Archive for month: June, 2016
I wonder how a friend of yours would react if you called to check on them and said, at the top of the conversation, “I’m naked and thinking of you so I thought I’d call.” Or if you called your folks and confided in your mother, “I’m not sure you know, but I tinkle when I laugh.” Totally silly, and if you share with the audience what you’ll be telling the person you’re calling, they’ll lean in to hear the reaction.
There has been a slew of OJ Simpson programming on TV in the last few months. Reenactments of the case, ESPN’s five-part documentary on what happened behind the scenes. It’s all very riveting story-telling. That, in itself, is instructional of the power of telling a story in a way that grabs the audience, even if you know the outcome. How better to tie in than by finding someone directly attached to the story and ask the questions you want answers to? Norman Pardo was one of OJ’s agents after his acquittal. Did he think Simpson was guilty? Kyle and Rachel, Radio NOW, Indianapolis, asked Pardo this question, among others, in their interview of him at the height of the shows being on TV. I always ask talent what they did this week that no one else thought to do. This is something that would be on the list.
If you have a prize to give out and are looking for a fun thing to do that keeps listeners paying attention, play “The Short Term Memory Game”. Conduct a break (say, an interview around a topic). At the end of the break, launch the game and ask a question about something that was said. The correct caller with the right answer wins your prize and proves they were listening closely to what you were doing. Thanks to The Big Dave Show, B105, Cincinnati for this idea.
Here are two examples of taking one Hot Topic and doing two very distinctly different things with it. Having a broad range of creative ideas that resonate and entertain the audience around the highest equity topics of the day is important to keeping your show relatable and accessible. With Father’s Day upon us, Spencer’s Neighborhood, 106.5 The Arch, St. Louis, did two separate breaks that had a strategic goal of defining a cast member and entertaining the audience. The only parent on the show is Brando. In one break, Brando is “interviewed for the position of father” by one of his kids (questions written by the team). It is so cute and warm, it might melt your heart if you’re a parent. In the other, Spencer talks with his father about their relationship (very touching and intimate), defining him as a son and not as a morning show host. Both are below and both are excellent.
There are many ways to do character development on a show. The primary way is for a cast member to tell a story the audience can see themselves in and relate to. Stories are the absolute best way to define a character because they are powerful and memorable and give the room the best chance to show its organic sense of humor and chemistry as it’s being told. Spencer’s Neighborhood, 106.5 The Arch, St. Louis, did it in a unique way, defining two cast members in the process, in the break below. Spencer had Brando’s kids interview Ricki to learn more about her. In the process, I get to know Brando and his children and get answers to questions from Ricki about herself and her view of the world. Spencer being the mischievous person he is, wrote a few questions the kids would never think to ask, injecting his sense of humor into the break. All around, this is very effective character development.
An 82-year old man was singing heavy metal on “America’s Got Talent” last week. Why not have a talent competition amongst the grandparents of your listeners in the last week of the TV show, just as it’s crowning its new champion?
Here’s a feature you cannot steal because it’s driven by the personalities of the host and guest. Each week on The TJ Show, AMP 103.3, Boston, TJ talks with his nephew, Judah. The topics are always about life, with TJ needing some piece of advice. Nine-year old Judah is unbelievable cute, exceptionally eloquent, and very logical in his answers, making his innocence ring through. Of all the incredible features this show does, this is the one that scores highest for the audience because it is so novel and entertaining (as we say, “only on TJ”). In our efforts to separate ourselves from the entire market, this weekly bit scores big time. We’re securing each of the four necessary images to win: it’s fun to listen to, very authentic, completely innovative, and highly relatable.