Scott Huskey

One thing I hear a lot when talking to clients is that no one calls anymore. This is true because we have other ways of connecting with listeners, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or text.

Nothing beats having some audio of listeners on the air with you. It rounds out the sound plus validates the choice other listeners have made to listen to you when they hear folks who sound like them on the air with you.

When we try to get listener comments on the phone, we have to be persistent. The folks won't call unless we ask them to. They will not automatically give us good comments for us to use unless we ask the right questions. Once you begin to air comments and promos from listeners, you will garner more calls more easily.

The calls you use can be either from listeners calling for requests or from a “call to action.” A “call to action” would be something like, “Thanks for making the switch to XXX … if you’ve just made the switch, give us a call and tell us how we are doing … ”

When listeners call, automatically record every phone call. You never know how the call will go. The call that starts as a boring one could give you a blockbuster line at the end. By every call, I mean every time the phone rings for anything!

Once you have a caller (for whatever reason) on the phone, go ahead and take care of business, then hold them on the line for a couple of questions. You just want to talk to them. Don’t interview them. It doesn't have to be long.

Sample questions could including the following:

  • How long have you been listening?
  • What do you like about what we are doing?
  • What could we do better?
  • If you were telling a friend about XXX, what would you say?
  • What makes XXX different from other radio stations?

The key is to not settle for one-word answers. Many of the questions above could be answered with the word “music.” And that answer could work for any radio station. You are looking for answers that make your radio station stand out.

If you get a one-word answer, keep probing. Keep asking why or what about the music or whatever they’ve answered. The point is to keep people talking about the station, because at some point they will give you a great line for a promo or listener drop.

Once you start airing more calls, you will find that the calls get easier as you teach listeners what you want. When we demonstrate that it's safe to call the station, more folks will chime in. When more folks chime in, the station will sound more like a local party that folks would love to be a part of. — Scott Huskey

President of RWPC, Inc (formerly Rusty Walker Programming). We're a country focused consultancy specializing in Talent Coaching, Music Research, Strategic Planning, Music Scheduling all leading to ratings and revenue growth. Please contact me at:

662-423-5003 Ext 1