Tuesday, 22 April 2014

listener-centric

 the best way to create powerful compelling radio is to move yourself away from the cosy air-conditioned radio studio and become listener-centric. What do they (the listener) want?  What would give them the very best listening experience? How can you as a broadcaster or station boss give the listener more than he or she expected to hear and how can you deliver it using all the different carriage at your disposal.  (By that I mean your broadcast service, podcasting, visualisation and social media, etc.)

If you are an Amazon employee some of this sounds remarkably familiar. Love, tolerate or loathe  Amazon - it is a very effective global company.  Their corporate mantra is to be customer-centric and it has made them a very successful business that may not be particularly profitable - as again their mantra is to re-invest profits into growing the company ever bigger at the discomfort sometimes of government and individual.

Too many radio stations seem to put their listener at the end of the chain, rather than at the front. The BBC has traditionally given listeners what they think might be best for them, a Reithian ideal wrapped up in their charter and put into practice by 'a bunch of Oxbridge lefties who have never done a decent days work' to paraphrase a well know Daily newspaper.

So here in the UK if you are a commercial broadcaster you have a unique opportunity to be listener-centric and duck and dive around the BBC who have a habit of talking-down to the Great British public. Whereas you can fulfil need by offering a more direct experience.  I am not talking about 'dumbing-down' - after Producing more than 16,000 hours of talk radio I have witnessed first-hand (or ear) that some of the most euridite thinkers have had life-experience rather than academic achievement.

So let's take some of Amazon's best ideas and put the listener first.

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