Listeners Know Who You Really Are

When staffing a station, it can be difficult to find the appropriate talent. When I say “appropriate” I mean someone who lives the lifestyle of the station. Personally, my music tastes are all over. My playlist is something like Britney Spears to Slipknot to Otis Redding. I sincerely love all genres. I’ve been on a plethora of formats. I was a Rhythmic Top 40 morning show host, Adult Contemporary morning show host, Active Rock afternoon host…I mean, I kinda did it all. Only one of those didn’t work because I didn’t fit the lifestyle, and it was hard for me to adapt. I played it off well and we had the #1 morning show many times, but it was definitely not a great fit. I used other parts of my life to connect to the demo and that did work, however. Listeners aren’t dumb. They will notice that you aren’t into the music or the “likes” of your target audience. That’s not good. That, often, turns listeners away. How do you remedy this? Are you supposed to ONLY hire talent that’s involved in that specific type of music and lifestyle? The answer is no. You don’t have to pigeonhole your staffing.

One thing I did when I was on the Adult Contemporary station was, I really RESEARCHED the demo. I talk about research all the time, because this is what will save your job and you. I discovered what the demo was into, their likes, their dislikes, their hobbies, what they enjoyed discussing. Then, I looked at myself and tried to find things within me that would resonate and connect with the listeners. I’m a mom…that was HUGE with this audience. I talked about my kids all the time. However, I never shared pics of them on social media. I’m very protective of their privacy. I wrote another blog about when to know you’re sharing too much on air. Everyone is different though. If you feel comfortable sharing, share away! That just makes YOU more relatable. But don’t ever feel forced to share what you don’t want to share. ANYWAY, back to the point, I developed a relationship through motherhood and the trials and tribulations that come with it. Your potential hire can do the same! If they are outstanding on-air, ask them ‘what are some things about you that would be relatable to our demo?’ Are they willing to put the work in and find those connections to the audience?

As previously said, listeners will notice when you aren’t living the lifestyle. If your talent isn’t willing to do the research and find the connection between them and the listener, it won’t work. Think about all the times you’ve listened to a radio show … which shows did you listen to more? I would put money on the fact you listened to the shows you connected with. The shows whose talent felt like friends to you. That relationship is important. Yes, it’s important to find someone that “fits” your station’s format. However, there are work arounds. Just make sure you are making the correct hire by asking the question, ‘will the listener relate to this person?’

Photo courtesy of lookstudio and Freepik

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