One of the most important pieces of equipment in your broadcast studio is a mirror.
What? A mirror? What for, to make sure I look good before I go on-air?
Not at all. A mirror reminds us to reflect the interests and lives of our listeners. It also reminds us as broadcasters to reflect the values of our organization, or of the God we serve. You see, when we are new to radio, we oft times think we are the most important person at the station. After all, it’s MY radio program. I’m the host. I play the music I like. I talk about topics that are interesting to me. If this is the case, the mirror is facing us. When our listeners hear our program, they hear a reflection of us. That’s sad, because our radio program should not be about us at all.
So turn the mirror around, have it facing away from you. Talk about things that are important and relevant to your target listener. Use the music that she (worldwide it is the woman who most listens to radio) wants to hear and DON’T use the music that she doesn’t like. Our listener should find something useful to help them in daily life or in their spiritual journey. Tim Dawson, a former training colleague of mine, says, “too often, radio decides for the listener what they need, instead of just asking them, and reflecting the listener’s life.”
I direct Radio HCJB2 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Jessica is the name we have given our target listener. We have a mirror and a sign in our studio that asks three questions: 1) Am I reflecting Jessica’s life? 2) Am I truly reflecting my values, and my station’s values? and 3) Can Jessica “hear” my smile?
I strongly encourage you to put a mirror and similar sign in your studio. It’s a great reminder.
So, sorry friend, you ARE NOT the most important person at the radio station. YOU’RE LISTENER IS. Make sure that when she listens to your program, she “sees” a reflection of HER life, not yours, and most of all she sees your values and your station’s goals reflected in what you say. All the best, as you use this great tool of radio!
Station Director, Radio HCJB2,