There are lots of bad radio stations out there. Fortunately, there are also more than a couple of good ones.

At the good stations listeners hear who they are. At the bad ones listeners are faceless and passive audiences that are seldom even considered. (I’ve found that these are the stations where you can’t even hear the station. But don’t get me started.)

Inevitably the less we consider the listeners the fewer of them there are to consider.

“We buy what we buy to remind ourselves – and tell the world around us – who we are. We even choose our service providers based on how closely they mirror the way we would run their company. We’re attracted to reflections of ourselves. A salesperson points out this reflection, “That’s you, isn’t it?” and then gives the intellect the facts it needs to justify the purchase. Win the heart and the mind will follow.” ~Roy Williams

What singer isn’t aware of his audience? What sports team isn’t aware of the crowd? What pastor isn’t keenly aware of the unique audience for his children’s sermon?

At the good stations, listeners hear their own identities. It’s not just a bunch of unfamiliar songs and quacking dee jays and commercials. There is something there to which the listeners can exclaim, “that’s me!”.

My pal Joseph Battaglia grew up dreaming of playing center field for the New York Yankees. Only because they had another Italian there, a fellow named DiMaggio, did Joe not achieve his dream. Or so he’d like you to believe. Funny thing though, because he could see himself there he will always be a Yankee fan. It’s who he is.

When your listener can respond with “that’s me!”, you’ve deepened the relationship. Do it again, and again, deeper still.

The great violinist Joshua Bell says that a bad conductor of an orchestra gets in the way of the music.

I think a bad radio station gets in the way of the listener hearing who they are.