‘If psychologist’s ran radio stations, we’d be F$&KED’
Next up on the National Radio Conference schedule was Adam Ferrier, Naked Communications Founder (you may also recognise him from Gruen Planet).
'If Psychologists Ran Radio stations' was the title and from all accounts was well received in the room.
His opening line got everyone's attention – "If psychologist's ran radio stations, we'd be F$&KED!!"
He then went on to give a psych assessment of aussie radio :-
- In society, we are told everyday to be better than you are, buy product x and you'll have a better life. Why can't we just accept our short fallings.
- As a station, embrace your weakness and see what happens.
- Strengths are category generic. You won't build a brand on strengths. Radio stations built on weaknesses, that's were the true character is formed.
Personality profile of Aussie Radio stations ….
- Classic hits stations – are slow to change and need lots of approval from others.
- Nova – can't be trusted to play nice with others
- Wave FM – probably lied in their psych test, it was a perfect score
- smoothfm – paranoid, don't believe they're doing as well as they are
Other key observations :-
- Radio has classic middle child syndrome. Stuck in between the older brother PRINT, and the young cool brother TV.
- Radio has borderline personality disorder.
How would a psychologist treat a radio stations issues?? Fix or build a station from scratch.
- Start concentrating on the listener, and less about yourself.
- Stop worrying about having the best mix of music.
- Concentrate on the lonely people listening , who'll reward you with loyalty.
- Live in the moment. Accept death is imminent one day, embrace the now.
- Let listeners feel connected, especially those in isolation. Radio has the opportunity to build people up.
- The brands of tomorrow are the ones who will make their audience famous, not themselves.
- With your listeners, make the AWKWARD, AWESOME.
- The best way to get someone/listeners to like you, is to get that person to do you a favour. Don't do something for them, get them to do something for you. It will emotionally bind them to your station.
- Getting listeners to do stuff for you, will bind them to your brand, creating strong loyalty.
In a nutshell…..
This was a tounge in cheek session with some serious undertones.
Ultimately, radio only ever thinks about itself, hence why radio staff have a chip on their shoulder, but if psychologists ran radio stations, they would make it all about the listener. It's not what you can do for them, but what they can do for you, which gives them buy in and loyalty.