Back To School

by | Aug 16, 2019

No season is more clear cut than “back to school” season. Staying up late, sleeping in, and eating whenever you feel like it is over. Vacation mode is set to off as the alarm clocks are turned back on.

Hopefully you got a vacation this summer. Vacations are important, not just for the fun you have on them, but also for what happens just before you go on one. If you’re like most people, your home or office is never more organized than when you are just about to leave for vacation. Perhaps it’s even occurred you, “why don’t I do this more often when I am here to enjoy the space?” The fact is most of us find more urgent or enjoyable things to do on a daily basis than to deep clean just about anything. It’s science.

Why not use this back to school season to take inventory and do a deep clean of your radio station? To put it another way, let’s take a page from Marie Kondo’s bestselling book “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” and sort everything by category and throw out anything that doesn’t “spark joy”. If that sounds intimidating, I’m happy to share with you The Radio Scorecard(tm) I’ve developed for the stations I consult. The Radio Scorecard(tm) includes a 12-step review of every aspect of your radio station including music, each on-air daypart, as well as branding and stationality.

Whether you use my scorecard or create your own, it’s important to review every element of your station at least QUARTERLY to ensure that there is intentionality with everything on your station. Think that sounds like a lot? Facebook, which at last count had an active cume of 2.41 billion people, reviews and revises its features HOURLY.

Facebook Founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed in a podcast:

“At any given point in time, there isn’t just one version of Facebook running, there are probably 10,000 -whatever is necessary to get a good test of an experience. And then, [we] get a readout of how that affected all of the different metrics, and things that we care about. How were people connecting? How were people sharing? Do people have more friends in this version? Of course, business metrics, like how does this cost the efficiency of running the service, how much revenue are we making?”

If radio wants to keep up with technology, we must take time to review and revise our offerings to listeners. Much like a report card in school is an indicator of a student’s progress in any given subject, a radio station ought to have a metric for evaluating for what it’s doing well, what it’s missing, and what needs to be improved in the listener experience. For if we’re willing to be students of what our listeners actually want, this back to school season will be the most successful one yet.

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” -Socrates

This post originally appeared as an article on


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