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The Power of a Title

It was the best ratings debut for a new series in the history of Animal Planet.

And the name of the show was Hillbilly Handfishin’.

In the ocean of choices on cable TV, how does one series stand out from the rest, particularly if folks are making their viewing choices from an on-screen guide?

The answer:  Start with a great title.

How do you prove that?  “I don’t have to,” says Animal Planet’s president Marjorie Kaplan in Fast Company:

Just say it three times and it’s true.  In a world where people are scrolling through [programming guides] and you never have enough marketing money, if you can put out a title and people go, ‘I’ve got to watch that….’

Now in the radio world there are rarely programming guides to scroll through (a separate problem and a separate post, to be sure, because there should be). But there’s still an acute need to get noticed.  And to be talked about so others notice you, too.

The water cooler conversation – real or virtual – needs to be sparked somehow.  And the pithiest unit of attention-grabbing, interest-generating energy you can define is a program’s or segment’s title.

“More music morning show”?  Yawn.

“Johnny, Kenny, and Cindy in the Morning?” Yawn.

“All Request Hour?” Yawn.

Create a standout, memorable title, then live up to it.

That’s how you get noticed.  That’s how you attract trial in a world where every listener occasion counts.

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