My listeners are my best researchers, I know what matters to them, I get down
in the trenches with them and I stand up for the battler. I care,
what they care about, they know I will listen to them, and they trust me."
For 110 surveys in a row, he has been number 1 on breakfast radio in Sydney. That is extraordinary in anyone's books. There is no denying Alan Jones is the top of the heap when it comes to connecting with his audience. But having worked with him when he moved his show (and almost his entire audience) from 2UE to 2GB back at the turn of the Millenium, I can tell you it's far from blind luck that is behind his success.
Alan is a slave to his listeners behind the scenes, he personally reads and replies to every piece of correspondence he receives. He is well aware that it is this input that he can use to understand his listener's position and get a feel for where the public head is centred.
"My listeners are my best researchers, I know what matters to them, I get down in the trenches with them and I stand up for the battler".
So as imaging producer, what can we learn from this? No, we don't get fan mail, no we don't get to share conversation with our listeners. OR DO WE?
Well not in the traditional sense, but we do get the chance to do our research. Keeping up with current trends, being curious when engaging in conversation with people who may be in our target audience no matter who or where they are, and most importantly, listening to their point of view on subjects that matter. Can you describe in some detail the person that’s most likely to hear your promo?
How does any of this help us do our job better? Well.. If you're coming from a position of knowledge, you can hit all the right notes and make all the right noises... Literally. And at the same time make a connection with your listener.
The promo you think is funny because it has a great penis joke in it? Perhaps it's you should think twice!
That reference to a movie that's on right now? Maybe there's a better connection you can make to draw your listener's attention.
If we understand our audience, we can relate better to their mood, their feelings and their view of our station and more importantly our imaging.
Do your homework, ask questions, observe behaviours, but most importantly LISTEN!!
Darren "Robbo" Robertson is available to image your station. To find out more about his Imaging services see his website.