​Whatever happens this survey, there’s one thing you can count on … | radioinfo

​Whatever happens this survey, there’s one thing you can count on …

Monday 10 March, 2014

“The results will be in line with expectations.”

Every program/content director worth their salt has this phrase in their arsenal of initial responses to questions about survey results: “It’s in line with our expectations.” Good, bad or indifferent, it’s this phrase that endows the user with infinite wisdom.

It gives the impression that while the results may be in the toilet, everything’s under control. Despite the screams of his nubile assistant and blood pouring out of the saw box the magician assures us, “It’s all part of the act folks.”

The exception is when the results are really, really good. They won’t admit to them being “beyond expectations,” that would give the game away. Rather, they’ll pave the way for a corresponding drop next time by saying something like, “Yes, of course, we’re pleased (it’s a team effort etc.) but the competition is very strong and they’ll work hard to regain the lead next time.”

Which leads us to the other statement you can count on tomorrow from PD/CDs. “It’s early days yet. The next survey will give us a clearer picture of where we are headed.”

Of course, this is true. Since surveys began, the most important survey has always been the next one. Again, this is an all purpose phrase that can both take the sting out of a bad result and curb enthusiasm for a good one.

Whatever the result, tomorrow is the dawn of a new era for both the survey itself, with GfK taking over from Nielsen after 66 years, and the regeneration of so many stations due to unprecedented personnel movements.

Perhaps there’ll be some new phrases added to the PD/CDs’ arsenal too.

Survey 1 will be released at 10 am tomorrow on radioinfo.

Magic trick photo: shutterstock

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