One of the obligations I feel we have to our promo staff and even the airstaff, is to give them initial and then updated training on how to greet, meet and otherwise “work” the audience when we’re out at events. As great as giving college students additional reading material in the form of manuals, nothing beats a quick class.
I think, especially with the Summer hires, it’s important to remind them that they’re the first line of defense and that most people are far more likely to meet them than one of the talent and that life is too short to piss off even one listener.
I always use the example of Jo Jo Wright at KIIS in LA and John Hines who is now at CBS in Minneapolis.
Two very successful guys who have made a career of shaking hands and leaving people with positive experiences. This stuff? Pays off.
Conversely I always tell the group about going to an event in Houston where there were maybe 50
people in line at the 97.9 The Boxx tent…while three young men from the street team, lounged on the
side talking-up girls.
“How long would you stand in line at McDonalds and be completely ignored before you would FREAK
THE FUCK out?” I’ll ask the group.
Somewhere between 10 seconds and a minute seems to be the approximate time for that to occur.
“So, here are fifty people who walked away made, shunned, and what would happen if somewhere
down the line, years even, a national company asked them to participate in rating local stations?” I then
“They’ll remember the time The Boxx treated them like crap” is the general response.
But it’s not just out in public where we can turn people against us.
Coming back from an event in Denmark I got stormed in at O’Hare and was able to grab seemingly the
last room in the Congressional District at a Four Point by Sheraton a couple of miles away. The airline
calls at 5 am to say they got me on a 6:45 flight and I was up and out in about 8 seconds, forgetting to
get a copy of my bill.
So I email the hotel. No reply. I email again. No reply. Third email? No reply. Now…I’m pissed.
I call and leave a vm. No reply.
I never got the bill and I was out a hundred or so bucks.
I’ll sleep in a bus shelter before I stay there again.
Ditto with a nightclub in Connecticut last month. I had a night off, was in transition, and they had a band
playing that I wanted to see. So, I emailed them and asked what hotel was nearby. Zip. Three emails and
I’m out. Again, why have an email for inquiries if you’re not going to use it?
In about 2008 Jeanne Ashley, who is one of the most talented AC jocks in Radio, was writing a piece for
some AC trade site and went and, as a “listener new to town”, emailed DJ’s at stations of that format, all
over the country.
She’d go to their site, get some basic info on upcoming events or current contests and then just reach
out, ie: “Hey Sean, my name is Jeanne and I just moved to Kansas City and was wondering if Star is going
to have more tickets to the Faith Hill show?”
And she tracked the response, which was about 50%.
I have a friend who is OCD and anal to a fault, and was recovering from cancer. (She beat it too) With
time on her hands and feeling kind of useless, I gave her a project: a list of every client I have AND their competition. She did the Jeanne exercise and when it was done, was aghast at how badly we suck as an
industry. The reply rate was about 40%.
My favorite come-back was from the airstaff of my client in New York City: “No one uses email anymore?”
This reply came of course, via email.
“They use Facebook!”
So I suggested not having email links on their jock pages and six months later did the exact same
exercise…with Facebook. The people in NY missed that one too.
My friend is lurking out there and once or twice a year will test all my stations on Twitter or Facebook
and not only rate their response time but also the quality of the response. If there was one. She lays it
out in a document that goes to all of the GM’s and PD’s.
The jocks hate it.
This is something I would highly suggest you do periodically. It’s BASIC customer service. And there isn’t
a station out there that can afford to lose a customer.
One other suggestion? I like to go to the competition’s social media and look for disenfranchised listeners. Like one at Wild in SFO where he’d posted a question to their Facebook page.
“Are you going to have more Bruno Mars tickets?”
Later in the day he asked the same question.
The next day he asked and added “Is anyone there?”
Finally he posted “Why even have a Facebook group?”
That’s when I forwarded his name to Carlos at 99.7 NOW-FM who promptly posted to the dude’s page “There’s a free pair of Bruno Mars tickets under your name at our front desk. Enjoy the show courtesy of NOW!”
Dude proceeded to post all over Facebook about his poor treatment from Wild and how he loved his new station, 99.7 NOW-FM.
It IS Rocket Science.