OES is one of the most effective tools you can use to make sure the announcements you air will be heard by most of your listeners. It is a simple calculation, determined and proven through research, using your own audience numbers to figure out how many times in a week you need to air a message to effectively reach a substantial portion of your audience.
Most on-air promotion is designed to increase listening or encourage tune-in but stations can also benefit from carefully targeting some promotion to assist in image and positioning. This kind of promotion ensures that listeners are aware of the full spectrum of programming and other services that stations offer their community. It is also useful in establishing a bond for listeners, the emotional part of loyalty. Understanding these listening dynamics is a first step toward effectively serving listeners.
The primary goal of on-air promotion is to increase the amount of time that current listeners use your station (the TSL - Time Spent Listening). Since they are already listening, they have found something of interest on your station. Promotion informs them that if they continue to listen, they will find even more programming of value.
A legal station identification consisting of call letters followed by city of license is required by the FCC at least once per hour. But effective station identification involves much more than the required hourly ID.
Many people – including public radio listeners – are averse to change. Changing your program schedule or hosts can cause negative reactions among your listeners. The amount of preparation required for any program change is proportional to the degree of the change, and the likelihood that it will result in a strong reaction from your audience or other groups of citizens.
As public radio has grown and matured, many Program Directors are in the enviable situation of programming more than one station. Strategically, multiple stations allow a Program Director a unique opportunity to increase audience service by offering listeners more consistent program services.
The following questions focus on more detailed evaluation of a station’s sound. They are a helpful guide to listening for stationality, developing announcer guidelines and preparing for aircheck sessions.
Programming a station is a complex endeavor – but these checklists are a good place to start in ensuring that your station has thoughtfully addressed the basics of on-air sound.
Programming a successful radio station is both an art and science and requires attention to a variety of factors. This chapter begins a section that addresses some of the things you need to be considered in the Program Director’s quest to create a coherent station appeal and sense of stationality.