Gary Berkowitz

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By: Gary Berkowitz
Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting

Some new tips for programming and management:

Fill out your Nielsen SIP (Station Information Packet). They may say you don’t have to, but I say do it. Make sure your SIP is correct. You never know when an editor may need clarification. Why take a chance that your information is out of date? You need every quarter hour you can get!

Do you have a “relationship” with your P1’s? This the #1 and most important way to achieve strong ratings. You can play all the right songs; have all the right sweepers and the best jingles in the market, however, if you’re missing that hard-to-describe link that bonds the listener to your station, the ratings will most likely not be there. Remember the old saying “People Listen to People They Like.” Is your station likable? P1’s always fuel their favorite radio station with lots of 1/4 hours.

Listener databases still work.  A little “old school” can go a long way. Take advantage of technology that is sitting on your desk today and is free. A listener database is a great way to speak to listeners and thank them with special offers that mean something to them. Many stations are wasting this by dumping worthless promotions into these databases. “Here’s what’s happening at WAAA” does not mean anything. It sends out a message that communication from my favorite station is really spam.

Better: Send out an e-mail blast on Wednesday that says when you will play a secret song on Thursday. Give a “special number” to call to win $100. Make sure they understand that this contest is only for them. For $100 a week (less than some spend on lunch) you could set yourself up for a ratings spike.

“Change” is not AC’s friend.  About to make an adjustment? Think about them carefully. When changes in programming are made on a whim it could ultimately hurt or even worse, open up an opportunity for a competitor. By the way, listeners are more aware of on-air changes than we think, so yes, they do hear that “extra spot.”

The earlier the better with marketing. If you are marketing for the book, starting early in the book is preferred. Many believe that it takes 60-90 days for changes to affect a rating book. By starting early, you allow the cumulative effect of your marketing to affect the book.

GM’s & Owners: Programmers need love too! Have a weekly meeting or lunch out of the station to catch up and allow your PD quality time for important matters. Tell a jock you heard a good break. Send a note after a jock does a nice job at a remote. Walk by the studio and give thumbs up.

Gary Berkowitz is President of Detroit based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, specializing in ratings improvement for AC radio stations.

Gary can be reached at (248) 737-3727 or [email protected].

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