31 JAN 12
JON MILLER | Director of Programming Services
A sci-fi geek friend of mine once introduced me to the Douglas Adams book, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
In the story, there is an actual book by the same name that has information about every planet that is vital to an intergalactic traveler’s survival.
But the fictional guide’s most notable feature is the two words boldly emblazoned on the front cover—“Don’t Panic,” which is good advice whether you are traveling the breadth of the universe or just got a new ratings book from Arbitron.
There are a number of factors that can cause your ratings to go down (or up). So before you decide the sky is falling, and you start considering what songs to add to the rotation and which talent to fire, be sure to take some time and analyze the numbers.
When you do decide to delve into the book, be sure to look at trends, not just that particular release. Observe your station’s performance across a year or more. Watch for patterns instead of reacting to one particular ratings period. You’ll do a much better job of steering your station toward success that way than you will with a knee-jerk reaction to an individual set of results examined in a vacuum.
If you aren’t sure how to get started analyzing your ratings book, check out my recent FMQB article which details a four-step process you can use to begin analyzing your station’s performance each time a new book is released.
And if you need more help or the numbers seem especially weird or difficult to understand, contact the programming services team. We’d be happy to help you figure it all out.
You can reach the Programming Services Team at email@example.com.