Transmitters (Issue 1135)

In which we are reminded to increase our reach through "transmitters" in our networks.

One night, we went to see a college 12-person A Capella ensemble perform. Their repertoire was a mix of contemporary mainstream pop and Great American Songbook (my favorite!). The theater seated 1,000; there were about 300 of us in the audience for their performance. And lucky we were. The theater is very “alive”; the acoustics are brilliant. We heard the group clearly with only modest amplification. They stood in a semi-circle facing three stand-mounted microphones that soloists used to amplify their voices a bit over their mates’ choral support. And they performed spectacularly well – beautiful, rich arrangements professionally performed. Amazing.

Which was great, as far as it went – we 300 were treated to a show that nobody else could hear.

Except that…

The college radio station broadcast the concert so it reached dozens or hundreds more people in the surrounding community, extending the performers’ reach in a roughly 15-mile radius around the theater.

And, although no other stations or networks picked up the performance, if they had, the performance could have been heard and enjoyed over a much, much wider area, hundreds or miles or more.

Coincidentally, I was watching Ken Burns’ series on the development of country music in the United States. The number of listeners and the popularity of country music increased dramatically in the 1920s and 1930s once stations with powerful, 50,000-watt transmitters like WSM in Nashville (the Grand Ole Opry) or WLS in Chicago (the National Barn Dance) began broadcasting the music weekly over wide swaths of America.

All of which prompted me to think: No matter how great our message is to the people we can reach personally in one venue or another, we can engage and attract many more people to us (and our message or our services) if we develop “transmitters” in our personal networks – people who, like an 800-watt college radio station or a 50,000-watt WSM, can repeat and extend our music or our messages to communities in which we are not or cannot be present.

Nick Miller is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. He assists banks and credit unions to generate more and more profitable relationships, faster, with business clients, their owners, and their employees through better sales strategies and execution. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

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