AudioGreat breaks achieve a positive strategic goal back to the show. They communicate, both in content and presentation, something about the show plot. Breaks which score are real, relevant, and fun. They earn you valuable images. Here are some breaks by Reynolds Group shows which achieve this.
Dave and Veronica, WQYK, Tampa were born and raised in the community and, as a morning show, are uber local. This image has contributed to their incredible success in the county war in the market. Part of that win has been doing ideas which only people who live in town understand. Hence, Pen of the Day. An irregular feature where they ask businesses to mail them a company pen and, with a quirky production value which signals tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek, they highlight a local business. You stand out by the inventive ideas you do to drive an image. These two examples do that.
Once around the holidays, it’s an unspoken truth that people at work show up just to show up. They just don’t care about work. John and Tammy, KSON, San Diego tested this theory last week, believing that many of the sales people at the station had really stopped working the previous week. In this fun break, they talked to sales folks to gauge their interest for work, disguised their voices, then brought their very fun sales manager in to hear the audio. Great, memorable radio is about connecting with the audience and entertaining them with something your competitors didn’t think to do. This audio is a terrific example of that.
Relationships are the most universal topic choice a show can make. Tell a story to the audience about relationships and they’ll tend to lean forward, especially if there is conflict and humor in the story. Jody, Rebekah, and David, KLUV, Dallas talked about things bosses should never say to their employees. This topic is even more universal because it’s about one of those people listeners love to hate, their employer. Here’s a simple, yet very fun and effective break, with listeners telling the absurd things their bosses said to them.
A few weeks ago when the midterm elections were topic #1, Stacey K and Jonah, HOT 101.7, Santa Rosa, CA added their twist to the topic when each did a negative ad on the other. They figured out how to take the boring, polarizing topic of politics and the election and make it fun. In this break, we not only get a feel for Jonah’s sense of humor in his ad about Stacey, but he was smart and preserved the first airing of it as the first time Stacey would hear it, too, allowing for a natural reaction. This is terrific character development for both, as we learn about Stacey and get a vibe for their chemistry.
There’s the adage that the only interviews which don’t work on the radio are the ones that suck. Last week were midterm elections and listeners had no desire to hear talking points about boring issues from candidates. Until you get to Karlson and McKenzie, WZLX, Boston, who interviewed a candidate for governor (who won). Listen to the questions they ask. They are neither political (where do you stand on…) nor standard (boxer or briefs…). They ask questions which let us get to know the candidate as a person yet are exceptionally off-kilter to elicit from the candidate both his humanity and laughter.
Doing fun things with the topics of the day creates a wonderful experience for listeners that compels them to laugh and return to the show. PPM is a measure of experiences and here’s one that sets the audience up for another occasion of listening. John and Tammy, KSON, San Diego, know putting cute kids on the show works in their efforts to attract adult women to their program. In “Name that Halloween Candy” they had a young girl read (struggle actually) the ingredients of a Halloween candy with a listener having to guess the candy. This works on multiple levels in their efforts to give the audience a good time and connect with their content.
To thrive, personality shows must affirm images. The four critical images are those of humor, authenticity, innovation, and relevance. Here’s a terrific break from Dave and Veronica, WQYK, Tampa, which tackles all four, and very successfully. Dave showed up at a town hall meeting with the mayor of St. Petersburg. Going last, he asked the mayor, unexpectedly, to read the Vincent Price poem at the end of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. This took both the mayor and the room (who were complaining about red lights and poor roads) totally by surprise. The mayor, seeing the opportunity, did it, with all having had a good time. There was danger involved in how Dave set this up, as he thought he’d get kicked out of the room. But the exact opposite happened and the show got a great break, loaded with the four images noted above, producing an experience for those listening that was exceptional satisfying.
Best breaks of the week go to Kyle and Rachel, Radio NOW, Indianapolis. This shows that from the smallest of comments, great ideas can emerge if you just listen for them. On a conference call last week, Bryan Lord (a cast member) said, in casual conversation, that one of the things he hates about hooking up for sex was what his butt looked like when he got out of bed, especially if the gal stared at him. He hates his ass. Seizing on that small comment, we came up with an idea for Bryan to take a selfie of his ass in the bathroom, which was texted to some female listeners in the moment, who came on to critique Bryan’s behind. We created intrigue, which then pushed listeners to the web to see what it looked like. That partial nudity was involved helped the bit. Here are the three breaks and how it evolved on-air. Quite entertaining for those just listening.
A major effort of morning radio is positioning each person on the show as though they’re just like those listening. Recently, Ryno, from Ryno and Tracy, KYGO, Denver, took a few days off to attend a high school reunion. He could’ve just talked about it on the air. Instead, Tracy surprised him by getting on some classmates Ryno hadn’t talked to in quite some time. What’s wonderful about this break is that he had no idea so his reaction was very spontaneous. This added to the entertainment quotient and energy of the break for the audience who were just eavesdropping and reminiscing about their school reunions.
This week’s post is all about seizing the moment. Having heard that a lost wedding ring was found at a Jason Aldean concert, John and Tammy, KSON, San Diego went into action to find the person who belonged to the ring. The most universal content topic for your show is relationships. John shared the story of losing his to provide character development and a connection point. Then, using the show, they found the guy who lost the ring and brought all the elements together. This is terrific because it’s real life and unique radio you won’t find in a prep service. Here are two breaks – one where they talked to the person who found the ring and the other a conversation with the guy who actually lost it.