Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #390: “Slug lines” on Promos

Often, promos get waylaid by trying too hard to say too much.  In particular, “slug lines” (tags) on the end try WAY too hard.

“He’s a little bit goofy.  She’s a little bit ditzy…”
“Making you laugh every day…”
“They’re here to lift you up…”

Blah, blah, blah.

You don’t need these.  Here’s the template…

1. A quick intro: “Jack and Belinda…”
2. A sound bite from the show.
3. Then a tag: “Jack and Belinda, Mornings on 93.9 KBGL…”

Cut out the adjectives and superlatives.  Let the clip do the work.

Frost Advisory #536 – November 22, 1963; The Day The World Changed

We’ve chatted a lot over these 536 Frost Advisories about how to grow your station. Growth is the fruit of adopting common ground; of making the unfamiliar familiar.

Many Christian stations serve only the Christian sub-culture talking primarily to churchgoing folks with a heavy emphasis on religious or spiritual content. Other stations desire to reach a broader audience which is often described as “spiritual, but not necessarily religious.” Those stations strive to be culturally relevant and talk like friends in the room. But that doesn’t mean that you talk about just anything.

Take this infamous day in history, November 22, 1963, as an example.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #389: Selling versus Telling

There’s a huge difference between “selling” and “telling.”

“Selling” something isn’t nearly as effective as simply Telling me about it; sharing.  There’s a built-in resistance to someone pounding a message home.

Disc jockeys are told to “sell” liners, copy points, etc.  But you don’t “sell” your friends on something.  You just share what you know or believe.  (If you do “sell” all the time, believe me, your friends are tired of it and you need to stop.)  This is why disc jockeys aren’t doing movie trailers and national ads.

In working with many voice actors that you hear every day on national spots, I’ve often stressed just talking to the listener/viewer.  A great example from the past is voiceover master Mason Adams, famous for “With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good.”

Just talk to me.  It works.

Frost Advisory #535 – Brace Yourself For The Complaints

“Why are you playing Christmas music on Election Day?”

The complaints pour in.

“Why are you playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving?”

Think about it. If I’m driving around in my car and I tune in to your radio station in the middle of November and hear Burl Ives instead of Matthew West, I could be confused. Unless I understand “the why.”

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do serves as proof of why you do it.”

Simon Sinek, “Start with Why”

On Election Day our station votes for comfort and joy. In this political season our station is an escape from the negative headlines.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #388: Degree of Fit

When a break is too wordy, you have to rush. And that’ll usually mean you’re going faster than the song, which the listener may not consciously think about, but the ear notices.

Being concise cures this. Only do what fits, conversationally.

Follow this rule: if what you want to say won’t fit over an intro, SAY LESS. Being concise is an art. When it comes to Content, the person who doesn’t waste the listener’s time wins.

Talk radio hosts: you might want to think about being more concise, too. Beating a subject to death doesn’t work as well as a more concise, better organized statement. Past a certain point, you’re in danger of just coming across as a loud, droning noise.


The most recorded song in our lifetime is “Yesterday” by the Beatles. It’s only two minutes long.

The most quoted speech in history by an American President is the Gettysburg Address. It’s also the shortest.

The most powerful piece of scripture in the Bible is only two words long.