Phone calls from listeners are standard fare and an easy and effective way to tell stories and create fun, engaging, relatable content. Where do yours come from? Some shows pull their phone topics from prep sheets and then tie their stories into the generic, evergreen topic suggested. A better place, and one that provides terrific character development for you and your team, is from those real time experiences you’re having in your life. Enter Koz and Jen, WTMX (The MIX), Chicago. Jen hosted a baby shower for a relative at her home, where the relative being celebrated was almost two hours late. The twists and turns of this story are most authentic to define Jen. The team then offers up the appropriate topic: what were you (or someone you know) very late for? A listener called to share that he was late to his own wedding, because he was sitting in his car in the parking lot listening to the radio. You’ll never believe what made him stay in the car. Here’s the break – great story telling, terrific fun, with the most appropriate questions and comments from the team to connect with the audience.
Archive for month: December, 2018
With lots of celebrities paying off fan’s layaway items, Mojo in the Morning, Channel 95.5, Detroit did the same. Without saying so, they asked listeners to call to tell them what they had placed on layaway at a store. With great phone screening, the items they heard about (where the funny happened) were: a Batman blanket, piranha fish, anal bleach (whatever that is), and a bong. They then told each caller they were paying off their layaway. The grand total was about $85 to tie into the topic and own it.
What happens when you marry something very relatable with something very odd? Memorable content! Big Dave from The Big Dave Show, B105, Cincinnati, lost his keys. He spent days trying to find them in the house. Listeners attach themselves to the relatable things the talent does – this is why it’s so important to do content that positions you as just like the audience – they wish to be around people just like them. After several days of not being able to locate the keys, the team decided to ask their favorite listener, Scarecrow, what to do. Scarecrow comes on each week to solve listener’s problems. She’s odd (in a good way), fun, and you obviously feel the chemistry between her and the show. Marry the relatable with the quirkiness of this feature, and you have one more thing this show does that no one can steal, making it a true point of differentiation between them and the rest of the market (you should have many of these).
Does every cast member of the show have their holiday decorations up in the house? Go grab some digital hits by each person taking a picture of their decorated living room, posting the picture on the website, and asking the audience to try and match the cast member with their photo. Bringing listeners “inside” your home is one reason they will interact with you on social media.
There are two universal topics that always work on any show, regardless of format: relationships and sex talk. A story that caught the attention of Jason and Michelle, FLY 98.5, Ft. Myers, FL was that Playboy.com is being sued by a blind person for discrimination. A gentleman who can’t see is suing them because he can’t enjoy the site. Frivolous and silly, but breaks about sex (as long as they fit your format) always cut through. The team perfectly executes this break by establishing the topic, succinctly framing the drama for those who don’t know, adding in a caller for commentary, then building to an unexpected payoff for the audience – what the porn site would sound like if it had a voice-activated element for those who could not see the pictures. Set up, details, payoff – great breaks execute the Three Act Play, if you will. Breaks need payoffs to keep them memorable and this team put that work in once they found the story for the audience.
Any idea what you bought your spouse or significant other last Christmas? Or what they got you? Time to put that to the test by having someone on in each cast member’s life and quizzing to see if they remember, too.