What Should You Do When You Lose?

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March 18, 2014 by Colin Kelly

One of the world’s most popular and innovative radio stations, Sydney based ‘2DayFM’ got a hard time last week when audience figures showed a competing station’s breakfast show, hosted by 2DayFM’s FORMER breakfast presenters, is beating it in the ratings.

Fair play to Kyle and Jackie O. They built an audience, and they took it with them. I’d expect nothing less. That’s what KIIS paid for, after all.

So what will the new team at 2DayFM (which includes ex Spice Girl Mel B) do?

My advice: keep doing what you’re doing.

And they’re doing it very well.

It’s a new show, only a few months in and these are the first set of figures. Strong personalities attract strong followings, if you like one, you might not like the other. And that’s life.

What you don’t do (and so many radio stations, and businesses in general do!) is panic.

A knee jerk reaction, sudden changes, moving things around, all this does is unsettle the team and the audience and make you appear rudderless.

Here’s what you should do, and it’s great to see 2DayFM holding their nerve and doing exactly this:

- Give the team time to settle in. They’ve done absolutely nothing wrong – they’re not the previous hosts and the audience hasn’t had time to get to know them yet.
– Understand that audience figures lie. So, on paper KIIS is number one. In reality, many listeners will be sampling both stations, hopping back and forth and while they might be ticking ‘KIIS’ in their old fashioned paper diaries, this doesn’t mean they’re not hearing ‘2Day’ at all.
– Figure out what makes them unique: where are the happy, spontaneous moments in the show that everyone agrees was special and only THEY could provide?
– Concentrate on developing those ideas and getting as much out of them as you can. It might be showbiz interviews where we learn something unexpected about today’s guest. It might be stories from Mel’s pop star past, or a segment where listeners can phone in and things go off in a different direction. Think of Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2 with the kids calling in saying what they’re going to do for the first time. That’s the sort of real-life, unique benchmark every breakfast show needs.

- Avoid expensive paid for advertising at this stage, concentrate on being friendly and accessible via social media. 2DayFM follows me and has already talked TO ME on Twitter. They’re winning the ‘down to earth and accessible’ battle. Let things grow organically from the ground up. Of course, this requires strong leadership and patience, something a lot of media businesses lack.
– Finally, when all of the above is truly in place, develop an engaging, innovative marketing strategy (including paid for) to make sure EVERYONE knows what a great product you’ve got.

Then you’ll have the winning team and the success will be yours to truly enjoy.

Watch 2DayFM bounce back. It’ll take 18 months – 2 years but it’ll happen if they stick with it.

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