Sunday, February 17, 2013

Making A Difference - for Better or Worse

How cool for country radio to have two of its artists- Darius Rucker and Randy Houser - featured on Saturday Night’s Making a Difference segment on NBCNightly News (watch that segment here).

Both are members of Musicians On Call (Chuck Wicks, Chris Young, Joanna Smith and Mark Wills are also among the Nashville-based volunteers) an organization that connects musicians with hospital patients and often results in bedside performances. 

The NBC segment featured Darius and Randy performing for patients at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Musicians On Call's executive director cited medical benefits of music while patients and parents voiced their appreciation.

This is a great example of doing good not only mattering but getting noticed.

Recently I was in a market conducting listener panels and the groups could not stop talking about all the great things that one of our morning hosts does for the community (he's also strong on the air). Without even needing to pause and think, the group reeled off half a dozen specific ways he’d made a difference in the community over the years.

They felt connected to him in a special, personal, and very positive way. 

Doing good and getting noticed.

Contrast those two stories with these.

A General Manager who, on pitching his station to an agency in New York City, was asked, "Morning shows...those are the guys that run around the building with underwear on their heads make dumb jokes right?"

Or (worse) the Todd Schnitt-Bubba the Love Sponge trial that drove the Jury Forewoman to vow, “I am never listening to the radio again.”

The choice to become a positive force in a market is a choice each station and talent can make.

And if it’s true that the media reports roughly seventeen “bad news” stories for every one “good news” story, it’s incumbent on us not only to find ways to make a difference, but to tell our story as well.

Start spreadin’ the news.

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