The Difference Between Relevant and Relatable… and Why It Matters

There is a big difference between being relatable and being relevant. Relevance is defined as having direct bearing on the matter at hand; pertinent.

Relatable is to bring into or establish association, connection, or relation: to relate events to probable causes.

Yet we often use these terms interchangeably when discussing content on radio shows.

Relevant is more about content, topic selection and identifying meaningful material to present.

Relatable is more about performance, turning that content into connective communication that resonates with the audience.

What’s relevant isn’t necessarily relatable, and vice-versa. A morning show might have new information about last night’s “Dancing With The Stars” episode. That’s relevant to an audience that cares about pop culture. Whether or not it’s relatable depends on how they perform the segment. Do they make the audience care?

Personalities need to be both relevant and relatable. Content selection is important, but relating it is the key to standing out as a unique, difference-making show.

Which is more important? That’s a tough call. If I had to choose one, I’d go with relatable. How about you?

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