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The Midweek Motivator – Dying On The Vine?

You can be assured later today at happy hour no one will bring up your amazing four-song-sweep at noon. On the other hand if you’re highly fortunate, someone at a festive gathering mightcomment on one of your morning show’s feature (assuming it was sticky enough to be remembered).Thomas Reed referring to the opposition party once quipped, “They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.”

Today, he might have been referring to the unfocused and sometimes excessive radio-speak heard daily and across all formats. There’s no stage where actors are less rehearsed than Radio. This may be because radio’s culture has never completely embraced a comparison between theater or movie acting and radio performing. Somewhere a long time ago radio talent came from a position that said, “If I’m to be really spontaneous I can’t possibly be scripted or over prepared. That just isn’t me. If they make me do show preparation or follow a content outline, I can’t possibly be as natural or as engaging.”

So still today we find talent across the formats who haven’t realized the benefit of true coaching (as opposed to a break-room critique); actually showing a talent how to “build habit” and become well known for their show’s attributes. In times like these, talent can’t be blamed for the absence of a sustaining coaching culture, but they should look for it.

Over time and through many discussions with radio leaders we’ve inevitably heard, “Of course we believe in talent-development and stress it to our programming people!” Yet, when pressed to define a system or a committed plan to coach-up air talent at all skill levels, few can articulate just exactly what they do in their markets. If you’re looking for a faster way to the top, you probably won’t find it in your listener-promotion incentives or music software tweaks. Those areas of a station’s identity are basic requirements regardless of format. It’s true; expectation may fuel frustration, but it ultimately leads to better on-air performance!

Think about your Talk talent and format jocks. Are they regularly coached? Do they use a template for show-management? Do they work from a “sequence map” for content budgeting and clock flow? Are your people graded through an empowering system whereby they actually participate in scoring their own show? And if you think these opinions are somehow confined to beginning or remedial talent, mid-sized markets and/or smaller independent companies, you’re missing an opportunity! Premise: regardless of market rank, there are three types of talent in all of radio: the Gifted, the Creative… and everyone else.

The greatest improvement comes from the hungriest talent in the most progressive companies; especially in PPM markets where measurement while never perfect, has proven more tangible.

There is no “short way”. The easiest things are always hard, the road is always pitted. But throughout your company’s performing ranks finding and developing programming leaders who embrace coaching is the most important and positive action for ratings success!

What’s the best definition of coaching? Convincing someone to do something they may not want to do, so they can become something they’ve always wanted to be. “All the world IS a stage”…and too many of us are incredibly unrehearsed. We can help.