Who likes to get shots? Absolutely no one. And it usual dates back to when we were kids and had to go to the doctor. Which is why everyone on the show will get their yearly flu shot live on the air. So listeners can hear the trepidation and connect with laughter.
What is your connection to the story? Why was this meaningful for you? How did it impact you? We all know the devastation of the fires in Santa Rosa, CA. The visuals are searing. For Rob and Joss, Froggy 92.9, Santa Rosa, CA, they mean much more. Rob’s childhood home, and the house his mother lived in, burned to the ground. It was claimed 100% and they had to evacuate his mother to safety. Having a lifetime of memories in a home lost to wildfires is Rob’s connection to the horror. Rob not only shared this with the audience, along with pictures of the site, he wrote a very moving poem for his childhood home, the place with all his memories and moments and read it to the audience. One of your jobs is to move the audience to care about you. The audience pauses in this moment as they grieve with Rob and for him.
With Halloween about a week away, find some enterprising mother in the audience, bring her in Halloween morning, and have a local make-up artist give her a Monster Makeover. You can do all of this on Facebook Live to grab the visual side of this. Then join her at work to grab more audio for your next show and video for your social media channels.
There are several kinds of content you can do on your show. All of it signals to your audience that you understand what’s important to them and each of them has a strategic purpose. Pop culture says you’re tapped into whatever is hot right now. Personal stories give you an efficient vehicle to define yourself to listeners in a way where they see themselves. Lifestyle content communicates that you understand what they’re going through. One of my favorite features of all time is called The Bus Stop, done by Michael Chew, at MORE-FM (WBEB), Philadelphia. Michael was home early enough in the day to greet his kids as they returned from school on the bus. We hatched the idea that he’d asked the kids, as they got off the bus, about their day. Maybe it was because they were going to be on the radio or because they knew Michael as he was their neighbor, but what the kids offered was almost always very entertaining, and tapped into the lifestyle of the adult woman listening to the station who also had kids and encountered the same conversation when she got home.
There may be no bigger baseball city than Chicago. The morning after the Cubs eeked out an unexpected win over the Washington Nationals, Stylz and Roman, US99, Chicago knew radio that morning was no more difficult than putting listeners on to celebrate the victory (the win sent the team to the league championship game). Having one of the team’s biggest fans on your show certainly helps, as you’ll hear in the reactions. We oftentimes preach innovation against the big topics on this page. Letting listeners on to mine them for their enthusiasm when things like this happen helps the show easily bond with the audience while being terrifically local, too. Sometimes it’s no harder than this.
No doubt that the “in” voice now is Alexa. Scan the internet to find an Alexa sound-alike and ask her questions like if local sports teams will win their football games, and the like. Writing and producing funny Alexa responses to pop culture, local, or questions from listeners could be a nice, fun bit to do.
Last week brought the Las Vegas shootings and for many programs, a total overhaul of their Monday show plan. Imagine this – you wake up and find out that dozens of people are killed at an outdoor concert while you were sleeping. What do listeners want you to do on your show that day? Consider their needs. They wake up and start scrolling for information. Some turn on the TV, others go online, your fans turn you on. Some shows will bark that “balance is needed” on days like this (“we’ll do it twice an hour!”). Others say “we’re the escape” (as if by 7am they get in the car and they’re over it and know you’re the escape so they come to you), which is flawed thinking because people don’t choose you in their head, they come to you in their heart, to connect. The audience wants information, they want your take, they want you to reflect the emotions they’re feeling, and they want to be brought into the story. What factors into the decision is how we’re used. Listeners come, stay for ten minutes, then leave. So if you didn’t do a big story like this in that time, you didn’t do it at all, hence a disconnect. Two Men and a Mom (Kyle, Bryan, and Sarah) at WRAL-FM, Raleigh trashed their game plan that day and worked furiously to find people who were there – people who could offer up a first person experience to the story. Here are two interviews they did that day (and played a lot) to prove they were totally in sync with where their audience was in that moment. (If you want to know how they found these two people, reach out to me.)