What Do You Worship?

When you worship your fans rather than your ratings you very often end up with more fans and higher ratings.” – Mark Ramsey


We’re not talking about the John 4:23-24 kind of worship, this is the kind that looks at where you put your efforts and energy.  What you show that truly expresses your interests.

There are lots of kinds of worship for radio people.  As Mark says, if you’re always looking at ways to manipulate the listener in to a few more minutes of listening, you’re worshiping the ratings.  Think cart before the horse.

But it’s not limited to that, I also see people who think they have all the ideas, so play little attention to anyone else or the listeners.  These people worship themselves.  There are those that want to have the latest cool thing for their radio station, even if they don’t know what to do with it.  They are worshiping cool.  Some people put the music and artists first, they are worshiping the music.  And, of course, there are those who focus only on “shareholder value,” which is cryptospeak for “I get a bigger bonus.”  They are worshiping the dollar.

Radio is actually a pretty simple business.  You succeed or fail through listener support, whether it’s ratings for the commercial station, or donations for the non-profit.  We make money because of passionate, committed listeners.  More listeners=more success.  Fewer listeners=less success.  More passion=more motivation for carrying around a strange little pager device or a log of listenership.  See the trend?

But what do we focus on day to day?  What do our actions say we worship?  Are you thinking about listeners, talking to listeners, researching listeners?

Actually, I  consider this to be a true strategic advantage.  So many people are focusing on the syndicated game plan, or their own activities, or the end result, that the station that focuses intensely on the listener is the one that will have the best content.