Creating discomfort when doing content is one way to make the break memorable. Adding in sex or nudity also gets the attention of the audience (if that tactic fits your brand). As a weekly Valentine’s Day feature a few weeks ago, The Josie Dye Show, Indie 88, Toronto gave prizes to listeners who’d allow them to conference in their parents to ask where they first had sex when they met. The thesis generates intrigue. But the show knew it couldn’t ask listeners to go there (calling their parents publicly to ask that question) unless they were willing to do it, too. So, Josie called her mom to ask the big question, generating not only a very human reaction, but wonderful character development for her. From that starting point, the listeners were in on the task, and the show was off to the races to create a memorable Valentine’s Day idea that made listeners lean forward when they did it. Here are two breaks of Josie calling her mom and a listener following suit.
Archive for month: February, 2019
Have you seen the pictures of Shawn Mendes modeling the Calvin Klein underwear? Have the least in shape member of the team recreate the pictures for your social media feeds to generate some digital content and possibly get it to go viral!
Don’t tell me about what you have to give out – tell me HOW you’re giving it out. A client offered roses for Valentines Day to Two Men and a Mom, WRAL-FM, Raleigh. A good prize for the holiday, right? The win for 100% of the audience comes in how we give them out, because anyone listening when we do is affected by that – that’s how you earn images. which fuels wins. And caller ten won’t cut it. There is an iconic restaurant in Raleigh called the K&W Cafeteria. Those eating there are all over the age of 75. The show’s Bryan Lord, decked out in a tux, decided to become the K&W Casanova, serenading women eating lunch at their tables with a love song for Valentine’s Day, before giving them a rose. Four videos were done the week before for social media (here) with the best audio airing the week of Valentine’s Day. That’s how we gave out the roses – sticky and fun for anyone tuning in at any moment of the show while headed to work.
Listeners want to be brought inside stories – and the best people to do this are those actually in the story. What happens when a celebrity in the audience at the Oscars (Sunday, February 24) has to use the bathroom? The show has “seat fillers” who occupy the seat until the star returns. Using the power of the internet, find people who’ve done this to hear what it’s like.
When you use ancillary characters on a show, naming them in a descriptive way helps the audience understand their purpose or position on your program. The TJ Show, AMP 103.3, Boston regularly uses the other air talent on the radio station as a way to reflect its youth and help promote the other shows. Corrine does middays and she is bold and in charge as an air talent – she has a presence very few miss. She also has a ton of drama in her life, which is great content for any show. So, when she’s used on TJ’s program, they refer to her as Corrine the Hot Mess Express. The descriptor helps the audience understand the kind of content and stories Corrine adds to the breaks when they talk with her. That it’s alliterative helps it being memorable, too. Ultimately, to build personality images, any show is judged based on the connectivity and entertainment value of its personalities and content. Corrine adds in a way that is very positive. That the show refers to her in this way helps, as well. You’ll leave this break remembering Corrine – which is the goal.
With Valentine’s Day this week, call your parents and ask them where you were conceived! Then, flip the script and see if listeners will call their parents on the show to ask the same question (remember to keep things legal with all calls). Thanks to The Josie Dye Show, Indie 88, Toronto for this idea.
If I had a magic wand, I’d make many prep services disappear or rework what they offer morning radio.
With all due respect to my friends on that side of radio, too many shows use this input without ever developing the topics to share with listeners through their relevance to it.
For shows to be successful in defining who they are and what they’re all about as people (character development) so the audience can bond with them, they must have experiences in the community and in life so they have stories to tell.
My clients learn how to share stories of what they do in their communities and life on every call. This could be almost anything—attending a fundraiser to going shopping to doing laundry to taking their kids to a park.
Without talent getting out of the house, they can never gather these stories to share with their fans. So I always ask: where did you go and what did you do? Staying at home all weekend with the TV on and the blinds drawn makes for one rather boring personality. Getting involved in your community and in life generates interesting things to share with your audience.
Rick Jackson, who worked as a market manager in San Diego for Lincoln Financial, shared the secret sauce that turns average personalities into great ones (and it’s something Rick’s preached for the many years I’ve known him): personalities that cut through and are steps above everyone else gather wonderful stories and tell them well.
Stories stick. Being a master storyteller is way better than doing bits, stunts, and having clever one- liners. They might be good in the moment, but developing a bond with the audience through your experiences in life and the stories you tell cannot be beat. The great TV shows (reality, comedy, or drama) and the stellar radio personalities in our industry do this, which is why they win.
Rick goes on to say, “Great stories separate a great jock from a great personality. A great personality is the main dish in the entree and there aren’t many of those.” So for those talent who are married to your prep services, always ask how you can take an interesting item from what’s offered and personalize it so the audience can emotionally bond with you. So their reaction to the topic is not driven based solely on the topic alone, but on how it affected you.
Offer up few facts, figures, and survey results and get to your story very quickly, because inside stories are wonderful details along with twists, turns, conflict, and drama that will make you (and the topic) come alive.
If you’re a manager, ask your personalities: where did you go in the last several days and what did you do in life and the community to generate stories for your show so it shifts from being something potentially seen as generic and prep-service driven to a highly personal program.
Once done, your personalities rise above, connect with the audience, and become leverage into the station for more occasions of listening. One of our great strengths is the intimate relationship we have with those turning on the program. Accentuating and growing that element of your show leads to higher ratings and is an ongoing conversation worth having with the connected car and even more competition for listeners’ time just around the corner.
Need help learning how to become a master storyteller? Let’s chat.