The Better Idea. That’s what always wins. Apple. Streaming. Social media.
As an air talent, limiting yourself to just trying to match the other guy, or just trying to do a decent job… well, that’s setting the bar too low.
What you should want to do is get better, get clearer on what you want to do, and get more proficient at doing it. Here are three easy steps toward getting better in just one month:
Step 1 – be able to tell someone, in detail, what your listener’s life is today. The more you know about the listener, the more relevant you can be. Relevance is ALWAYS the better idea.
Step 2 – do what the format allows, but make sure that you come across as a person, not just a voice. This is multi-layered, because we’re also voice actors, to a degree. Start with trying to sound ON the air just like you sound OFF the air.
Step 3 – Reject the typical or the easiest thing to do. Keep adding stuff all the time. Burn material like jet fuel. Try something this week that you’ve never done before.
That should jump start things.
I’ve been a part of many standing ovations, but I’ve never started even one.
The powerful influence of the behavior of the tribe can be seen from the seriousness of school shootings (police immediately go on alert for the copy cats) to the funny behavior of those on a crowded elevator depicted in this classic Candid Camera episode.
You can’t MAKE yourself seem more relevant. You have to just BE relevant.
No ‘slogan’ (like “Favorites of the Eighties, Nineties, and Today”) will do this.
And it’s not confined to radio. A TV station where I live uses “On Your Side” as their slogan. I wasn’t aware that I took any particular side, but after watching their hapless evening news team, I don’t WANT them on my side.
Kleenex. That name probably has relevance to you. Lysol = hugely relevant, especially as COVID-19 proved.
At some point, your NAME has to STAND for Relevance.
So remember that what happens when the mic opens – usually in the first 10 seconds or so – is what either keeps the listener here, or chases that listener away. Say something relevant.
The bleaker the news headlines the more your listeners will be eager to celebrate the good news and the heroes! It’s like gasping for fresh air. It’s why the flight attendants say to put on your oxygen mask before helping others. We need oxygen to be able to help others, and your station can be that for your community.
Tommy Kramer, my brilliant friend of more than 40 years, puts it this way…
“The Coronavirus isn’t the subject of every single break (you still want to be entertaining, too), but the virus IS the ‘backdrop’ of everything.
If a large portion of the content is people sharing about what the virus means in their lives, then remember that it’s not just their sweet stories, but also their concerns, and what that means in terms of being a good wife/husband/neighbor.”
Sports stations will never have fans that aren’t also sports fans.
Country stations will never have fans that aren’t also country music fans.
Christian stations will never have fans that aren’t also devout Christians…
Watching one of the 700 “home renovation” shows my wife loves recently, I was caught up in what a worker said.
This is a guy who runs one of those machines that excavates earth at an alarmingly fast rate. But he was interested in learning other things, too. So, even though he’s just starting out in a landscaping career, he apparently has an eye for the future as he said, “The more you learn, the more you’re worth.”