We were in one of those tense meetings that is unique to radio stations. The station manager, sales manager and program director looked at the Arbitron numbers and then at the station revenues, provoking the typical high-stress conversation about ratings and revenue.
The station manager let the conversation wind its way around and then let the room get a little quiet. He spoke as the colonel in a World War II movie would say, "Gentlemen, this radio station is a great station, but it has problems...and whether we need more listeners or more money, the only way this station will grow is to go outside these walls."
Radio is a relationship business. Our Raison d'être is to communicate with an enormous number of people. Outreach is our oxygen. That's what the legendary stations of the 60's, 70's and 80's did well: They engaged listeners in creative ways.
The real power of radio is in the number of people we reach every day...and the only way to build that reach is spending time reaching-out into the community.
There's a parallel with Scripture, too. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus said, "Go ye." He didn't say, "Wait for someone to come to your church, ye." The same thing applies to our stations. To get an audience, we need to go and introduce people to our stations. To receive major gifts, we go and introduce people to our stations.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy noted that the CEO of a non-profit organization should spend 60% of their time in fundraising for the organization to successfully achieve its mission. So get out of the studio and the office to grow your station.