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Commentary: Gear What You Hear

A few ideas to ensure well-balanced, effective radio programming

JAIPUR, India — Radio means audience — the larger it is, the more a station is successful. But it’s important to always follow the rules. For me, there are eight simple commandments for any radio station. If these are in place, then your business will inevitably grow.

Remember that radio was born intelligent

It is a clever medium that requires good on-air talent. Mediocrity won’t do. Allow little space for opinions and more space for facts and information.

Listen to your intuition

Follow your feelings. If your inner voice tells you not to air certain content, then don’t.

Never assume you know exactly what your listener wants

Maybe you already have an idea, but always be open and aware. Don’t be overconfident. Do the necessary homework and research for every single show you broadcast. Your audience will appreciate that.

Research is not enough

It may seem contradictory, but in addition to applying research findings, use your eyes and ears. Factor everything in, when deciding what you will put on air.

Your show is not the most important
What about the station’s other programs? Do they sound good too? Think about the bigger picture, how does the station sound around the clock?

Don’t forget about competition

Competition exists, even if you don’t want to take it into consideration. The best approach is to understand it is present, while concentrating on putting your best image forward and forging your own, authentic path.

Value people
This is the most important of all — don’t take anyone for granted. Value your listeners and your employees, always. A random listener, for example, can one day become a loyal fan.

Again, be aware of your surroundings, of life on the street, people in public transportation, the underlying atmosphere. After your show, roam around the city and think about what is appropriate for its inhabitants. Incorporate the things you observed on your outing when you prep for the show, this will bring you closer to your audience and give an added edge.

Lokesh Gulyani, based in Jaipur, India, is a radio programming consultant and former program director. Contact him via email at:

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