January 25, 2012
In WDHA’s over 30 years there have been numerous changes going on in radio, yes we have pretty much seen it all. There have been technological changes, format changes by our competing stations, not to mention the way internet and social networks have change added to the way WDHA reaches and engages its audience. And guess what, we’re still here. Embracing change when it helps promote and expand the WDHA brand has been our key to success. But, we don’t change just for the sake of change, or because some new fad has pop up. The benefit that the history we have with our listeners, helps us to decide what they will react to and what they aren’t that interested in. The great thing about Jersey listeners are they are loyal and will also not hesitate to tell you what they think, with that “now get out of here attitude”.
Of course we try to stay ahead of the curve; hey WDHA was the first station in the country to play CD’s back in 1983…no really…seems silly now, but back then it was huge! We progress from that to having a rather successful digital down load store a few years ago. Not even larger stations in New York market where attempting that back then. But we knew DHA listeners were so loyal to the rock the station played, they’d want to download it. And they did.
The internet and social media like Facebook have allowed us to reach out to listeners on a completely new level. Pop a question like “What’s your favorite Rush song”, and instant feedback and research. Ask a question like, “What was your favorite Rock Club to hang at in the 80’s”, and wow do DHA listeners share their memories. Understand that Rock Clubs died out in Northern NJ in the late 80’s, but listeners still remember good times they had at them when DHA was there. Not only does this give you fun feedback and stuff to talk up on the air, but also it brands WDHA with great memoires. And over 30 years later they are still listening. Of course social media allows DHA to gain new listeners too. We use social media to get listeners to listen to our on air product either online by giving them an instant link to the website’s listen live page, or over the airwaves.
One important thing we have learned is when not to change. We have learned that WDHA still needs to get out in the market place and shake hands and kiss babies. As numerous stations have changed and given up the vans, we have gotten the station out in the market more. As fun as social media can be, being a suburban radio station, gives us great opportunities to get out and get involved with our listeners and clients. It is still the key to our success. Whether we’re helping out and supporting a charity event, or just showing up at a client location, we have found that our listeners still look forward to having the station show up and connect on that important one on one basis. Sure we embrace change, but some things never change.
Curtis Kay is making Greater Media, Inc. great as the Program Director at WDHA FM in New Jersey.