Summer: Time to Evaluate

Summer is the time to squeeze in vacations, sponsor festivals and, more importasummer 2014ntly, take stock of your station’s situation. While HUTs often dip mid-summer this is a good time to step back and re-evaluate your product and promotion. Take the time now to make sure you’re on track with your goals, your strategy and timelines. And if some course corrections are necessary, lay out your plan for making them happen.  Here are a few ways to get the evaluation ball rolling.

Pull out your Strategic Plan and review it. Have the goals or priorities changed? Are you still striving to define your brand in the same way? How are you doing on timelines for implementation? What adjustments need to be made? It’s crucial to stay in touch with the big picture and to make sure everyone is clear about the direction you’re going.

If you haven’t yet, conduct a post-sweeps review with all departments (especially news and promotion). Include everyone and review how effective the processes were in May, what went right or wrong, and how you’d like to do it differently next time.

Summer is a great time to do research to find out how viewers see your product.  Is your product seen as truly distinctive and is it valued?  Are you pursuing the best positioning opportunity in the market? These are important questions to answer.

Evaluate your daily topical promotion effort. Was the content appealing to the lead-in audiences? Declining HUTs and fractured audiences make it more important than ever to finely tune retention strategies. If you want to know with more certainty, there are several research tools to help define very specific strategies – from surveys that determine specific audiences’ content preferences to topical style to whether or not your anchors should appear in the spot.

Evaluate web site and social media procedures. How quickly are important stories posted on the web site? How is the web site used to support on-air coverage? How effective are your social media efforts in supporting your website and on-air? Those are just a few of the ways you can evaluate where you’re at now and if you’re on the right path for growth.

Summer is speeding by but taking some time to evaluate is time well spent. The process not only keeps your station on-track but will reinvigorate the team and bring renewed commitment to your goals. If you’re overwhelmed by the day-to-day and need help getting a written strategic plan together, evaluating promotion or product, or helping staff with feedback, let us know. We’d be happy to help.

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