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.
There might be no better character development for radio talent then when they’re talking to relatives on the show. This is when they become regular people. The father of John from John and Tammy, KSON, San Diego, was celebrating a birthday. Listen to the birthday call to his dad below – how John becomes that disappointing son while retaining his self-deprecating sense of humor. In these breaks, listeners see themselves and walk away with the, “he’s just like me” image. That’s a very powerful element in developing a relationship with a listener so they return to the program.
You have two options when you have a personal experience that’s interesting enough for the listeners to hear. You can either just tell the story or you can record audio while it’s happening and bring some of that to the break to help listeners feel it. Dave and Veronica, WQYK, Tampa totally get the latter concept. Dave recently had an experience while in a men’s bathroom stall. Something happened a few stalls down so crazy to him that he decided to grab audio of it to help the break. The way he handled this is way more entertaining for the audience then him just recounting the facts.
Sometimes the very best content comes from the lives of the people on the show. This often is the kind of content that cannot be done by any other show because they don’t have the experience. Producer Mary’s sister, Katy, has the worst luck at dating, often making some very bad stories. This is fodder for The J Show, B96, Chicago, in a new feature they put on called “Train Wreck Katy”.
Here’s a fun and dark way to involve listeners in the upcoming execution of an inmate that might work on a male-targeted morning show. It’s called the Death Row Inmate Game. Karslon & McKenzie at WZLX, Boston describe the inmate and give listeners a shot at guessing an item in his last meal to win a prize. The approach adds dimension and emotion to the conversation and builds anticipation to hear the actual meal he’s chosen as his last.
Here’s an idea you can save for next Halloween. With the holiday approaching, and knowing that everyone can sing along with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, Rob and Joss, Froggy 92.9, Santa Rosa, CA got a local celebrity to do their version of the famous poem at the end of the song. Very clever and lots of fun, which helps them stand out in the market.
When a local story breaks, you can recount the facts as you know them from the paper, TV, or the internet. Or you can grab someone who was in the middle of the story and get them to tell you what happened. Doing the latter is much more interesting because you can ask questions and get firsthand perspective, making the story come alive. Dave and Veronica, WQYK, Tampa, heard that there was a streaker at the Rays baseball game the previous night. They found one of the arresting cops who knew more than they did and invited him on the show to create the fun break. The moral of the story: do the work to pull this stuff off and you’ll have something the rest of the market won’t.
Facebook is being used by all demos now, which is why we got into a conversation about it on Tiffany & Michael’s morning show on B101, Philadelphia. Specifically, news guy Bill Tafrow was bothered by the fact that an ex-girlfriend had de-friended him on Facebook. So, the only course of action was to get her on the show to find out why she did that.
If you want to grab the attention of the listeners, tell them a great story. Listeners love stories. Sean and Michelle, Lite Rock B103, Rockford, IL know this. Sean had an almost-odd encounter with a gas pump. He told listeners the story, with its twists and turns, then opened the phones. The very best listener stories come when you tell yours, then ask them to tell you theirs.
Last month on Karson & Kennedy on MIX 104.1, Boston, we did “The Race to 1K” where we challenged the two co-hosts to spend the month meeting listeners. The first to meet 1000 listeners won. This was another effort to get our team out in public and to generate lots of local content for the show through the audio they got during visits with listeners. Here’s one break which showed how much fun they had when they went out.
If you’re telling a story on the show that has other people involved, instead of just giving the details of the story yourself, get them to participate so there is more to play with. Karson and Kennedy, MIX 104.1, Boston, ventured into Karson’s relationship with his wife, Lana. She’d purchased a massage for him that he never used and this caused friction in their relationship. Their great producer, Mike Morgan, told Lana to listen to the break they were about to do on-the-air. He then had her leave a voicemail with her reaction (a novel approach). This break is Lana going off, uninterrupted, on Karson. It’s a terrific character building break because Lana is very real, very passionate, very opinionated, and very funny.