Remembering Her Why

Dear Christian Radio…

Recently I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the why of our programming. Specifically, why does our programming matter? Of course the question is not just why our programming matters, but why does our programming matter to her?

Now, I’m not talking clocks, rotations and stop set placement–although they are also important. Even done well, those things won’t guarantee the experience we want to create; they are not the real reasons why she chooses your radio station.

When a listener finds your radio station for the very first time, it’s sort of like a first date. Think about a first date when you really wanted every moment to be perfect. That’s important because that first date is the road to a possible long-term relationship, but before you get engaged…and certainly before you get married, you have to get that second date.  

How does all this talk about dating relate to programming? Well, it’s about her expectation when she comes to visit your radio station. Let me say it this way: great programming is nothing more than meeting your listener’s expectation! 

Expectations not met deliver a bad experience. Expectations not met by you will be satisfied somewhere else! That means no second date and no relationship! After much research and hearing her story, I’ve put together a top five expectations list for when she listens to your radio station. The list is by no means exhaustive; yet, it communicates what she is expecting from you the first time out.

Top Five Expectations:

5) The Calgon Moment – She wants those Calgon moments of stress relief and a diversion away from her hectic life. This is also known as “Me Time.” It’s where she gets that right song at the right time. As the commercial says, “Calgon, take me away!”

4) A Companion – She wants companionship–a friend or place where she can be encouraged to be a better person and better at her own relationships: friend, spouse, parent, colleague, and most importantly a follower of Jesus!   

3) A Place of Her Own – She is looking for a place where she belongs and can find safety. She wants a place that shares her own worldview! We often take this for granted because we live inside the radio bubble. Many of our listeners spend time in environments where they can’t share their faith. Your station helps her see that she is a part of something bigger than herself.    

2) Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – She needs entertainment that is fun but the kind that doesn’t compromise her values. She doesn’t need laughs that are at the expense of others. Remember, a merry heart does good like a medicine.

1) The Trigger – She needs hope, encouragement, and comfort during the most traumatic times of her life. This one is perhaps the most important. For us, it’s helping her (being there) when that diagnosis comes, a relationship ends, or the loss of a loved one is experienced. These are trigger moments and we must be ready to be there for her when they happen. Your station is the relief when her life takes a turn for the worse.

After all, she expects you to be there in a time of need. She wants you to point her to the things that really matter. She appreciates that you remind her that God is good and help her see that others are going through the same thing she is experiencing. It is in these trigger moments where relationships can grow the strongest. 

So, there they are. Now, go tell her story and meet her expectations. Answer her why.


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