The Importance Of Determining A Vision For Your Radio Station [FREQUENCY NEWS FEATURE]

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by Jay Stevens Senior VP of Programming at Radio One

I strongly believe that any successful organization must have a clear vision or mission statement. This becomes a focus for the team and a rallying point that stimulates pride and passion in the end result. Recently I read a great article on Inc.com that conveyed the importance of a strong company vision:

To be clear, a vision is not a strategic plan. The vision articulates where we are going; the plan tells us how we’re actually going to get there. We start planning only after we’ve agreed on the vision. Creating a plan without a vision… Well, I just can’t quite figure how one does it. Imagine asking MapQuest to give you directions but not plugging in your desired destination.

At one of my previous radio stations our mission statement was simple and easy for everyone to understand. Our mission statement included these station goals:

Rated number one 12 plus

Ranked top 3, 25-54 adults

Ranked as the top billing station in the market

Hit year-end sales budget

If we achieved all of those targets, the staff was rewarded with a day off and a trip to Atlantic City.   It was amazing how this motivated the staff!  We found that the mission statement generated a special company synergy with every employee, including board ops, mixers, DJs, sales people, and office staff discussing how they could work together to achieve the goals. Everyone was unified. The entire team was on target.  The peer pressure to succeed was incredible.  When a wrong spot aired, or there was dead air, or a DJ executed a poor break, everyone focused on solving the problem and ensuring it would not happen again. I would randomly stop team members in the hall and ask what our mission statement was, and it was generally repeated back to me word for word.

After the mission was articulated, each department head came up with a plan to achieve these goals.

A mission statement or vision does not have to be a catchy phrase on a sign in the reception area; instead it needs to have “teeth.” It needs to be impactful for our listeners, clients and most importantly, our staff.

I recently asked the Market Managers to share their visions and mission statements with me in order to help reinforce them and coach their programming teams.

Here are a couple I would like to share:

Gary Spurgeon, KBFB and KSOC Dallas: “Our goal is to do it differently and be a LEADER . . . not just with words but in our actions.  To daily push the ceiling, question, be caring, collaborate, have FUN and challenge ourselves. THINK differently . . . make an impact and make a difference in our community and our industry. From a programming standpoint, have fun and entertain to the very best of our abilities and to win in the ratings with each of our products . . . KBFB to be consistently in the top 3 in A18-34 and KSOC to consistently be in top 10 A25-54.”

Kathy Stinehour, WDMK, WGPR, WPZR and WCHB Detroit:

Turn WDMK’s ratings performance around, returning to a mid 4 share A25-54

Rank WGPR #1 18-34 and position the station as a player in the 25-54 demographic

Elevate Praise WPZR in the community and the double the ad rates

WCHB: Capitalize on serious political challenges in Detroit and the state of Michigan

Create three profitable events for each FM

Follow CSS Sales Strategy processes

Recruit Sales

Both managers have simple, tangible goals for their stations.  Knowing both of them as well as I do, I guarantee they are preaching these goals to their teams daily to keep them on point and have a plan!

Ratings and revenue are the bottom line, but to motivate and keep your teams focused on the prize, a mission statement or vision is essential.  Then each team member can live it every day!

So I ask you, what is your vision for 2013?

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