It’s a curious thing. A few understand it, but most do not.

And before I point any finger let me just confess that I didn’t understand it either coming from a background in mainstream radio. I didn’t really understand what our format is all about.

Like many today I thought the format was about the music we play, the deejays, and doing radio stuff. After all, that’s radio, right? I had to undergo a process of learning that our format is about something much more important.

Every February my friends at KSBJ in Houston, Texas, encourage their listeners to encourage others with “Love That Sticks.” It’s a simple gesture that doesn’t take much effort and costs even less.

In these times when discouraging news bombards us with every push of a button we can all use some affirmation. When the world is bringing us down we thirst for something or someone to remind us of our TRUE value.

I’m told that the word ‘encouragement’ literally means to pour courage into. This word appears over 100 times in the New Testament.

The most successful stations have learned that our format – at its core – is about identity.

Those are the stations that remind us of who we are and whose we are. That’s why their listeners choose to tune in day after day after day.

How often does a woman get validated for being a good mom and nurturer? How many men are ever encouraged about being a good dad and provider? A good neighbor. A good friend. A good son. A great daughter.

My how-I-got-into-radio story is unique because it came about as an indirect result of the death of a teenage friend. After sharing that story, a friend gave me words of encouragement I’ll never forget. “You went to the radio station to get bad things off the air and to put good things on,” she said, “and you still do.”

“Don’t tell people what to do, tell them who they are.”

Bob Goff