Making Your Mess Your Message

Who’d have thought that a morning radio personality’s death would result in fans making a pilgrimage to his studios to leave notes, cards, and flowers? Yet, that’s what happened when Kidd Kraddick passed away unexpectedly in 2013. 

One would only need to peruse Facebook comments to know why. Consistently you read things like “I felt like I knew you, Kidd” and “every morning it was just you, your team, and me in the car on the way to work.” 

Kidd was one of the innovators of ensemble cast shows and was a pioneer in understanding that to win, talent had to share their life with the audience. Kidd easily surpassed the first threshold for any show to attain success and, dare I say, become iconic. Move the listener with your vulnerability and be so honest with them that they care about you. He knew that “making your mess your message” was the powerful way to cultivate an audience with an image of accessibility and likability. 

While I am sure there were facets to Kidd’s life we never knew (there are to us all), he, along with his very talented team, put it all out there so listeners could connect. 

An admission: I borrowed the title for this blog post from Robin Roberts, easily the most liked morning TV personality in America. She talks about making your mess your message in this interview. This should be required viewing for any show wishing to understand how to be successful. 

Robin says it’s not good enough to be a great storyteller unless you can tell your story. We know near everything she’s endured, and it endears us to her—we feel like we know her. That drives Good Morning America’s growth and success. 

I hear from managers who think listeners don’t want to know about the lives of the people on their morning show they wake up with. Bullshit. For the morning show to be successful, the team must be open, honest, and vulnerable about their lives. The listeners crave and demand it. That doesn’t mean everything can or should be shared, but it’s an imperative if you want the kinds of relationships Kidd had and Robin has. 

Take an assessment of your morning program in this regard. Listen to the team for two straight mornings and make an honest judgment. Listen to see if they’re honest and if they shared those stories of their lives which moved the average listener to leave the break caring about them as people. That’s when you become iconic. 


Need help getting your morning show team to open up and embrace vulnerability? Let’s chat.