How’s My Driving? Call 1-800-...

You’ve seen these bumper stickers on service and delivery vehicles all over the place. Why do you think the business owners put them there? They’re there because these owners care about the way their company is perceived by the public. They care enough to go beyond what their clients think, but also they care about what their potential clients think. They care about appearances. How is your radio station being perceived by the public and potential listeners?

Sure, we work in a business where appearances are not that crucial. After all, we sit behind a microphone and people don’t see us work. They hear us. So, why does it matter how we appear in public?

When your staff takes the station van out for a remote, remember that they are representing your radio station. They should be aware of how they drive and show nothing but courtesy to other drivers. Make sure they understand to obey all traffic laws. No speeding, no going through a late yellow light, and no cutting off another driver.

I once received a call from an irate person complaining that someone driving one of our station vehicles was weaving in and out of traffic. The caller said, “That guy is driving like a maniac!” I was able to deduct that it was our promotions director in that station vehicle. This is the person in charge of promoting the station. I guess you could say he wasn't very good at his job.

The person who called to complain will now always have a bad perception of that radio station.

What could I have told that person on the phone to make them have a different opinion of the station? Remember, too, that it was only one person who took the time to call on his cell phone to complain. What about all the other people in that traffic that were also upset by that employee’s behavior, but didn’t feel compelled to call? After all, most people don’t take the time out of their busy schedules to complain.

The thing to remember is that that one action, which some people may say is minor, hurt the station.

Always be aware of your appearances. When your station is at a remote or one of your staff is making a public appearance on behalf of the station, make sure your staff is courteous to clients, listeners and potential listeners. Make sure the people representing your radio station are dressed properly. They should be dressed for your format. While a leather jacket and jeans are appropriate for a Rock station, the same outfit will not work for an AC station. Make sure they are on time and prepared for the remote. They should be there early enough to introduce themselves to the client. They need to be outgoing and receptive to the public. Don’t ever set up with a table and chairs. Make your air talent stand up the whole time. They shouldn’t be hiding behind the table. They must be outgoing and energetic. Also, do not let them smoke in public. While you may not have a problem with smoking, these days most people in the general public do.

Now that you have your staff in line and representing the station well. Are you getting the most out of your logo and signs? Make sure that you are consistent with the way you sell the station to your listeners. If you are calling your station “B107,” then make sure all your signs have that on them. Don’t show up with a sign that only has your call letters on it. Most people don’t care about radio as much as we do, so they aren’t going to make the connection between a sign showing only your call letters and one representing your image and who you are to your listeners and potential listeners.

So, how is your radio station being perceived by listeners and potential listeners? Take some time out of your busy schedule to take a look at your station from an outsider’s point of view. You might be surprised to see how you are perceived.

Will you need to call that 800 number?