‘What else’ it
What else? aka exceeding expectations.
My mum is the most beautiful, gifted woman in the world. She has no idea, and she’ll be the first to tell you otherwise, but I’ve seen it my entire life.
She’s a PR book waiting to be written, bottle it and you’d make a million, customer service incarnate.. and all of the other cliches.
What makes her so special? She always gives a little bit more and she does it with a smile on her face. It’s the perfect balance of effort tempered with humility. She’s the reason customers who visited our fish shop came back, some even just to catch up, because she always went above and beyond to create something unique for them, whether it be as simple as wrapping the product properly, or as complex as being a shoulder to cry on in tough times for them.
Any shop can sell good fish, but only our shop had mum selling it.
What has this got to do with radio?
It was the most organic lesson in terms of exceeding expectations I have ever experienced – work harder, better, smarter.
I’ve taken this experience and used it in every aspect of my life and it’s quite a simple mantra:
“What else?” is the question I ask myself following every thought, every break, every moment, because what else builds momentum.
In radio speak it’s the difference between talking about a story in the paper and going that next step to finding someone who was on the ground at the time and in the thick of it.
It’s the difference between taking a story from ‘my teacher used to play this game with us at school’ to turning it into a unique benchmark for your show. (*Teapot)
It’s the difference between telling your audience that Run the Jewels just played Coachella and is coming up, and finding someone to speak to who loves them, has every song and album, and went out of their way to get to Coachella just to be in the audience to see them live.
When I was at b105 in Brisbane one of my most powerful breaks ever was when twitter erupted following Jay-Z being pictured catching a train to Madison Square Garden for a performance. We were about to drop a song of his and instead of just doing the usual ‘coming up’, I scoured twitter and hit as many people that said they were there on that train as possible, eventually I found someone (cheers @AConDEMAND), and in 5 minutes I had them on the phone. His passion and excitement, the description of being in the moment, gave my audience way more than any iPod ever could.
This goes beyond what you do on the air also though. A bit of ‘what else’ around work never hurt anyone. How can you apply this to how you communicate with different departments and your team?
Are you doing enough to facilitate open conversation and ideas being shared?
Are you learning about the people around you and how everything comes together in your station/workplace?
Are you ‘what elseing’ your on-air team? Allowing them to shine by supporting and building on their ideas.
This is show business, it’s a show and a business – ‘what else’ can you do to help sales achieve their goals and in turn create a positive and supportive environment where they also will work hard to help you achieve yours?
Are you going to be the person who makes a name for yourself because people know that if they come to you with an idea or a problem, you’re going to ‘what else’ it?
Add to it.
Build upon it.
Make it something nobody knew it could be!
Find a unique solution because you want it more than your competitor, you know, the one who’s been doing the same thing for years because they’re heritage..
If you’re asking yourself ‘what else’ in every aspect of your life, you’re immediately putting yourself ahead of the pack.
‘What else’ is the difference between you and an iPod.
Practise it enough and it’ll eventually become the filter you instinctively put everything through.
So, are you going to be an iPod? Or are you going to ‘what else’ yourself?
*Teapot is a game heard weekly on the Lisa & Pete Show on Mix 94.5, it started out as a story from my school days, and we ‘what elsed’ it. Now it’s a unique benchmark that reflects our great chemistry, involves listeners actively and passively, and serves a purpose in reflecting the big news of the week.
About: Pete Curulli
Pete has done a heap of radio stuff but all you really need to know at the moment is he’s the co-host and anchor of Perth’s #1 commercial FM drive show Lisa & Pete on Mix 94.5. You can catch him on facebook, twitter, linkedin and all the other socials or drop him an email at [email protected], look out for his next piece ‘Are you basics enough to be creative’.