Competitive Review Checklist

 In Blog

In a recent edition of this newsletter, we shared an article about how you can strengthen your team’s strategy by conducting a thorough review of what your competitors are up to.

We received a huge response about that article. So to expand on it, here is a checklist of some specifics for radio shows to pay attention to (and you TV people can adapt it for your purposes) as you review the bad guys across the street:

DO MORE OFTEN: Measure if they are doing the good stuff more often than you.

  • Killer content (engaging stories, friendly conflict, drama, comedy)
  • Relevant content (the target audience cares about this subject)
  • Clear point of view from each cast member (emotion, opinion, inner thoughts, personal stories.)
  • Identifiable HD characters (how many of their cast are generic hosts vs. real people?)
  • Fast setups – segments start within :08 seconds without preamble
  • # Songs per hour
  • Laughs (audible, genuine laughter from cast)
  • Laughs (laughter from you as a listener)
  • Interaction in features and newscasts.
  • Audio clips
  • Interactive contests
  • Even content distribution throughout ¼ hour, hour and the show (mix of songs, content, information)
  • Recycle A/Power content
  • Mic balance between (equal) cast members

DO LESS OFTEN: Measure if they drive away audience more/less often than you.

  • Commercials per hour
  • Caller 9-style contests with little or no entertainment value
  • # Minutes traffic reports (More listeners are getting info from apps like Waze)
  • # Minutes weather (Brief is OK unless it’s severe weather)
  • Time checks
  • Generic information (Content could be delivered by any show)
  • Talk segments over five minutes in length
  • Negativity
  • Political ranting

You can add/subtract specifics to this list as you see fit – especially if you have market research that indicates (for example) that local news is important to your audience (do more of!) and world news is not relevant (do less of!)

Afterwards, break down both your programming and your competitors with a SWOT analysis:

STRENGTHS: (Significant advantage over competitor)

WEAKNESSES: (Significant advantage over competitor)

OPPORTUNITIES: (Areas that could be improved)

THREATS: (Areas susceptible to attack. Example: Too-long traffic reports, too few songs, content not relevant to target audience, etc.)

Then, write out your team’s Action Plan: Outline your show’s overall strategy and plan of attack in a paragraph. How will you highlight your strengths? How will you attack the competitor’s weakness? How will you highlight the differences in imaging and marketing?

Finally, list your Tactical Plan: List each tactic (action) that the team will act on.


Filter all content to be super-relevant to men.
Limit traffic reports to major incidences only.
Play more music in the 9AM hour.

A – imperative actions that will be done

B – actions that are nice if possible (or if we can afford it!)

C – unimportant actions to be revisited only if A and B are complete

Let me know at if you try a competitive review and analysis with your team and share what you learned and acted on.


Photo Credit: mt 23/Flickr

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