Story-telling is the most powerful thing a show can do with its content. Charlie Sheen announces that he is HIV positive. What resulted is Karson and Kennedy, MIX 104.1, Boston hearing from a listener who is also HIV positive from her former boyfriend. Personalizing your content, telling immensely powerful, first-person stories, is great radio. We talk all the time with shows about not handling stories like this on the surface (sharing facts as you know them – which anyone can do), but digging very deep, sharing with listeners how this affects you and being honest enough with your fans on your take on the story is a terrific way to define your character. The listener in this audio clip emailed the show to share her story (resulting in her coming on the program) because she feels like she knows the cast and trusts them. When big stories happen, you want the audience to wonder your take, to tune in because you go miles deep to explore things, and because you’ll be vulnerable enough with them to connect in very personal ways.
Archive for month: November, 2015
Know that tangled string of Christmas lights you have in the house? Challenge a show member to untangle them. The curve ball can be that they compete against a brainiac from a local college who will, at the same time, try to figure out Rubik’s cube. First to do it wins. This is a visual so make sure you grab that for social media. And to add a twist, invite a local sportscaster in to do the play-by-play as things unfold.
Spinning around the dial the Monday after the Paris terrorist attacks, anxious to hear how talent connected with the audience, one of the gold awards goes to Rob and Joss, Froggy 92.9, Santa Rosa, CA, who worked their ass off the day after to find someone in the middle of it all. They found a local couple in Paris that evening on their honeymoon, who called a friend for dinner, who blew off a heavy metal concert he had a ticket to (yes, it’s that concert). They ended up having dinner close to the attacks. You can give facts or tell stories. You can regurgitate what you’ve read or do the work to bring me inside the story. They hit every button on this, even recording and editing the interview on Sunday and airing it in each hour on their Monday show. It was that powerful. This proves that work and prep does lead to unique, story-based radio the audience leaves talking about.
The big box stores ain’t going nowhere. They have large footprints and massive marketing budgets. That’s why you’ll get behind your market’s small businesses by showing them some love through Christmas. This is the time of year that makes or breaks their year. So do “(Your Town’s) A-Z: The 26 Days of Christmas”. Once a day, choose a letter in the alphabet and let any employee of a local small business starting with that letter call to plug where they work. The image you’ll get from this is that you support the little guy. Which is very powerful.
With Thanksgiving about a week away, play the “I Wonder” game. I wonder…what Thanksgiving is like at the governor’s mansion. I wonder…what Thanksgiving is like in prison. I wonder…is a way to have interesting conversations with atypical people your audience will lean into.
It’s the marriage of the high equity topic along with something creative that makes for a fun, memorable experience for those tuning in. That experience sets you up for another occasion of listening because you’ve earned the images of being innovative and fun (laughter), two things that make a positive impression on your fans. The Big Dave Show, B105, Cincinnati, seizes on the Starbucks controversy by doing their parody of Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup” with “Red Starbucks Cup”. This is completely silly and the audience is giggling while listening, setting up for them to return the next day for more.
In a brainstorm a few weeks ago with The Cruz Show, Power 106, Los Angeles, we decided we wanted to do our version of Jimmy Kimmel’s excellent bit where parents tell their kids they ate their Halloween candy. So, we devised a scenario where Jeff Garcia, the show’s executive producer and father of two young boys, would tell them that Donald Trump had cancelled Halloween. The team added another layer or two into the idea and then Jeff executed our plan, recording his kids in the process. Everyone was talking about Halloween. But only one show in the market thought of this idea to entertain the audience and make them laugh. Which makes this highly relatable and memorable.