Hope You Had a Nice Vacation…I Really Don’t Care

There’s a show out west I don’t know but like as a listener. I’ve never met the people doing the program. As fate would have it, the anchor pinged me on Facebook wanting to set up a Zoom to say hello.

As a fan of their program and student of personality radio, this was an easy yes.

When we connected, I wished the anchor a happy birthday. He asked how I knew and we both said in unison, “Facebook!” I had listened to part of their show that morning to prepare for the call. I asked, quite sardonically, if he’d talked about his birthday on the show that day. Hoping for one particular answer, he looked in the camera and said emphatically, “No.” When I asked why, hoping again for a particular answer, he said, “Because no one gives a shit.”

We both went two-for-two.

I’ve talked in Planet Reynolds before about celebrity or local birthdays and how the audience, at best, shrugs at this as content. Same thing for your birthday. The audience just doesn’t give a rip. Unless something spectacular happened, like your spouse got Chris Martin from Coldplay to call your cell to surprise you and you have that audio.

Ditto your summer vacation. Unless something drama-filled happened while you were away, and the story is off-the-charts engaging, the audience doesn’t want to hear about it because it isn’t about them, it’s about you.

As co-workers come back to the building, imagine this: you’re walking down the hall and Karl from engineering passes by. You ask Karl how his vacation was (courtesy question, right?). Karl stops to tell you where he went and what he did with the family while at Disney. Say it lasts four-minutes (the length of a typical break). There are zero drama-filled stories to keep your interest. You might stand there and nod, but what are you thinking? Quietly inside you’re impatient, wondering when this will be over as you have important things to do. Because it’s not about you nor is it entertaining. All you want is to escape the conversation with Karl the engineer.

If that’s how you’d feel in that scenario, wouldn’t the audience feel the same?

The audience comes to the show for content – the win comes when you make your show about them. Talking about yourself is good because you must reveal who you are for character development. But, the listener must be able to relate to or see themselves in that story – that’s how you connect. Not everything that happens in your life is strategic character development.

Any topic on the show can start from your perspective to define who you are, but we have a very small window to connect and entertain because there is so much choice. Unlike your chat with Karl where you’re trapped for those four minutes, the audience can just hit a button and find something that works for them.

There is a truth that has stood the test of time. If I am around you and focus all of my time getting you to talk about you, I’ll leave a more important person in your mind. We must treat the listeners like that, too, so they keep returning.

I left the Zoom with the show out west respecting them more because they think like listeners.

Let’s make strategic content decisions that ultimately elevates our audience, because our content makes them the focus. They’ll then carry us to the win.

Go be epic and you’ll make more fans.