Note: This tip is written specifically for music stations. But the “quality control” goal should be in every Talk show, too.
It’s not a “bad” idea per se to supplement the Content that you create with a phone call or two from listeners. But it’s not an automatic “must have” ingredient, either. And it can become a “crutch” pretty easily.
Here’s the most important ingredient in putting them on the air:
NO “B” or “C”-level calls allowed. None. Only “A”-level callers with something that actually contributes a thought that moves the subject forward, gives it a different slant, or provides some sort of “resolution” should make it onto the air. The minute you accept less, you dive head first into the generic “topics and phone calls” pool that already has too many people in it.
I’ve done and coached shows that hardly ever ran calls, and I’ve done and coached shows that were – at times – very phone call intensive. But the “A”-level rule always applies. Great radio is made up of COMPELLING moments. If a call doesn’t provide that, it doesn’t deserve being aired.
This leads back to something I say a lot: Do a SHOW. It may seem counter-intuitive, but when you don’t NEED calls, that’s when you not only get more of them, but you get better ones, too.
Getting great phone callers isn’t an accident. It’s a plan. In a future tip, I’ll give you another peek into how that works.
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Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2017 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.
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