Many top sports players and athletes works very closely with a coach to achieve peak performance. The coach is a specialist, there to give the athlete support and ensure they continue to perform at the very top of their game.
Similarly, many top radio stations around the world work closely with a consultant. The consultant is there to help the radio station grow ratings and revenue. They often do this despite increasing and improving competition.
Here are some of the things a good consultant will add to your team:
When you hire a good radio consultant, you are hiring an expert. Someone who has spent their career developing in-depth insight and experience that can save your radio business both time and money.
They will provide fresh input, new ideas and new ways of doing things. These will help your radio station grow audience and revenue, even in the most challenging of situations.
A good consultant will typically have a lot of experience of programming radio stations themselves. They will have enjoyed success as a Programme Director prior to becoming a consultant and will have worked extensively with the sales, marketing and promotions teams. They can bring all of their experience to any situation, to fast-track learning and avoid mistakes.
In my case I developed my programming skills in the competitive UK radio market. I worked in a number of big cities before moving to work in London.
My first major programming job there was as launch Programme Director for Magic in London. It went on to become one of the most successful radio stations in the city.
Later, I led the programming team at Heart. It became the #1 commercial radio station in London. It beat Capital Radio for the first time in Capital’s 30+ year history as commercial radio market-leader.
Very recently, 2017 – 2019, I led the team that re-launched national radio station Virgin Radio UK with the Chris Evans Breakfast Show. It was to become one of the most successful, and most talked-about, turnarounds in the radio world.
When you hire a consultant, it’s a good idea to find out how recent their own operational experience has been. We all know how much the radio industry has developed in the last 10 years. If your consultant hasn’t had direct experience working in a radio station in that time, their knowledge may not be so current.
The better your market knowledge, the greater your chance of winning. Good specialist radio research gives programmers & marketers insight and actionable information that cannot be got from industry research.
Consultants can bring up-to-date knowledge, the latest thinking and practical examples of Programming and Promotions from many different markets. They can use these to help clients develop their own ideas.
At the end of a radio station visit by a good consultant, the station team will be energised and motivated. They will be keen to take the new insights and ideas they have developed with the consultant, and translate them directly into practical, operational activity.
All radio stations have people who sometimes get stuck and need extra encouragement – or a push – to turn ideas into plans and then plans into action. A consultant‘s follow-up call or visit can be a powerful motivator to get things done.
Coaching sessions provide one-to-one sessions for members of the management team, production team or on-air team. The focused sessions provide intensive support which can help rapidly develop individual performances.
Sometimes people inside a radio station can become too close to a situation or problem to identify it, or to fix it. When this happens it can be highly effective to get an outside perspective.
A consultant can offer a dispassionate point of view and advice on problem areas and business decisions. They can approach any situation with a fresh and independent point of view. Their opinion will be free from any internal issues that can sometimes complicate judgment and decision-making.
A typical Programme Director is now usually so busy programming several radio stations they often don’t have time to listen to their own output. They can only occasionally monitor developments in other markets.
The opportunity to work in so many different markets gives a consultant a wide range of situations and experiences to draw on. More than a programmer will typically have from working in a single market or country.
According to just one of several airlines I use regularly, I have flown with them to 30 cities in 20 different countries. The vast majority of these flights were for consulting & research projects.
This gives you some idea of the exposure at least one consultant has had to different radio markets, and the experience they can bring to your radio station.
Next time you find your radio station needs a boost, call a good consultant. You will discover how much – and how quickly – they can help your radio station improve ratings and revenue.