With school back in session and the fall upon us, listeners are back to their post-summer routines. Inspired by the smart brand managers and talent I’ve been around, here are some reminders that will help your show:
- Let’s remember and assume the audience knows less about our show than we do. So…frequent resets of who’s on the program (introducing the cast regularly) will help both current and new listeners.
- Reset our regular features. “If you’re new to our show,” is a very powerful sentence because it’s a reset statement which allows you to explain, in one sentence, what the feature we’re about to do is all about. Giving them context will make it easier for them to listen.
- Teasing is critical to get more listening. Teases, if well-written, add forward momentum to a show and compel images that if listeners do have to leave, they’ll miss something great (so they might return the next day).
- Horizontal teasing is your most valuable tease – telling your 7:45 audience this morning the substantive thing you’re doing tomorrow morning at 7:45 is powerful. We stand a greater chance of gaining another occasion if we do this. Daily cume is critical to the ratings going up.
- Listeners know if you’re prepared. Know your topic, how you’ll get into it (hook them), support the topic, and then get out before you walk into the studio every day. Let’s show our fans that respect and leave them wanting more.
- Average attention spans are ten seconds. The first ten seconds are the most important of every break. Spend your most time on that and the audience will stay.
- Listeners’ default position is that they’re being sold something. Listeners come for great content. Give them that, then sell them something. Remember when talking about a station promotion (which is important to do), you’re selling them something as that isn’t perceived as content.
- Brevity is critical. It’s one of the keys to keeping listeners. Let’s not waste their time with breaks that don’t have a focus and game plan. A great writer values editing the most of all that they do. Ditto social media posts – those that do well tend to be short and take up no more space than they have to.
- I know we get tired of hearing the same old songs on the show, but the listeners don’t. Familiarity in everything is key to winning in morning drive. Support and be enthusiastic about everything your station does. You are a voice of trust and credibility to the audience and will be a bigger part of the station because of it. There’s no downside to that.
- We are an immensely mobile society so much of their listening is in cars. Think of this and imagine it as you’re designing your breaks. Our very, very, very best content should go in that block. We can create the greatest impressions when we have them as a captive audience in the car and give them our most entertaining content.
- Be brilliant at the basics. Weather, traffic, identifying the radio station by name, setting up breaks, having payoffs. Being great at the basics always helps to get that extra measure of ratings.
- Finally, the one thing listeners want more of than anything? Connection, fun, and laughter. With exception, they want an escape from the anxiety of life. Provide that human connection then be fun/funny/laughter/humor/silliness (pick your word) and give it to them and they’ll come back the next day for more. A connection, your honesty, and authenticity go a long way to character building and showing your humanity.
Fall is a great time to reset the show – freshen up your positioning and try new ideas as you recapture audience that changed over the summer due to lifestyle and new listeners find you.
For a printable copy of these reminders, click here.