Feedback is your friend


Content by Leroy Brown:

Broadcasting and podcasting is a world that’s evolving at a rapid rate.

I want to talk about one thing that hasn’t changed over the journey though, and that’s feedback.

It’s not just a buzzword—it’s the lifeblood of improvement and innovation and to be honest it’s never been as important as it is today. Why? Well, there are so many options for content these days you want to make sure that the content you are putting out is hitting the sweet spot every time.

My 28 years in this industry have taught me a timeless truth: learning is a never-ending journey. This realisation was starkly highlighted in a situation with a particular talent I got to work with who was trying to build a new show.

Imagine being blessed with the opportunity to launch a new show for the town or city that your station services. This announcer was brimming with potential and extremely talented yet markedly resistant to feedback.

Drawing from decades of experience, I suggested creating a “black book” of contacts—a directory of experts to enrich the show’s content and engage a wider audience. This wasn’t just a tip; it was a tried-and-true strategy honed from years of navigating the broadcasting world.

However, this advice, along with other guidance, went unheeded. Intrigued and concerned by this resistance, I conducted a bit of digging. What I discovered was eye-opening: this wasn’t the first instance of the individual’s reluctance to embrace advice. Despite being an experienced announcer, there was a pattern of dismissing external input, a revelation that shed light on the challenges ahead.

The outcome was disheartening yet predictable. The show, unable to resonate with its intended audience, was discontinued within six months.

This wasn’t just a loss for the individual but a stark reminder of the critical role feedback plays in our growth and success. It’s a lesson that hits close to home, especially for someone like me, who, despite decades in the game, still embraces each day as an opportunity to learn something new.

This experience isn’t shared to dwell on failure but to highlight the power of being teachable. Feedback, especially in an industry as dynamic and public as broadcasting, is invaluable. It’s not about undermining your vision or doubting your abilities; it’s about refining, enhancing, and elevating your work. The “black book” suggestion wasn’t a critique but a lifeline to potential success, drawn from years of navigating the highs and lows of the industry.

Reflecting on moments like this, I’m reminded of the humility required to thrive in any profession. Being open to feedback is key to acknowledging that, no matter how much we know, there’s always room to grow. It’s about seeing every piece of advice as a gift, an opportunity to evolve. This mindset has been instrumental in my career, and witnessing its absence starkly reinforced its value.

The broadcasting and podcasting landscape is ever-changing, with new technologies, platforms, and audience expectations.

Embracing feedback is not just advisable; it’s essential. It enables us to adapt, innovate, and connect more deeply with our audience. My journey has been shaped by countless mentors, colleagues, and even critics, all of whom have contributed to my growth.

There’s a poignant lesson here for all of us: Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned professional, being teachable is your greatest asset. It’s what allows us to thrive in the unpredictable, exhilarating world of broadcasting—and beyond.

Let’s keep listening, learning and growing, because the day we stop being teachable is the day we cease to evolve.

Leroy Brown is author of Air Heads – A guide to Great Radio. He has 28 years’ experience in the broadcasting industry across community and commercial radio. He is Host and Producer of the Air Heads Podcast.

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