You’ve heard the phrase “Beauty’s only skin deep.” You have to peer behind the “veil” of beauty to see what you really have. The same applies to radio ratings. Let’s assume that the metro area you live in is comprised of 8 counties. 8 counties will make up the rating points that are being quoted to you by most media reps. But if you demand a county-by-county report to see what the listenership is in each separate county, you may find that the station you THOUGHT was highly-rated turns out to be highly rated in only a few of the 8 counties. And when you look at some of the other counties, the station may be in the middle or bottom of the rankings. If your business comes from all 8 counties, you are losing out on a lot of prospects, thinking that you have them covered with a station that is dominant overall but weak in certain geographic areas. Depending upon how much money you are spending, you should wrangle extra concessions out of the “dominant” station to make up for lackluster ratings in the other counties where you do business and where that dominant station in no longer dominant. Sometimes just 20 or 30 miles away to the next county can be dramatically lower in listenership. Rating numbers can deceive you unless you understand what is behind those numbers.