Be honest, where is your enthusiasm and interest level on a scale of 1-10 knowing that it’s National Steve Reynolds Day?
If you said it was resting comfortably at a zero, I’d get it. I’m Steve Reynolds and even I don’t care. And yet I listen to some personalities who think telling me that this is National Pest Control Week or today is National Doughnut Day is morning show content. It isn’t content, because it’s irrelevant to listeners’ lives. A close friend calls it “empty calories with no strategic purpose in a break.” I call it chatter that doesn’t matter.
Great content is about the moment. Whatever is going on now—now in pop culture, or locally, or in the life of the talent—is what your audience craves and connects with. Look at Kimmel, Ellen, Corden, and Fallon. Their shows are highly relevant because they focus on what’s happening right now, and they share it from their unique perspective (with a whole lot fun).
We need to stop telling the audience things like it’s National Hot Dog Day or that Betsy Ross sewed the flag on this date in 1783. I actually heard a show (not one I coach!) tell me it was National Chicken Day and then they proceeded to play the sound effect of a clucking chicken over everything they did for the next half hour.
All of this is irrelevant and lazy as content, to be perfectly honest. We need to be better than that given all the entertainment choices for listeners. I still hear some shows read a laundry list of birthdays to the audience. Remember the only person who cares that little Ally Simpson is six today is Ally Simpson. And maybe her parents. Any efforts to endear yourself to them come at the significant sacrifice of everyone else, who shrug their shoulders hearing this and mentally zone out. Ditto the fact that Mel Gibson turns 67 today. No one cares.
Reading listeners’ birthdays isn’t being local, either. Local is about what’s going on in your market and you doing something unique with it to say “I love living here and am connected to what’s going on in my town.” Offering up a list of birthdays of people who may or may not be listening is about as local as giving me the temperature in a local town when reading the weather (it isn’t) or reading a listener text and attributing it to a local area code (“someone in the 415 says…”).
Listen to your talent and challenge them to be strategic with their content: pop culture/whatever is in the news churn (the topic must fit your brand image), knowing what’s up in your market and tapping into that, and real time stories of experiences your talent have that position them as just like the audience. That’s great, strategic content for any audience.
Each break on your show should be treated like it’s beachfront property. Erect on it only the very best buildings (in other words, content done well), and its value (your ratings) will go up.
Need a talent coach who’ll help your morning team think strategically? Let’s chat.