The very beginning of an interview is the critical moment listeners decide if it’ll be meaningful and entertaining. If you open in a broad, accessible way, there’s a greater chance listeners will stay through it. Which is why, at the beginning of every interview you could do something quirky. Like let listeners guess what the celebrity ate for breakfast that morning, then make that your very first question when the interview starts.
The next time you have concert tickets to give out, do this fun thing Rob and Joss, Froggy 92.9, Santa Rosa, CA did. It’s called “Sing the Mystery Song”. You guys place a hit record in a sealed envelope done by the artist. Don’t tell listeners what it is. Tell them to call and the moment you answer, they must start singing any song recorded by the artist. If the song they’re singing is the one you chose and is in the envelope, they win the tickets.
In Mitt Romney’s speech at the RNC a few weeks ago, he said his father left a rose every morning for his mother on the nightstand. Here’s a week long narrative arc designed to make the guys on your show more romantic. They tell the audience they want to leave a love letter for their wife/girlfriend each morning before they leave for work. Each day, listeners help them write a letter which is left the next morning before they leave for the station. At the anointed time, you call the female to get her reaction and then write the next day’s note with listener’s help. At the end of the week, the wife/girlfriend grades the week and determines if her guy has become more romantic.
Street audio is always a viable way to get regular voices of listeners on the show. We love unique frames and found one: The Food Court. Go to area malls and have fun conversations with people in the food court. Edit together the fun exchanges for this recurring feature.
With the explosion of Twitter and Facebook, it seems like all people want to do is talk about themselves. This is a new feature called “I Wanna Talk About Me”. Open the phones and tell listeners to call and talk about themselves. If they keep you engaged for longer than ten seconds, hang with the call and give them something. If they don’t, buzz them out and move on to the next call.
What might be fun is finding a very fun person at the station who’ll anchor the game “50 Shades or 50 Cent”. They read your listener either a line from the book “50 Shades of Grey” or a lyric from a 50 Cent song. Make sure to have the 50 Cent audio and the passage from audio book of “50 Shades” to prove it and add to the production value of the break. Thanks to Fernando and Greg, NOW 99.7, San Francisco for this idea.
Seems like everywhere you go, women are reading “50 Shades of Grey”. What might be funny is to approach anyone you see reading the book in the next couple of weeks and play really dumb by asking them what that book is all about. Pretend like you don’t know. String together the awkward answers women give you to see how they explain it.
No doubt when each member of the morning show leaves the building, you go places to run errands and do other things before heading home. This character building bit is called “Who Went Where”. Read the list of where one person on the show went and listeners must guess who went to all those places the day before.
With Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes now officially divorced (it was the fastest divorce ever), convince a couple to sign their divorce papers on your show live one morning. You might need a judge, and the lawyers and couple will need to come to the station, but it’ll be a big experience listeners might talk about.
With Mitt Romney’s choice for his vice presidential candidate a few weeks away, every member of your team should endure the vetting process to see who’s the “cleanest” to become a veep. Find a lawyer (or ask a local politician to help if you know one) who will probe very deeply into the backgrounds of every cast member of the program. Make sure all of the highly personal questions are asked. In this multi-day narrative for the show, the lawyer comes on the last day and reveals which cast member has the least skeletons in their closet. This is a very pure and highly entertaining character development bit if structured right.