Back to school time is everywhere. In the stores with sales. On our neighborhood streets with school buses. There are even tax-free days for Back to School. It’s not an official holiday like Christmas, Ground Hog Day, or Millard Fillmore’s birthday, but it is just as evident.

Back to school affects everyone’s schedule, even those that don’t go to school. That’s Common Ground. (Can’t say that about ole’ Millard’s birthday.)

“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”

Tom Bodett

So, let’s go back to school and discuss what really matters in transforming your station’s programming.

In Gary Keller’s book “The One Thing” he asks, “What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

I’ll begin this back to school lesson by asking for a permission slip to skip the obvious first answers – the right music and effective positioning. Let’s save that for the second semester when the football players can get here on time.

On this first day of school I’d like to suggest that The One Thing is… meaningful content. You know, the stuff between the records. While that may not be a new idea on this first day of school, there are important ramifications that, if we ignore, could send us to detention. Or we could be expelled.

  1. Meaningful content creates familiarity. We care about things that relate to us. And what we prefer is directly related to things we know. Said another way, we can’t possibly prefer things we don’t know. (This one idea would transform most Christian stations).
  2. Meaningful content creates humanity. People relate to people. A bunch of technical stuff can’t create a bond like an interesting, likeable person. (Even Facebook, which is conceptually a technology thingamajig, is all about relationships).
  3. Meaningful content creates distinction. If your station is just like the other stations (i.e., playing the same music) there is no reason to prefer you, there is no reason to donate to you, there is no reason to feel a part of a shared experience. (See Frost Advisory #378-The Power Of A Shared Experience).

So class, on this first day of school let’s return to Gary Keller’s “The One Thing.” He asks, “What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

The One Thing that your station must do is… do things that matter.

Welcome back to school.