Ten Ways to Increase Our Audience

A Symposial discussion on building the radio audience.

By JULIUS L. TUCKER, Evangelist, Northern California Conference tinct, smooth, persuasive, gentle, ever breathing sincerity.

It is heart warming to a broadcaster to know that his radio program is deeply appreciated by an ever-growing audience. There are various means of determining whether your program is really desired by the public, such as the Hooper Radio Survey. Radio stations make surveys seeking to determine the number of listeners and the popularity of the various programs on their stations. One can judge by the mail response to things offered free or for sale, or by his fan mail —by that I mean letters or cards expressing appreciation for the program. We have made personal surveys from house to house, covering a few hundred homes in various parts of the city. What a keen sense of responsibility, mingled with joy, comes to the broadcaster's heart to hear the station management say, "Your program is our most popular broadcast, according to recent surveys."

In building a radio audience you will find that the frequency of the program plays a big part. Being on the air at the same time each day gives you the opportunity of becoming a part of the people's daily life. Of course they must know that you are on the air and must want what you have to offer.

1. First on the list of "musts" in building an audience is the type or quality of the program. It must be simple, pleasing, appealing, and heart warming. We must ever remember our audience. We are their guests. Treat them that way. If we went to a home to do missionary work and were invited in, we would not start arguing with the people who lived there, nor even have the preaching attitude, but would just visit with them.

After all, to hold listeners, the program must be what the people like and want. It must move with precision, not too fast or too slow. Something interesting must keep coming every moment, for it is so easy to turn the dial; and competition is keen, especially in large cities where there are several radio stations. All material used on the program should be chosen with care. "Prepare," "Prepare" should ever be the watchword.

2. The second essential to building a radio audience is the radio voice. Certain types of voices are offensive. The mike does strange things to voices. Some it enhances and others are made repulsive. The religious radio voice must be distinct, smooth, persuasive, gentle, ever breathing sincerity.

3. The name of the program must and will have its appeal. Choose a name that naturally creates a desire or appeals to the public. The radio public do just as you do—they read down the list of pro grams in the daily press and tune in that which might be interesting, judging from the name. If they are not disappointed, you have added new friends to your family of listeners.

4. The old slogan, "It pays to advertise," surely holds in broadcasting. Every available means should be used to let the public know that you are on the air. In large cities a daily radio schedule is usually given in newspapers, but it is money well spent to use large advertisements calling spe cial attention to your broadcast.

5. Our union conference papers usually print weekly logs of all broadcasters in their territory, and our own people are our best boosters. Keep telling our people, in frequent short articles, of the progress and success of the radio program. Radio logs can be scattered by the hundreds of thousands by the church people, and also sent to your radio audience, at their request, to distribute. We have tried to make our logs do double duty. For a while we printed a log with pictures of the staff or some scene suggesting our type of pro gram, but for the past few years we have enlarged the log to an eight-page folder, 53/4 by 33/2 inches, and printed a radio sermon in it, changing the sermon about three times during a year. We found that the expense was about the same, and we were able to give a message with the log. The schedule of radio programs appears in the back or front.

6. Arrange with the conference officials for a radio hour at camp meetings. For years we have originated our regular program from the main auditorium, where our people have a chance to see and share in putting a program on the air. They will go home and enthusiastically invite their neighbors to listen in.

7. Rally meetings in all the towns within the area of your broadcast should be held. People like to meet the group they hear on the air. At every meeting urge co-operation in getting new listeners. Always have a supply of radio logs for them to pass out.

8. We have some of our members in the various cities who carry news of the broadcasts from door to door, in a tactful way inviting people to listen in, and at the same time giving them a log. They have passed out thousands of logs. This personal contact is very effectual and reveals many interesting things.

9. The telephone is another method of informing the public of your program. Large numbers of people can be told of the program in a brief, well-worded statement giving the hour and the station and a cordial invitation to tune in.

10. First, last, and all the time the broadcaster must be conscious that he is doing God's work, co operating with One who is able to, and will, impress hearts to dial to his program. Our faith will not go unrewarded. The whole program, in preparation and execution, must be planned to win for Christ the lost, and to strengthen the faith and courage of all who listen. There is no such thing as failure when working with God in His work.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

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By JULIUS L. TUCKER, Evangelist, Northern California Conference tinct, smooth, persuasive, gentle, ever breathing sincerity.

September 1944

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