By David Kidd, BPR

Like that wardrobe full of clothes that you haven’t worn in years, radio stations tend to get cluttered with stuff that isn’t relevant to the listeners’ enjoyment of the station. That shirt that you bought on holiday in 2014 looked good then…. but hey, it’s 2019 and you haven’t worn it since!

Every single element on your station should support the brand and contribute to the listeners’ enjoyment of the station. If it doesn’t support the brand and doesn’t contribute to the listeners’ enjoyment then one could say it is harming the brand and potentially causing the listener to tune out.

Let’s start with imaging. Are the promos too long, are they too wordy, are they promoting off peak shows that don’t really matter to the majority of the audience? Are there simply too many promos? Look at the scheduling of promos. Are they coming around too often?

Ad breaks. A commercial radio station is a business and cannot survive without advertising. However is every single spot paid for, how many bonus spots are being given away? Are there ads on air which have a high degree of annoyance to the listener?

Contesting. Tactics often take up a large amount of airtime both in promotion and execution, however as we have seen around the world contesting in itself ranks very low in Importance for listeners.  Make sure your tactics are as entertaining as possible for those listeners who do not want to take part in the contest…the passives.  Can they play along at home or in the car? Does the tactic support the overall music position? Or are you simply giving something away (yawn)?

News.  And integral part of most formats but the duration of each bulletin can sometimes be called into question when it’s a slow news day.  Do you have flexible times for the duration of bulletins or are they fixed?

Music. Does every single song on your station have a high degree of appeal to your target audience?  Even the secondary categories should have good research scores.

Talk breaks. In the music intensive dayparts how concise are the announcers? Is every single talk break……entertaining or informative, does it support the brand or the music position,  promote the station or other shows? Is it well planned or an unstructured mess? If not it is most certainly clutter.


Take time on a regular basis to listen to your station for an entire day. Establish what is important in supporting the brand and what isn’t. If there is anything on air that isn’t contributing something positive to the brand and therefore the listeners’ enjoyment – get rid of it!



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