More listeners, more listeners, more listeners. I am constantly hearing; we are number three in the market, our morning show is number 1 in the market, we are number six and growing. I also hear; our cume has gone up by 10 percent, 40 percent and we are on the move. Don’t get me wrong, all of us need to be good stewards of our radio stations and yes we want folks to listen. Here is where I have a problem and this is only for those who run a non-profit radio station:
I know I have written about this a few times but I’ll once again bang my drum. I just don’t understand if you have a few hundred thousand listeners and just a few give to your fundraiser why that would be a good thing. I’ve watched some stations triple their cume and not raise any more money. It’s great more listen but now the vast majority of your listenership don’t care. There is a connection problem. We have to look beyond our cume and look at the health of our listening audience and the connection we have with them and we rate that by our fundraisers.
This fall I had a chance to be a part of a fundraiser. I know for a fact that the station manager cares about how many are listening but he cares even more about how many his station connects with. His fundraisers out produce some stations who have four times the listenership that his station has. At the end of the day, I give him an A+ for making a connection with his audience. Those that are listening to him are willing to rally around his station because they just don’t want to live without the station. Can you say that about your listeners?
Hear my heart. I am not slamming any station for having great ratings and a large cume but at the end of the day I want to know how many of those people care enough to keep you on the air. As a non-profit we need to raise money and we do that by connecting with our listeners. A listener that has a connection with their station will open their wallets and give both from their heart and finances when the need is made know.
I think we have gotten so caught up with the ratings and cume that we have lost what it means to really connect with our audience and at the end of the day that is an epic failure and will cost us financially, even if we are number 1 in the market. To close I’ll say that it is possible to have a great cume and relate to your audience.