Great Shows Don’t Happen by Accident

No standout show or talent in radio got there by guessing at it.  The Ryan Seacrests and Howard Sterns of our industry ascended to iconic status (iconic:  great ratings, tons of revenue) because there was a strategic process in place to get there.

Does your show have one?  More importantly, do your talent have the three elements necessary for that strategy to work?

A new year brings me new clients.  Because what I do is a boutique service, looking to pay a higher level of attention to fewer shows, I evaluate any potential program around three key elements.  These attributes indicate if those on the show, the ones we’re pining to be Seacrests and Sterns, are a cut above the rest of the market to get there.

Those three areas are their Aptitude, Attitude, and Work Ethic.  Let me touch on each as you think about your talent, hoping they can make a difference building your brand.

Aptitude:  simply put, do the people on the show have talent and a capacity to be bold, gigantic personalities fans crave to be around each morning.  Are they fun/funny?  Do they have a natural interest in what’s going on in the world and a perspective on everything current with no fear to share it?  Can they be vulnerable with their life and honest with the audience?  Are they self-confident and curious?  Are they electric to be around?  Will they get involved locally to generate great content for on-air and social media that can be done in unique ways?

Attitude:  are they positive team builders who put all others above themselves?  Can they lead unselfishly?  Do they figure out how to get stuff done and innovate around speedbumps that appear on the road to great execution of relevant content?  Or are they the types who tell you how something can’t be done or why it won’t work?  I call these the “if only…” people.  If only I had this it would work.  Nope, we create our own path and success.  Great attitudes drive wins.

Work Ethic:  gone are the days where talent could show up, be pretty, and get great ratings.  Because of the competition for listeners’ time, we must work at this (in a word:  prep) and earn it every single break.  Identify the right content, develop a treatment of that content which makes it memorable, and hunker down to pull it off.  I can tell if a show prepped or is winging it when I listen – you can, too.  We no longer have that grace to get this done.

Every talent needs to be coached up (even Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are coached up).  Having great aptitude, a superior attitude, and an unparalleled work ethic are the foundational elements of personalities who are difference-makers.

We need talent to help set us apart.  Leaders help groom these attributes in personalities to get them there.

Couple that with a strategy that fits your people, and your win will never be accidental.

Work hard at it and it might even be epic.