The voice tracker scenario isn’t going away any time soon. It’s the nature of the game in today’s radio world. And that’s not really good, because there are many weak things about having a voice-tracked show on the air.
The voice-tracking jock doesn’t know that a tornado is heading toward town. While he or she is doing a “partly sunny” forecast, a warehouse is in danger of losing its roof.
They can’t take phone calls. And since radio is about AUDIO, we get the lame “fix” of jocks reading social media posts on the air instead of having a person call. That leads to mostly boring Content, done in a pretty boring way, and losing the immediacy of someone replying to something you did last break – in their voice, not yours.
My recent birthday was spent in Section 122, Seat 13, at Wrigley Field on Chicago’s north side; nothing short of baseball heaven. But that’s not the story.
When the folks at Wrigley Field found out it was my birthday I was immediately ushered to Customer Service where I was ceremoniously awarded an “It’s my birthday” sticker while being serenaded with “Happy Birthday” by those charged with creating memories for fans. And they did.
And it didn’t stop there.
On last week’s show I yakked about Delta Airlines’ new campaign that invites Medallion members to reclaim their status “when life puts your travel on hold.” The campaign focuses on encouraging travel from previous frequent fliers because Delta knows they are twice as profitable as low fare travelers.
What can we radio folk learn from Delta’s campaign?
Heavy listeners deliver on average 4x the occasions and TSL as light listeners. Not all listeners (or airline passengers) are created equal, at least in Nielsen-think.
In a PPM world, losing even one high AQH panelist can mean losing thousands of cume and hundreds of average quarter horses. Losing even a handful of meters can drop your ratings like a rock. That can happen when your station doesn’t remain top of mind in a world of choice. Consider how easy it is to skip your favorite restaurant or miss your favorite TV show simply because life gets busy.
The last tip was about a challenge that skews mostly male – the “big” voice. So now, let’s talk about the female voice.
There are some incredible female voice actors and air talents, but the percentage of women who actually get coaching in radio that’s specific to their voices is staggeringly small.
Often, this is the result of today’s radio world. Like many of my friends, I started out doing all-nights, then moved to evenings, etc. where we had time to get our arms around what our voices were most capable of, and how to eliminate the less ear-friendly parts of our voices and deliveries by simply putting in the ten thousand hours that becoming really good at something requires.
This happens fairly regularly when I start working with someone who’s been blessed with a “big” voice.
Almost without fail, these guys have been told all their lives what wonderful voices they have, and it’s really hard for a lot of them, especially in smaller markets, to resist “using” that big chamber too much, or in the wrong way, or for the wrong reasons.
Delta Airlines has launched a new campaign designed to entice former Medallion members to reclaim their prior status.
“When life puts your travel on hold”
Delta knows that some travelers are more valuable than others. Business travelers account for just over 10% percent of airlines’ passengers, but they are typically twice as profitable.
“We’re always looking for new ways to take care of our customers and that includes injecting even more empathy into travel … Loyalty goes both ways.”
In essence, the air talent’s job is to take us somewhere… a journey, from beginning to end. One break at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time.
As you do, either you leave a mental “imprint” on the listener, or you just go by unnoticed, a mosquito making a noise in the background.
While there have been tons of books written about this, one thought, originally from the great acting coach Stella Adler, and used to perfection by my friend Valerie Geller in the Talk radio world, sums it all up: Never be boring.
Stella Adler put it this way:
“You can’t be boring. Life is boring. The weather is boring. Actors must not be boring.”
There’s an easy way to avoid being boring. Simply ask yourself this: “What do I have to offer that won’t be ‘typical’?” Because THAT is what will set you apart from almost everyone else across the dial.
The United States of America was born 243 years ago with a Declaration of Independence, and a subsequent Bill of Rights for all citizens to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But as Americans we know that with rights comes responsibility.
The same can be said for your radio station.
Yes, you have the right to play any song you want. But you also have the responsibility of creating passionate fans which begins with a foundation of songs they know and love.
Yes, you have the right to talk about anything you want. But you have the responsibility of connecting with common interests and values, and communicating the bigger idea! That’s how groups become tribes, and tribes become movements.
Yes, you have the right to blabber on as long as you want. But you have the responsibility of communicating effectively, which means being prepared, purposeful, and precise.
Yes, you have the right to be among the lowest rated stations in your market. But you have the responsibility that goes with being the largest church in town. To fulfill that responsibility your station needs a clear purpose, a team of people that are united around it, and the passion and determination to execute the programming and marketing elements that make that purpose a reality.
On this 4th of July weekend, let’s wave our flags, shoot off our fireworks, and sing our patriotic songs…
…but let’s not forget our responsibilities!
“Telling stories” is the mantra nowadays. And to a degree, that’s good. But…
The story has to actually be interesting. And there should be some definable Emotion at its core.
It also shouldn’t be too long. People are in the car. They’re not going to stay in the car because your story is so wonderful. They have things to do, meetings to attend, a job to show up on time for. And when the drive ends, listening to you ends. Continue reading