I got sent a really cool email the other day, asking about rebranding a CHR Community Radio Station. It seemed a nice email to openly respond to.
How are you? Loving your blog so far. I’m general manager and PD of a CHR radio station in the Dominican Republic. I’m really into learning on giving a hotter sound and mixed with the music nicely. That’s one of my personal goals for 2019.
I would like to know more about your priorities when you are rebranding a community radio station.
Best Regards!Marino Hernandez
Firstly, it’s pretty awesome that you’re viewing my site all the way in the Dominican Republic, and enjoying it, Marino.
It’s great to hear you’ve got things under control, and you’re setting goals for 2019 to dominate the market and get your station sounding big.
1. Know Your Audeince
One of the first things you need to do is clearly define what your station is, and who the station caters for. It’s great you already have a format set in stone, but do you know your audience?
Many stations like to create a profile for what they would consider their ideal listener on paper. For example, a Hot AC station might have…
Our listener is called Annabel. She is a 35-year-old mother of two who works as a sales assistant in a normal 9-5 job. She’s the kind of person who gets the most enjoyment out of life when she’s with friends and family and laughing. She dances like nobody’s watching, and is always the energy in a room.
From that small profile of a listener you already know she’ll most likely enjoy upbeat pop music like Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and P!
As you can see, a profile can often help with big decisions to rebrand a stations, from the music you play to the content your presenters use.
2. Clearly Set Out Your Music Policy
Once you know who you’re targeting, make sure you get your music in order to cater for that particular audience. Find your gap in the market too, because there will be other hit music stations with almost the same demographic.
A great example of this is right here in the UK, with national stations like Capital FM and Kiss FM.
Both of these stations are hit music stations, but if you actually listen to them for a considerable amount of time you’ll not hear a similar music policy.
Capital FM plays a far larger library of boy bands, teen heartthrobs, whilst Kiss FM stick to more grime, hip-hop and urban music. Yes, they will both play a large proportion of the Top 40 right now, but they’re not the same, and that means they don’t clash as much.
Narrow your music policy down as much as you can, you’ll be surprised how specific you can be. Yes, you can be an AC ‘easy hits’ station, but do you strictly play chilled out tracks? Maybe you’re more of an upbeat feel-good easy hits station? Do you play a mix of the 70s, 80s and 90s, or just 80s?
3. Share Your Vision With The Presenters
So many Station Managers and Directors have these huge visions but often can clash with on-air talent when it comes to executing that vision.
Often it’s because one has one idea of what should happen on-air and the other has a different.
Make sure when you yourself have a clear idea of what the station is, who it’s for and how you’re going to make it sound like that, you share it with the on-air talent.
Take them through the process you’ve gone through to create your on-air sound and answer any queries or questions they have about it.
Let them know some things on-air will still need tweaking, be it a feature of a show, and that they’re all part of that vision and journey. It’ll save you a lot of clashes in the long run.
4. Get The Station Out There
Now you know your audience you can plan how to get your station in front of them. If you’re a CHR station then try getting involved with local nightclubs, festivals, and gigs.
Get your station to the right people through social media. If you’re a commercial station then get advertising in the right places. A good place to start is those nightclubs I mentioned earlier.
If you’re not a commercial station, and you have limited funds, then social media is your new best friend.
5. Regularly Revaluate Your Plan
It can become very easy to slowly fly off course.
After a while corners will be cut, new presenters start, different music trends begin and social media sites change. Make sure you put in your diary each quarter of the year to sit down and revaluate your plan.
There’s nothing wrong with binning your music categories and building them again. Music trends change, as does artist popularity.
Social media sites also change. If you’re going for a CHR format then you’ll want to be on the ‘cool’ ones for sure. What is considered cool changes as quickly as the weather, so you need to keep an eye on that too.
I think if this article sums anything up, it’s that planning is your friend.
Make sure you set yourself milestones that you want to achieve. Rebranding anything, be it a company or a website or a radio station, a plan is key.
Surround yourself with the right people too. You’re the PD, which means it’s your job to spot the talent amongst your team. Delegate out jobs and make sure you know what’s happening amongst the music team, the imaging producer, the on-air talent and the varrious other factors.
As a community radio station, you’re already short on resources so you’ll need to really evaluate your key team players, the skills they can offer, and how you can
I hope the rebranding of your station goes well. If I’m ever in the Dominican Republic, I’ll be sure to stop by for a studio tour!
Remember, if you’ve ever got a question feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I may not be the most knowledgeable chap, but I’ll always be happy to offer my thoughts.