Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bonding + John Sebastian

24° - overcast at 7:10am; 70% chance of snow

Good Morning from Okemos. Had all good intentions on a post last night; but the need and appeal for an early bedtime (9pm) was too much.

Bonding. Over the past year this blog has been emphasizing the need for stations to get close to their listeners.

On Tuesday, Fred Jacobs wrote about getting out and soliciting the vote. In addition to making some terrific points - he also came up with some great ideas. With apologies to Fred for over-quoting:

"The payoff for making appearances is often intangible, but inestimable in value. As Radio continues to go through its doldrums, trying valiantly to adjust to the new media pressures, maintaining relationships with listeners is going to be a key component."

"And after all, local personalities - and even syndicated stars - have the ability to put a face on Radio brands. This is something that consumers cannot get from their iPods, their Wiis, or even their XM Radios."

"Many stations have the assets, but they often find it challenging to bring them all together. A couple of years ago, 97 Rock pulled off a "Listener Appreciation Night" for some of its more ardent database members. All the jocks showed up to schmooze, sign autographs, and to hang out with these hardcore fans."

"You can imagine stations like KSHE, WRIF, and other heritage operations hosting a listener open house - just like "Tiger Fest" - that gives listeners a chance to tour the studios, meet the DJs, and take in other behind-the-scenes aspects of these wonderful stations."

I can imagine. And doing all this a long-term investment that some just don't get. Fred's complete piece here. Read it this morning.

Dave Martin writes this morning about thank-you notes:

"If you are not sending thank you notes you are not doing the things that are important."

"Thank you notes. Dead tree, hand-written. Emails don't count, phone calls don't count. Hand-written thank you notes count. Daily. Yeah, I know, nobody does this. That is why it is dramatically different, that's why it helps to set you and your team apart, that's why it works 100% of the time."

Dave's post here. Although Dave doesn't mention listeners, me thinks: what if we had each air talent send a few handwritten notes a day to listeners in the database? 5 personalities x 5 notes = 25/daily x 5 = 125/weekly....hmm. How long before we hit every listener in our database? Once/twice a year? That rocks!

And as Dave says - nobody does this!

Bonus - also from Dave Martin: Applause. "That's one of the things missing in most outfits today. Catch your station people doing something right." Here.

John Sebastian.
The trades reporting over the last day that he's out at country KPLX/Dallas over "philosophical differences". I don't know John all that well - but he seems pretty much to be a "my way or the highway" sort. And I do respect that.

Those who have worked for him have told me he's a very tight and highly structured programmer.

I recall John's days as a station owner in Santa Fe/Albuquerque - buying a very eclectic KLSK 104.1 and flipping it to New Age. When it became apparent that wasn't going to pay the bills it was another flip to Classic Rock.

Story is that It really upset the New Age listeners when the station suddenly was playing "Stairway To Heaven" for 24 hours straight to launch the format.
I remember the reading that Albuquerque Police were called to the station by New Age fans thinking there was something seriously wrong.

Make the most of the day.


dave said...


Wonderful! Thank you! Talent sending hand written notes is a killer idea. Talent sending notes to listeners is very cool, talent sending notes to clients is uber-cool

Dave Martin

Dan Kelley said...

All your inspiration Dave.

And talent sending notes to clients...yes!