The ratings freak out is understandable, but radio management can do serious internal (and external) damage by over-reacting. Whenever a ratings report comes out, broadcasters should step back, take a breath and try to understand the real, underlying causes of ratings movement. In this guide to avoid ratings freak out, I’ll share:
- Ratings fluctuate, and there’s nothing we can do to change it.
- Why managers should never make strategic decisions based on ratings.
- A strategic focus should (but often doesn’t) guide station reactions.
- A free downloadable tool to help prevent ratings freak out.
The ratings process is a nightmare. It’s amazing that broadcasters allow ratings services to have so much power over the success of a business that reaches so many consumers each day. But we do. Since ratings are the “game”, we have to play it.
It’s maddening when bad ratings happen to good stations (or talent). The next step is almost always an over-reaction by a panic-stricken manager. This in turn can inflict serious (and real) long-term damage on a station or personality.
Look, there’s nothing you can do about the often violent ebb and flow of ratings information. Until Nielsen, Numeris and the others make meaningful improvements to the sample size and recruitment process, ratings issues will continue.
Ratings fluctuate, but station focus doesn’t have to.