Staff Writer
Staff Writer

Are you getting enough credit for your listening?

Programming for radio is a memory game – it is all about recall and getting credit for listening.

Radio Today spoke to some radio programming experts about the subject of getting credit, and found some recurring themes.

Here’s some of their thoughts and conclusions.

It’s always interesting to hear a station promoting the ‘Jack and Jill’ Breakfast Show and their $10,000 Secret Sound or the ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ Show’s Great Aussie Holiday.

Station features, promotions, contests and events are a part of the success of any station or show, so in markets that are rated what is the best way to brand these tactics?

Well, it depends where you are in your product cycle as a station and as a show.

For newer, lower rating stations or shows that are rebuilding or flanking, you’re best served branding everything with your station brand (and, at times, frequency).

These newer stations in rebuild mode should brand everything with the station name – for instance, ‘The Starfm Secret Sound’ and ‘The Starfm Breakfast Show’ or ‘Starfm News Update’. It helps listeners remember what station they listened to.

The station name is where the diary recall will come from, along with the station’s frequency. That’s all listeners need to remember.

On the other side of the coin, leading stations with top rating heritage shows can afford the luxury of using the Breakfast show name, and should leverage off its strength.

This is especially the case when it is the most significant strength of the station like Kyle and Jackie O or The Hot Breakfast.

We’ve seen it time and time again, but there will always be a temptation to brand with Breakfast show names because we want the audience to remember and familiarise themselves with the talent – but this is only something that will happen over time.

Ultimately it’s a recall and ratings game, based entirely on a listener’s perceived listening that they are able to recall and they fill in the ratings diaries accordingly.

In the Australian ratings diary system, there are three things to recall a station by. Station brand, frequency, positioning statement. That’s it!

At the end of the day, regardless of which Breakfast show they listened to (or if they listened for an hour or across the entire workday), your audience needs to remember the station or frequency to fill in the diaries. This is what generates ratings.

When it comes to Breakfast show names (and Drive names for that matter), it’s a fact that short, easy to remember names are best.

Names like Hamish and Andy, Jonesy and Amanda, Kyle and Jackie O, The Grill Team are a lot easier to remember than FiFi, Fev and Byron or Chrissie, Sam and Browny, Luke Bradman with Libby & Dobbo, or The Ash, Kip and Luttsy show with Susie O’Neill.

Not to take anything away from these shows, as most of them are successful.

Keep it simple – three names are better than four, two names are better than three and one name is even better. Remember Seinfeld?

Of course, there are other considerations besides marketing and ratings to consider in the billing of a show. 

Always remember the old KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle; it never fails.

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Recent comments (6)
Lee
28 Feb 2018 - 5:40 pm

And how about making listeners love the product, content and the brand that’ll help them remember who they listened to. Just make a product they’ll be passionate about.

Rick
1 Mar 2018 - 9:29 am

Old school AM’s actually do a better job of this than most of the FM’ers

Gary
1 Mar 2018 - 3:44 pm

Newer stations?
When was the last time an Australian capital city got a “new” radio station?
Instead you’ve got cities like Brisbane and Perth with only FOUR commercial FM stations – it’s a complete joke. No variety in formats, nothing for the over 40s. And they wonder why people seek alternatives like streaming overseas stations – which I do all day. There simply isn’t anything on air on FM radio in Brisbane that caters to what I want to listen to, as a 49yo. Which is a joke, considering I’ve got the most disposable income I’ve ever had in my life.
ACMA need to get their heads out of the sand and find room for a couple of new FM entrants in cities like Brisbane and Perth.

Paul
2 Mar 2018 - 7:07 am

Gary I think the article refers to low rating stations that are re building an audience like KIIS in Melbourne, 2Day in Sydney, 96 in Perth or stations with major lineup changes and reshuffles.

Gary
2 Mar 2018 - 10:33 am

Maybe so Paul. But the restricted number of FM stations in Brisbane, Perth and even Adelaide is a big problem. It’s completely unacceptable for cities that size not to have a Gold or Smooth on FM.

Four FM stations in cities over 2 million people? A joke.

mmmmmm
2 Mar 2018 - 1:09 pm

Is this about branding and marketing or licences ?