Friday, April 29, 2011

Will & Kate - Giving Your Audience What They Like

I should begin this post with a disclaimer:  I don't count myself as a huge fan of the whole Royal Wedding thing.  I get it but it's just not the big deal to me it is to millions of others.

That being said, I'm pretty shocked at how many in the media (those we see nationally and among our friends in TV and radio) not only aren't fans but seem to go out of their way to riducule those who do get into it.  "People who waste their time on this are idiots", "nobody really cares about this", "I can't believe so many Americans get sucked into this" and "what moron would wake up at 4am to watch this crap?".  I'll bet there are radio personalities (sorry, mostly guys) who have refused to say a word about the royal wedding because they don't get it and they don't like it.  And, even worse, they've decided if they don't like it, their audience won't hear about it on their show.   I don't think I'm exaggerating because I've watched these comments and hundreds more on social networks (and, occasionally, on the radio/TV) for weeks.

My question is: when did it become our responsibility to decide what our audiences like or want?.  I don't ask this from a holier-than-thou spirit but from a heart that craves for radio to continue being rellevant and important.

We can have a discussion about how much the Brits spend on the event, watching it for 2-3 hours, the pomp and circumstance, etc., but there's no denying that the wedding of William and Katherine is of great interest in the U.S.  The T.V. networks, under pressure to keep a clean bottom line, wouldn't drop millions and devote so much air time covering the wedding if they didn't know their audiences wanted it.  WHY it's such a big deal is an entirely different subject for discussion but the fact is they do enjoy it and expect our media to engage with them about it. 

And, isn't that what getting and keeping an audience is all them what they want?  Look, I don't totally understand why some songs or artists, movies or TV shows are popular- I've never seen a "Harry Potter" movie but I know they're hugely popular and when the next one comes out, I'd be sure to include it in my show prep and make sure my jocks were talking about it...because our listeners expect it.

I'd challenge today's radio personalities to ask yourselves which camp you're in...are you in the critical, cynical camp who won't engage in 'the moment' with your listeners because you aren't interested in it OR are you part of the "if they want and like it, I'll give it to them" camp? 

If you want listeners to keep coming back to you and you want your station to be successful, I hope you're part of the latter. 

Thanks & KEEP ROCKIN'!


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