This is programming tip #200. Yee haw! I’ve written one of these every week for almost four years! Neato! Nifty!

That, my friends, is an example of inside thinking. Nobody really cares that this is programming tip #200 except me. And even I don’t think it’s as important as whether my Golden Retriever puppy has been taken for a walk recently.

Inside thinking is the default of every station, because we’re all inside!

A television station in my town has marketing campaign based on their 25 years on the air. It includes various notables of their network congratulating them and lauding that they are “the best station in town!” One network celebrity (whose initials are Jimmy Fallon) says, “it’s the best station in town, and the best station in any town.” I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP, as Dave Barry would say.

Our listeners don’t care about the internal workings of the radio station, any more than you care about my 200th programming tip even though you’re obviously a very nice person. Yet, too often, inside perspective drives what we say on the air.

The music director talks about charts, release dates, and tours, the traffic reporter declares that “this last traffic report of the morning” and the on-air program director relates facts right out of the promotions meeting (“scroll to the bottom of the home page of our website, search for the picture of the duck in the army helmet, and enter the promo code QUACK”!

John Maxwell pulls no punches:

“Dear Speaker:

Your ego has become a wall between yourself and me. You’re not really concerned about me, are you? You’re mostly concerned about whether or not this speech is really working… about whether or not you’re doing a good job. You’re really afraid that I will not applaud, aren’t you? You’re afraid that I won’t laugh at your jokes or cry over your emotional anecdotes. You are so caught up in the issue of how I am going to receive your speech, you haven’t thought much about me at all. I might have loved you, but you are so caught up in self-love that mine is really unnecessary.”

Here’s my challenge to you…

Listen to your station for just one hour and count the number of times your station, not the listener, is the focus.

“Once you’ve found the ego in the organization you’ve found the problem”. Fred Smith

The successful stations make programming decisions with the listeners’ perspective as the guiding force. We love shopping but we hate being sold!*

But that’s a topic for another time. Maybe for programming tip #300!

Woo Wee! Neato!

*”The Business of Belief“, Tom Asacker