My friend and partner John Frost posted this advisory recently:
Frost Advisory #491 – We live in an OPT-IN world
There is a phone in our home that we never answer. Seriously. A constant barrage of robo-calls and “Anonymous” caller IDs has left that phone to be no more than a nuisance. In fact, we no longer even listen to the voice mails because of so much time wasted checking them.
We live in an OPT-IN world, defined by Merriam-Webster online dictionary as “to choose to do or be involved in something.” If I didn’t give you permission to communicate with me then your efforts, automated as they be, will be met with an unanswered ring.
It’s a Top 40 “basic” mechanic: “Crunch & Roll,” which means that in a song-to-song music sweep, you want to hit the NEXT song, THEN talk, not “start early” over the end of the first song, and then continue blabbing over the intro of the next song.
It matters because when that next song begins, then you start, it “turns the page” – meaning that the listener can FEEL the Forward Movement. (Momentum.)
If you’ve never read any of the red-hot thriller novels of Sandra Brown, you’ve missed out on a truly gifted storyteller. My wife and I have read dozens of her books, and since radio is essentially storytelling in microcosm, you might learn something from this comment recently in her book “Standoff,” which is a short book she wrote for a Book Club.
She said it was daunting because most of the action takes place in a confined space, adding “With each book, I challenge myself to try something I’ve never tried before. Can I pull this off? This self-imposed fear factor is a positive thing. It stimulates creativity and urges me to step outside comfortable boundaries. It makes each book different. Most important, it keeps readers from getting tired of the same ol’ same ol’.”
We’re in a world of numbers now. Sabermetrics dominate Sports. Take baseball, for example. “He hits .372 against left-handed pitchers with men on third base and less than two out when it’s raining…”
Well, okay… but that’s not predictive. It’s just a measurement of what ALREADY happened.
The REAL odds are this: every time you step up to the plate, it’s 50/50. You’ll get a hit, or you won’t. This MATTERS, and it’s why Sports is such a great teacher, because every player or team will have its day sometimes, no matter what the percentages say.
Recently, in a coaching session with a person who was playing it “too safe” on the air, I told him this: No one comes to the party just for the dip.
So okay, your station (and your show) has Music, News, Weather, Traffic updates, etc. The usual “basic survival kit” for broadcasting.
But now you need to add Personality, Companionship, and Things You and the Listener Have in Common.
Without those, you’re just the dip.