Tommy Kramer Tip #255 – There’s No Such Thing As A Break That’s Too Short

Maybe you haven’t thought about this in a while, but in moving back from five and a half years in Hawaii to my home town of Shreveport, Louisiana, I’m resetting the stations on my car radio.  As a result, I’ve been listening to a lot of different stations recently.  And I’m hearing a lot of things on music stations that I thought had been killed off a long time ago…

The “first in, last out” (FILO) thing where every break mandatorily starts with the name of the station, then also ends with the name of the station.  (This was always ridiculous.  Why do you want to sound like you somehow forgot that you said your name a few seconds ago?  And why would you EVER put the name of your station right next to a commercial break?  Think about it:  You = commercials is not a good impression to lock into the listener’s brain.)

Jocks mindlessly repeating the stupid “positioning statement” (or slogan), as in “96.7 KKIV, your best variety at work.” Geez, this just sounds awful. Every single time they open the mic, robots repeating a phrase that even THEY don’t believe – and that’s what it sounds like.

Jingles singing a bunch of words that are just “print copy” set to music.

“The best variety and the home of the Kidd Kracken Morning Show… 96.7 KKIV.”

Why not just sing the phone book?

So-called “interesting” items plucked from a website, someone’s Facebook page, or a “prep sheet” that no one could possibly care about.  “Brainbuster” questions that Siri can answer in two seconds.  The definition of non-Content.

But the main thing that’s hit me is that most jocks can’t shut the heck up.  They just prattle on, spelling out the not-very-entertaining ending to the prattle they’re talking about like they’re explaining it to a four-year old.

I’ve said this before as part of a couple of other tips, but let’s give it a special, stand-alone status:  There’s No Such Thing as a Break that’s Too Short.

This is an all-out assault on reading crap off a computer screen.  It’s Brevity vs. Rattling-on-for-no-apparent-reason-other-than-you-CAN’T-be-concise.

Here’s what really works:  Try to say things one time – no repetition – then hit the next element and turn the mic off.  You’ll be amazed at how this simple thought de-clutters your station.

And please stop trying to tell the listener what to think about who you are or what you do.  Believe it or not, people actually make up their own minds.  Instead, be a good neighbor; a friend who doesn’t waste their time.  Trust that it WILL work.  And you’ll stand alone like the only oasis in the desert.

Tommy Kramer

About Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

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