Watching the last few presidential debates reminds me of being in Mrs. Lay’s 5th grade class.  We had that know-it-all that nobody liked, that smart science-brain kid that was painfully shy, and that loud-mouthed bully that picked fights on the playground with a girl named Megan.  Or was it Kelly?  (I don’t think I was considered one of those three, but I did achieve the distinction of being the first to get zits.  And the last to get rid of them!)

“Nobody will listen to you unless they sense that you like them.  If a person senses that you do not like them, that you do not approve of their existence, then your religion and your political ideas will all seem wrong to them.  If they sense that you like them, then they are open to what you have to say.”  Donald Miller

They say that Ted Cruz has a 43 percent unfavorable rating, and that’s even after adding a few jokes in the last debate to improve his likability.  43 percent!  Jeepers, that’s higher than Larry Musselwhite in my fifth grade class!  And Larry didn’t smell very good.

By the way, Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, and Donald Trump all have a similar favorability gap, according to

Think of the last few presidents.  Obama (when elected).  Clinton (even after you know what).  Reagan!  Jeepers, he was like a movie star.  They were all likable, at least to enough someones.

“We resist being influenced by people we don’t know or don’t trust.  We are open to the influence of those whom we trust or whom we perceive have our best interests at heart.  Trust requires common ground.  Trust requires empathy.”  Andy Stanley

If being likable and sounding friendly are the starting points for being effective, shouldn’t we in Christian radio pay more attention to connecting emotionally and relating to people’s lives?

I recently heard a promo for a daddy/daughter dance that shared the date, time, and location, but little else.  Nothing about the impact of a dad on a daughter’s life, the importance of spending one-on-one time with your kids, and the power of a role model.  Downright unfriendly, you could say.


Consider this:

Buy some pizza and gather your teammates to build a “friendly” vernacular for your station’s brand.  Then make sure every recorded promo, every live mention, and every digital thingamajig on your website utilizes those words to help make your station friendly and more effective.

After all, not everyone can be as funny as Ted Cruz!