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.
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.
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.
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Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2020 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.
Every once in a while, the subject of doing teases comes around again. Such was the case recently with one group of stations I work with. So here are the teasing dos and don’ts…
A chance for me (the listener) to win something.
A feature of the show; a benchmark.
A guest coming on.
Information about a station event or a specific website/You Tube/social media feature.
A new song by a Major (core) artist.
Do NOT tease:
Something I get asked about a lot is how you make a great demo aircheck. Knowing how the people doing the hiring tend to listen to these, here are the best tips I can give you:
1. Put your best thing FIRST. Don’t make me wait to get to it. Hit me with something great right off the bat.
2. Show what you do well, then show another thing you do well. An “A” side, and a “B” side. If you don’t have both, you lack depth.
3. Three to five minutes is probably enough. Even shorter can work. I once got hired by a PD in Chicago after he only listened to ONE break on my aircheck. If you’ve got that spark, it’ll show. If they need to hear more, they’ll ask.
The good news is that we now have more ways than ever to share or display air work – we just send mp3s, or post the audio on a personal website or Sound Cloud. A friend of mine recently posted his stuff on YouTube.
Hope this helps.