What Makes a Best Friend?
If you’re like me, you discovered some wonderful streaming shows this past summer. Some of them came from word of mouth. One that has had a dramatic impact was one recommended by NBC’s Willie Geist. “The Bear” (FX on Hulu) tells the story of a world-renowned New York City chef who comes back home to Chicago to run the family restaurant left to him following his brother’s suicide. Filled with amazing acting and interesting camera directing, the show explores the different stages of grief while weaving humor and humanity into each episode.
In the opening scene of Season 1, Episode 7, the show opens with a black screen and just a voiceover. It’s a familiar voice for us in the industry, the late great Lin Brehmer from 93.1 WXRT. His famous line, “I’m Lin Brehmer, your best friend in the whole world. It’s great to be alive.” He then beautifully segues to introducing Sufjan Stevens’s song, “Chicago.” You then see the main characters, and the rest of Chicago, starting their day as the song plays.
This scene hit me for a number of reasons. First, because it was wonderful to hear Lin’s voice again. It did feel like hearing a friend. Then, I thought about how many other shows can be called a listener’s friend, or even a best friend?
The answer is many, and, in this blog, I am going to lay out what we think are the building blocks of that friendship, and how other shows can develop that bond in a sea of audio choices all vying to be that best friend.
Why should listeners choose your show over others?
This must be a substantive answer. Does your show have any attractions that are non-preemptive? What is it about the show that people relate to? And does it have any other essential values that make you transcend what is ordinary?
Talk about this as a team, and have your actions pass through the filter of these advantages.
From a marketing perspective, make sure these attractions are in your social posts, videos, and ongoing communication with your database.
What do you want listeners to know with limited exposure to the message?
The average time spent per radio listening occasion is somewhere around ten minutes. In that time, what do you want to communicate that sets an impression on the listener and makes them want to come back?
On Hot 96.9 in Boston, that is often The GetUp Crew’s humor and deep connection to the city. Ramiro, Pebbles, Melissa & Leroy weave funny stories and bits into real life in the Boston area. In those short bursts of exposure, listeners hear that the show’s characters are just like them.
How would a primary listener describe your station in a few words?
These words are “character words” that help us to make certain the message is in the character of the show. These words could be funny, relatable, topical, connected, or genuine.
Read your listeners’ social comments and listen to the words they use when they call. Ask them what they like about the show when you meet them in person. A listener who visits you at a live event is your best friend. Ask them why, people love talking about their connection to a brand.
Describe your target listener.
Every radio station/show has broad demographic segments for which they are compatible. However, there is an underlying foundation that is much more specific about the listener. We want to sharpen in on that specific target so that the message is most compatible.
What is her name? What does she do? What do weekends look like for her? What are her worries? What are her hopes? How does she use your show? Find consensus and talk to her in your marketing messaging.
What are the two-or-three most important attractions for which you want to grow recognition and set barriers?
These are the things we want to “win” in the landscape.
Not knowing Lin Brehmer personally outside of a couple of introductions over the years, I always thought he grew recognition for the following:
The place where everyone was welcomed and accepted.
Encouraging even when the world swirls around you.
Open your mind and heart to the music that shapes our lives, and highlight the stories the music tells.
As you map out the rest of 2023 and look towards a year that may be full of stress for your listeners, find ways to be that friend they rely on each day, even if it is only for ten minutes.
If you want help figuring out how to market these attractions, we’re an email or phone call away.
Thanks to all our clients we refer to as friends. Here’s to your success!
Contact info: Tim Bronsil: firstname.lastname@example.org, 513.702.5072