10 ways to set yourself up for success in 2017

If you want 2017 to be an unforgettable year for your radio station for all the right reasons, here’s 10 things to consider before the end of the year.

1. Celebrate your big successes and the big stars of 2016. It’s far too easy to get lost in the day to day radio station operations. Take a look back and remind yourselves of what got people talking this year — within the station and outside. Find a way to use the good stuff on air as well as bring it to life for staff. Get the credit twice.

2. Nail your big thing in Q1 2017. Make sure it’s totally prepared and ready to go before the holiday. And if it is something you’ve done in Q1 before, make sure it’s bigger and better in 2017. Consider a fresh angle so air talent will love it more, the station staff will engage, and more importantly, the listeners will too.

3. Set yourself 10 realistic 2017 goals for your radio station. And don’t just let them stick on your email, or in a drawer for 12 months. Keep them visible and make them happen. You will get so much credit and personal satisfaction when they become reality. Make a vision board and enjoy the law of attraction!

4. Make sure your station sound is spot on for your brand. CHR stations need to be totally, constantly on top of this, but all formats should review it every year. Do you sound as polished, authentic and relevant as the next station on the dial? Listeners are very aware of what quality is these days and don’t tolerate mediocre.

5. What is the competition up to? It’s a good time to think about their strengths and weaknesses and how you can benefit, whatever department you work in. There are always opportunities, no matter how big or small your station is, and hitting them with it at the beginning of a year makes sense.

6. If you’re a manager, take time to think about the team formation in 2017. If a staff member is a whiz on video editing but doing something totally different for their day job, is there an opportunity there? Think radically!

7. Review your digital presence. As listeners consume content more online and via apps, and more marketing is done via Facebook and Twitter, how does your station look digitally? A little bit of effort and focus can put any station equal to the biggest players. And don’t just copy the latest tech and social trends. Only do a Mannequin Challenge, or Facebook Live, or whatever the latest craze is, if your take is excellent and timely.

8. Spend a day reviewing what you do. Are you doing enough show prep? Are you spending enough time with the on air talent? When was the last time you looked at music rotations? How many minutes of commercials do you play each hour and will it make for decent listening hours? Do your promo or commercial scripts tell a story/engage, or just sell what you’re talking about? Where are you wasting time in low payoff areas? Be ruthless.

9. Make sure you’ve done everything you need to for the first week back in 2017. It makes such a difference if the first week isn’t a stressful one, even if you have to do an extra few hours before the break.

10. Make sure everyone has some decent time off over the holidays. You will always get one DJ wanting to work every day. Being super keen is great, but everyone needs to feel refreshed for the New Year. Ensure logs are thoroughly checked for all the changes, shift rotations are solid, everyone knows what they are doing, and leave some Christmas treats in the studio for them!

Paul Holmes is part of the ReelWorld client relations team. Before joining ReelWorld he was a Programmer and Producer at Capital FM and Heart FM in the UK.

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