying goodbye, and higher priority to promoting what is coming up on the next presenter’s programme.
•One of the reasons your listeners like your radio station is because they like your music mix. Do not allow individual presenters to have their own special music playlists. Certainly, some day parts require more current hit songs than others, but that is the decision of the programme director, not the presenter. The only exceptions are specialist music programmes or special music slots – for example “Way Back Wednesday” where you play a long-forgotten golden oldie at 7:40am.
•Station branding must be used consistently by all presenters. Most importantly, this includes the way the station name is said.
Yes, your station team is made up of individuals. However, it is only if they are all pulling together that your station can move in a chosen direction and take the listener with them.
Happy team building