Before you start make sure to take a look back at what just happened in Spring around your brand and also take a look at what went on last Fall.
Here are some areas to focus on:
- Long Term Trends in Fall - Fall is a busy time in radio with lots of activities that do affect listening patterns:
- School starts, Summer Vacations and Hours are gone.
- Sports picks up with the World Series, College Football, NFL, NASCAR Cup and Hockey-Basketball kick off at the end. Are the males watching a lot more TV?
- How does your station perform in past Fall books? Is your TSL off, does the Cume drop? Are there sample patters - perhaps you see more return from Females or older demos in most Fall books. Does your station also have a pattern - UP in Spring and Down in Fall? Or the opposite? What's causing it and is there an adjustment you can make to lessen the impact or build on the momentum?
- Market Events - Any big festivals, holiday events, or community promotions that stand out that you could build cume and brand images from? Did anything happen in Sports that may have changed the book and could it happen again?
- Station Events - What was your big event or contest from last Fall - what really moved the meter for your brand in the market. Can you do it again and if you can how can you make it fresh and better?
- Format Trends - Is the 'national spotlight' on for your music genre? Are there adjustments you need to make in the music mix? Take a long look at the charts and the music trends for the format from a big picture and also focus on how your music scheduling is set up? Also look ahead at the artists planning releases and are their any patterns for the Fall in your music genre? Most of the big activity in new music slows down or stops before Thanksgiving - how does that affect the last month? Are you closing with a stale mix in currents? Can you adjust, or should you?
- Was there a promotion or event that really worked in Spring? Note it for next year and brainstorm on it now. Also look at what opportunities you have in Fall to equal the gains you got from the Spring. If you had an event that didn't perform up to par - what can you do to fix it or is it time to look at something else.
- Competition - Did a competitor do something that stood out? Did someone make significant changes in their approach or product? What effect is that likely to have on the numbers?
- Did you have a Good, Bad or just Average game?
Take a look at what you've learned from evaluating all these points and maybe a few more that you hit on and set 3 goals. Setting a lot more could set you up for confusion or a struggle to focus enough to really execute. Pick your goals to have the biggest impact and keep them in front of you as you plan the Fall. It will be here sooner than you think.