Today's post is from Jacobs Media's talent maven, Keith Cunningham. While it may surprise you, he's an Oprah fan, and here's why:
OK, I know what you’re thinking: “Keith, you’re a rock guy. What can we possibly learn from the queen of daytime television?”
Well, over my years of coaching radio personalities, I’ve kept a close eye on other larger-than-life talents, like Jay Leno and Jon Stewart. And I’ve taken good notes. In the case of Oprah, we’ve watched her evolve and grow into one of the most powerful personalities on the planet.
Here are six simple reasons why she’s become the most influential woman in the world – and a bigger star than even Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh:
1. Audience First, Me Second - Oprah understands the importance of putting her audience first. Too often, radio personalities are guilty of prepping their shows based on what they care about – not what the audience is into and what will they be talking about tomorrow.
But similar to the situation for radio shows, Oprah’s personality and her opinions are very important, too. Her audience looks to her for guidance – whether it’s the next book they should read or awareness of issues that may impact them. She naturally weaves her persona into her show, leaving the audience feeling as though they genuinely know her.
2. A Multi-Platform Entertainment Brand - Obviously, Oprah’s job doesn’t start and end with her TV show. The hour we see on ABC is only a small part of what she works on every day and week. She’s a radio host, magazine publisher, author, actor, movie and TV producer, production company CEO, TV network executive, and an online maven. And let’s not forget philanthropist and activist. She didn’t get to where she is without a lot of drive and hard work.
3. On-Demand, Video, Exclusive Content -
Here are two key takeaways about Oprah.com:
Video: Whether it’s featuring exclusive, online clips viewers can’t get on TV or on-demand segments from her show, the website is a virtual cornucopia of video content and it’s updated daily. Oprah recognizes that her online presence needs to be its own unique content brand.
Lifestyle: Oprah and her team have mastered the art of tapping into the lifestyle interests of her audience. She covers the full spectrum of her viewers’ interests, from offering step-by-step details on a 21-day cleanse, fashion tips from Rita Wilson, Top Chef recipes, and even health, life, relationship and financial advice from the likes of Suze Orman, Dr. Oz and Deepak Chopra.
4. Prep Is King - While Oprah has a major league staff and there are spontaneous elements to her show, she’s prepped to the hilt. Rarely would someone say, “Wow, Oprah had a bad show today.” She is always well prepared for each segment, and the quality of her performances, guests, and features is uniformly strong.
5. Innovation & Evolution - Oprah is always trying new things. Whether it’s new projects outside of TV, new “audience challenges,” or new benchmarks, Oprah is never predictable or stale. She never rests on her laurels, and realizes that with all that competition, her show needs to be sharp and buzz-worthy.
6. The Art of Pre-Promotion - The last lesson is an important factor in Oprah’s success. If you visit her website or Facebook page, her team is expert in pre-promotion. Of course, you can find out what’s coming up each day, but the difference is in the compellingness of the teasing. Here’s a recent example from Facebook:
Monday's show could save your life. Let us know you'll be watching by RSVP'ing below.
Yes, it's dramatic, but it's also very effective.
Oprah didn’t become Oprah without working hard, dialing into her audience, and creatively challenging her staff – and her viewers. Aside from her immense talent and vision, she communicates that she cares about her audience. And they return her efforts with loyalty and viewership.