Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Industry News

July 22, 2015

Dan Franks is leaving WJYW/Union City IN, at month end. DAN has been s...

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June 10, 2015

Longtime Christian Music executive Peter York has been promoted to Pre...

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June 3, 2015

Tammy Johnson leaves KSBJ/Houston to work as ay-to-Day Manager of Swit...

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Artist News

July 22, 2015

Steve Amerson performed at the Fourth Gary Sinise Foundation “Inspir...

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July 15, 2015

Canton Junction will release Every Halleluhah, August 7. Produced by G...

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June 24, 2015

WHNS Fox News reported Steven Curtis Chapman released a song on Saturd...

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Three Ways That Writing for Radio Is Like Talking to a Teenager PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 18:52
arbuckle_smI learned several years ago that working in a communications-based business (media) doesn't automatically mean that I'm a good communicator. Yeah, it was shocking to finally learn the truth.
How did I come to this life-altering realization? My kids grew up and became teenagers. Suddenly, the world changed. I was no longer the “authority.” Suddenly, I was competing with other voices: friends, culture, teachers and youth leaders. And if I wanted to be heard, I needed to learn how to communicate. It was not unlike competing for a listener's attention as they scanned across the radio dial. If I wanted to survive and be heard, I had to learn three key things:
1) I had to realize my audience was intelligent. Whether teen or radio listener, I had to start with the realization that I was communicating with an intelligent person. That meant I had to pay attention to what I was saying, and I had to study the person to make sure I knew how to connect with them. No more pretending that I was saying profound things. No more lazy communications. With teens, it meant that I had to acknowledge that they were mature enough to make decisions and choose to listen. With listeners, it meant that I had to step up my game and avoid cliche's, over-spirtualizations, and over-used prep.
2) I had to realize that I wasn't their only source of information. If you're a parent, you understand. Kids start to listen to other voices. Many of those voices say positive, worthwhile things. Teachers and leaders help shape their character. Friends encourage them to try new things. And if I wanted to be the loudest voice, that meant I needed to offer something those other voices didn't. I learned something similar in radio. People listened to my station for one thing. They watched the evening news for another reason. They listened to different styles of music and talk – for different reasons. But if I wanted to become their “home station,” I had to offer something they couldn't get elsewhere.
3) I had to realize that my audience was busy. Super busy. When my kids were younger, I could stop them and say something important. I controlled the speed and duration of the communication. Not any more! Now it's just the opposite. I have to keep up with them. Their lives are faster, they are involved in more, and they have more options to choose from. This means that when I communicate, I need to say things often. It means I need to say things clearly. I have to choose my words wisely so that they deliver maximum impact at just the right time. Is it any different when it comes to media?
As I worked on this list, I realized that there is one key element that ties all of these learnings together. It's simple...but that doesn't mean it's easy. Here it is: Communications is hard work. We have to be committed to studying our audience and finding ways to connect with them – whether they're teens or listeners. But the work delivers its own reward: a lasting relationship that continues to grow.

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