Every Christmas for the last several years I’ve thrown a few coins into the Salvation Army bucket down the street at Wal-Mart. But not this year. Nope. You see, they’ve changed their bell ringer. The guy standing outside the store ringing the bell is going to be different this season, so I’ve decided not to give.

Ludicrous, isn’t it? Obviously no one would stop donating to the Salvation Army because a single bell ringer was replaced with another.

Or is it ludicrous? My guess is that many radio stations experience this on a fairly regular basis.

“You’ve change programs/you’ve changed the music/you’ve changed the disc jockeys/You did this ONE thing that I don’t like… so I’m not going to listen/support your station anymore.”

My guess is that you’ve received those phone calls or emails. What they are basically saying is that you’ve change the bell ringer.

What is the vision and purpose for your radio station? How effectively do you communicate that on the air? I know what the Salvation Army stands for. I know about the people they help and feed. My understanding of the vision and purpose of their ministry is far more important to me than whether Ralph stands outside Wal-Mart with a bell.

I suggest that if you are getting a lot of comments about the bell ringer, you may need to do a better job of communicating the bigger picture. People tend to focus more on the details in the absence of a bigger picture.

Make the vision and purpose of your radio station crystal clear and you’ll hear less murmuring about who’s ringing the bell.