In 2008 I was co-hosting the breakfast show on Radio 2000 with Nicole da Silva (now on 5FM).
As a build up to the 2010 World Cup, in South Africa, and as part of our public service mandate to foster a spirit around the event, we used to present a daily countdown to kickoff. It was a riveting feature that used an excel spreadsheet to keep us on track.
On 11 June 2008 (10 days before my last radio show on Radio 2000) we ran the feature just before 8am. 11 June was an important date as the World Cup was to kick off in exactly two years or 730 days. The excel spreadsheet said it was 738 days to kick-off.
For the better part of a year we had been sharing this "relevant" information with our audience, five times a week, and it was wrong. I'm not sure where it went wrong, but my excel knowledge tells me it was probably wrong from day one.
No one ever asked or questioned the countdown. We never checked it, but let me tell you, kick-off in
T-minus 738 days never sounded so good!
The fact that no-one ever asked is the point. No-one cared. We never cared. We never gave the audience a reason to care.
I saw an advert at the airport recently (pre-lockdown) that showed a picture of a young lady and an older lady. The text under the images asked, "what's the difference between these two woman?" The answer to the question was "288 Pay Cheques". The advert was relevant and relatable. The messaging was simple, the impact, effective.
Don't ever let an opportunity to connect with your audiences be a throw -away moment, make it matter.
As we embrace lockdown, Day 1, here's a countdown calendar so your audience know exactly how many days they've been in lockdown and how many more to go.
Use this free tool wisely, I'm almost sure the dates are accurate.