a monthly digital magazine for programmers
TOP TIPS for music features
SERVE YOUR LISTENERS can the restaurant industry help make your station tastier?
+VALERIE GELLER a radio legend prepares you for the internet age
bluerevolution Issue 32 May 2011
In this issue: Taking lessons from the restaurant biz l Getting to know radio legend Valerie Geller l Top PD Tips
Hi again, Welcome to this month’s Radio e-Zine.
Blue Revolution is a leading supplier of programming content, music services and production tools to radio stations worldwide. Our range of weekly shows include the award-winning Totally 80s, Totally 90s, The Weekend Vibe, The Donny Osmond Show, Wolfman Jack and many more. Our network of client stations trust us to deliver programmes proven to build audiences and raise revenue. Find out more by visiting us online at
With radio currently facing a number of challenges I thought it might be an idea to look outside our industry to see if there’s anything we can learn from the restaurant trade. You may be surprised by some of the points raised in my article on page 3. One of the most eagerly awaited books on radio has just been published. Written by award-winning author and radio strategist Valerie Geller, you can find out more about Valerie and her book on page 6. 6 Of The Best is back with a look at music features and how they can drive additional revenue for your station. Our PD Tips feature this month is how you can quickly analyze your station’s output. Thanks again for subscribing and I hope you enjoy this month’s selection of articles. See you next time,
Paul Hollins CEO
what can radio learn from the restaurant business? Paul Hollins is the CEO of Blue Revolution. He is an award-winning presenter and producer. His on-air broadcasting career includes many of UK’s most well-known stations including Key 103, BRMB, Capital FM and London’s Heart 106.2. In 1999 he became the first British presenter to fly to Los Angeles to host the internationally syndicated ‘World Chart Show’ for Radio Express Inc. Since setting up Blue Revolution in 1999, Paul has helped grow the company into one of Europe’s largest providers of audio content for radio.
No matter which industry you work in, what you serve your customers is the main thing to get right. If your product is bad then customers simply won’t come back. Nowhere is that more evident than the restaurant trade. Good restaurateurs know that the food (or “product”) they serve has to be right every single time. By giving customers a bad experience, you can be pretty sure they won’t come back. They’ll also tell their friends about their negative experience too. That’s not a good place to be. If on the other hand you get it right, they’ll probably still tell all their friends about it. But this time they will be speaking positively and the chances are you will have just won a loyal customer. In every town there are restaurants – and indeed chefs – who are more celebrated than others. Tables bookup months in advance with customers willing to pay top dollar to sample their food. But some other restaurants struggle to get a single paying customer through the door. Why is that? Is it the food? The service? A friend of mine runs a popular restaurant here in London and he often tells me how hard he works to make sure customers leave happy and come back time and time again. This got me thinking about our industry. Imagine for a moment that your radio station is a restaurant. Would it be one of the most celebrated restaurants in town? Would you win awards for the food you serve? As we all know, the food is only one aspect of a successful restaurant. You’ve also got to give diners an enjoyable overall experience. The service has to be impeccable, the staff attentive and the surroundings relaxing. So, how would your restaurant fare? Would it be the type that makes the customer feel welcome? Would they want to keep coming back? Sometimes looking outside of our own industry can help us identify things we can do to make our own product even better. So, can radio really learn from the restaurant trade? You bet! The Product/Your Output In a restaurant, the food you serve is what you’ll ultimately be judged by. Get it wrong and people will vote with their feet and not come back. The same is true for radio – get your output (or music policy) wrong and the same thing will happen.
what radio can learn from the restaurant business continued The Quality/Focused Content If a restaurant serves great food one day and bad food the next, only half the diners will rate it highly. Therefore it’s important to strive for consistent quality – even if you don’t always quite manage it. Same rules apply with your radio output. Consistency and a passion for perfection are key principles at any station. The Service/Listening To Your Audience A good waiter has to instinctively know when someone needs their attention (whether it’s for more wine, to pay the bill, whatever!) With radio programming you need to do the same. Listen to your audience and when they have a need for attention, give it to them. This could be something as simple as airing an extra travel bulletin if the roads are particularly snarled. Attention To Detail/Passion A restaurant needs to serve quality food, that’s a given, but it’s those extra little touches that can really make the eating-out experience enjoyable. Have you ever been given a dirty knife or fork in a restaurant? Most people have and that’s super-poor attention to detail. However if you see a freshly-ironed napkin or a wine glass that sparkles, you know that the restaurant owner cares. With radio you have to offer your listeners the same attention to detail. Give them the best. For example, if you run an automated music hour/sequence, spend time tightening up the segues and integrating the sweepers/jingles to make sure it flows seamlessly. Don’t just let the pre-sets do their job – spend the 10 minutes it would take to make the listener’s experience better. The Overall Feeling/Listener Loyalty If you’ve just enjoyed great food and great service you’d definitely want to visit that restaurant again. You’ll probably even tell your friends about it. If you can create the same depth of feeling with your listeners whenever they tune in, they’ll soon become repeat ‘customers’ of your station and tell their friends about it too. So, as you can see with just a little attention to detail you really can make your station sound better. That’s how radio can learn from the restaurant biz.
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