How to set your station apart from the competition

Setting your radio station apart from the others in a crowded market is a challenge – particularly for new stations.

In very general terms, all broadcasters have access to the same music, so the only place you can be different is with the presenters you have.

One of my big complaints with the current crop of top tier FM broadcasters is that they keep DJ speak to a minimum. They don’t want their presenters doing anything that might get the listener to turn off. So its fast links, three in a row and 5 minutes of commercials.

You can follow that formula, but the music selection had better be shot hit so it’s better than your competition.

Take it from me, lots of thought goes into selecting the 300 tracks that will be broadcast on heavy rotation by your local FM station this week.

And here’s my pitch. What can and will set you apart from others in the market? Your people. Your presenters.

Like any good manager, for that is what you are as the owner of a digital broadcasting outfit, you need people that are better at being a radio presenter than you are.

You need people with personality, presenters with something to say, DJs who can entertain without being offensive.

You need listeners to turn to your station because they enjoy listening to the bits in between the tracks as much as the music.

If people want to listen to music there are plenty of places they can go, Spotify being just one of them.

But for entertainment, information, news and details of local events and the artists themselves – then it is down to your presenters.

They used to be known as personality DJs, and while they don’t have to be comedians, they should have something interesting to say about the music they are playing or reference something topical and newsy that will resonate with listeners. And if you can make listeners chuckle then so much the better.

That doesn’t mean you can’t play 2 or 3 tracks in a row – go for your life – but make sure the presenter adds something to the output when they speak.

It is their chance to connect with the listeners, to build a relationship, to share, develop a following, and build an audience.

It used to be that people tuned into a radio station because a particular DJ was on. Those days have mainly gone in mainstream radio. But digital broadcasting is giving people like you a chance to give listeners an entertaining alternative to what everyone else is doing.

One last thought; keep links meaningful and restricted to one point or one thought. Try not to allow presenters to ramble on covering three or four topics or thoughts in one link.