The Importance of Making A Connection

Posted on September 20, 2010

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After my last post, “Reading, Writing and Ratings,” I received a note from an old friend/former employee who has made the leap from radio to television asking if I had any insight on the Nielsen ratings process for television.

I really don’t know anything about TV ratings but I do know that, unlike radio, television often looks at Q scores when evaluating personalities. For those not familiar with Q scores, the Web site for Marketing Innovations Inc., known as “the Q Scores Company,”  explains that it is a study of the, “inherent audience appeal of programs, networks, personalities and characters.”

I don’t know for sure what improves or harms a personalities Q score (though I did request an interview with someone from the company so hopefully I will soon) but a little time on their Web site reveals one recurring theme: emotional connection with the audience.

In a recent press release the company’s executive vice-president Henry Schafer says the audience’s emotional bond with a show is, “a valuable indicator for pinpointing effective advertising environments,” adding shows with high emotional bonds have viewers who, “Are more likely to stay in front of the screen during commercial breaks.”

Since that’s the business we are in, creating effective advertising environments, it would seem that raising your Q score by building an emotional connection with your audience is a good idea whether you are on the radio or television.

Here’s a few thoughts about how to do that: 

1) Reveal The Real You: If you are just identifying songs and reading promos the audience doesn’t have anything to connect to. Look to break down that wall; let them meet the real you.

2)  Get Involved: Find a pet charity or cause to get involved with. This can actually work in two ways: the audience becomes more bonded to you because of your commitment while the people you effect through the charity work may just tune in.

3) Have An ‘Est: There’s a reason talk hosts like Rush or Glenn Beck have huge audiences; they have an ‘est. The are the “right-est,” — most right-wing not necessarily most correct — which gives them a place in the audience’s mind. If you are you the funniest, smartest, local-est, music-est, or some other est, you will have a stronger connection to the audience.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I am not suggesting you walk into the studio tomorrow and completely change your delivery. Further I am not suggesting you become the outrageous-est all of a sudden. What I am suggesting is that you carefully consider what ‘est  you might want to strive for and strategize about how to get there.  If you need help or suggestions on strategizing, visit the Web site, I’d be happy to help out.

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