To tease, or not to tease. That may not be the question.

Most teases I hear are self-indulgent attempts to manipulate un-seen passive consumers to do what you want them to do.  That, my friends, is a waste of time.  Your listeners are not simply consumers, but people with real life and real hopes and dreams.  We would do well to consider their lives as our frame of reference.

Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life”, the best selling non-fiction book of all time other than the Bible, begins with these four words:

It’s not about you.

Offering your listeners something relevant and compelling for which to stay tuned is a noble quest.  Trying to manipulate listeners for an additional PPM meter-minute is a waste of time.

“More Neil Diamond facts coming up next hour.”  I actually heard this on the radio. I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP, as Dave Barry would say.


We in radio have a lot to learn from social media, which has the algorithms and nifty-difty cyber brain power to monitor what entices people to “click through”.

Just in the last hour on social media I’ve seen:

“We’ve selected a group of people for a brief survey.”  Nope.

“Your marriage is doomed without this three minute conversation.”  Yep.

“Three easy ways to help keep your kids from getting sick this winter.”  Certainly.

Here is a practical idea:

Consider having your air personalities keep track of the social media posts that entice them enough to “click through.”  Then discuss why and how they can emulate that on the air.  Bonus tip: It’s easier to get people to do something again than it is to get them to do it the first time.  That’s why tuning in for “the next time to win” in a contest, or tuning back tomorrow at this same time for more ways to keep your family healthy can be effective ways to create additional listening occasions.

As my brilliant friend Tommy Kramer says, “Radio stations keep trying to manipulate or monopolize the listener’s time against his/her will.  But the listener is in charge, and growing more used to the ‘on demand’ part of life every day. When you only promote things that actually matter to the listener, believe me, you’ll stand out in the crowd.”