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Getting a real assessment of your community radio programming can help make it better. And it’s not as difficult as you often believe.

Program evaluations are essential for every community radio station. Feedback on a break, pacing and so forth can help make a program better, and the listening experience more pleasurable. However, program evaluations can be a lot of work.

How does one go through 168 hours a week of programming? One possibility is getting an unaffiliated person to listen.

Services like Mechanical Turk and Fiverr offer people willing to critique for a small fee. Rivet Radio offers this input on such a method:

Of course, the people offering feedback don’t have the experience of a Program Director, but that doesn’t mean they can’t offer you useful insights. The practice is similar to how movie studios use test screenings.

Some of the feedback you get will be incredibly helpful while some of it will be useless, but that’s okay because it’s inexpensive. At the end of the day, be on the lookout for suggestions that come up repeatedly; that’s the sign that you need to take them seriously.

Obviously, this method is not a substitute for detailed program evaluations, but it may help community radio stations get an outside look at what people hear when they listen to a show and the radio station.

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