When You Don’t Care Enough…

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Hallmark Cards adopted the slogan “When you care enough to send the very best” to distinguish their line of greeting cards from the competition. It has served them well over the years mainly because it is a “truism” — when one really cares, only the very best will do.

In 2011, how are your stations doing in sending “the very best” to listeners?

Last week, I was listening to an AM station — one of several owned by a major chain in the Orlando market — and heard far less than the very best. Twice within two days, this station broadcast two announcements simultaneously, resulting in a mish-mash of audio that was incomprehensible. On a Friday morning, they provided a detailed weather forecast — for Thursday!

This situation is all too often typical of operators with too many stations and not enough personnel.  It is also why most stand-alone stations excel in their markets; the staff is focused on delivering the very best product…because it is their only product. When a company adds a second station to their lineup, their 100% effort becomes 50-50. Or more likely 90/10 as the trend is to focus on the major revenue source and ignore the lesser. This problem is compounded when adding a third, fourth, or fifth station.

Management must pay attention to the details on all the stations in their cluster. If it is not important to management, it won’t be important to the employees. The adage “employees respect what management inspects” is another truism that still applies today.

When a station doesn’t care about its listeners, the listeners soon return the favor. And they won’t send you a sympathy card — they’ll just turn the dial.