Interaction from listeners is obviously important to any show, but I can’t help but feel we place a bit too much emphasis on it.

Does the amount of texts/calls or tweets about a particular bit of content actually reflect the enjoyment or engagement of the audience, or even how good it was?

I got thinking about this after Saturday night’s show. For me it was the best show for a long time, noticeably better than last week. I mean it was hardly Chris Evans in his heyday at radio 1 but for my tinpot level it was pretty decent. However the interaction was significantly down on the week before……this might not actually be a problem though.

Many times when I’ve hosted events and met listeners, they have recalled on air bits they enjoyed, usually recounting them in great detail and with great affection, however at the time most of these bits had, had no reaction what so ever. A fellow presenter on the dearly departed play radio in Southampton would often moan he had no interaction, yet every cab driver I met would talk about how much they loved his show, and spoke about specific parts of it endlessly.

This begs the question ‘is reaction really the be all and end all?’. Taking this and last week’s Saturday night show as a comparison. I’d say maybe not.

Below are two similar items form each show. One being the story about my nan from last week, the other being an answer phone message from my drunk brother, both on air stories about my family, but the brother ‘bit’ is far superior – It’s just more engaging, interesting and told better.

This weeks (Brother Story) 

Last Week (Nan Story) 

Yet the reaction for this weeks story was much worse than the previous, we only received a couple of texts commenting on the drunk message and nothing elsewhere.

Now obviously there’s other factors in play, there could be a big TV show or event on meaning less people are listening to the radio, but it can’t change that much week to week.

Even more interestingly is when you compare the same feature from each week. For example the new music review (listeners reviewing new songs In the style of someone famous), This week’s Dappy from N-dubz inspired text in was again much better than the previous week, listen for yourself

This Week: 

Last Week: 

Yet the reaction was again less than last time.

However (and this made all the difference) there was one noticeable positive in this week’s correspondence. The reaction may have been less, but the quality was heaps better. Texts were well written, detailed and exactly what I was looking for.

(Beyonce and Dappy Text examples

beyonce reviews

So maybe it’s more about the quality of reaction that signifies if the audience have actually connected or enjoyed the on-air bit? If someone is taking the time to think about a good response and then writing it in detail, and not just texting ‘lol. Love free radio’ then maybe they are more engaged with and enjoying the content?

This might be more difficult in the world of Facebook and it’s endless quest for easy likes and shares, who knows. But I’d rather receive 5 clever detailed meaty responses than twenty ‘LMFAO’s’.

Quality over quantity might be the answer to something being really well received then?

Either that or I’m just trying to justify why we don’t get a good response at the weekend……….Let’s plump for the former!