Frost Advisory #252 – Stuff I Found on Facebook and Things That Don’t Matter

This Frost Advisory is a personal tirade. I’ll apologize in advance.

Now lazy disc jockeys have another excuse to be lazy.

I was recently listening to a very well known radio station when I heard the talent talk about Facebook – for three connective breaks.

He saw THIS on Facebook, he saw another talent post THIS on Facebook, and he saw an artist post THIS on Facebook!


On one hand the internet is a terrific resource for stations to connect with their fans.

On the other hand it has become an excuse for talent to be ordinary; no unique perspective, no special connection to the listener’s life, just the deejay equivalent of “This Day in History”. (National Belly Button Lint Day, don’tcha’ know!)

Let’s go back to the basics:

A talent’s purpose is to add value to the music environment; an emcee, if you will, of a shared listening experience.

Referring to something you’ve seen on Facebook is like referring to getting into your car before driving to the Grand Canyon. It’s not the point.

If there is a story from Facebook worth telling, then tell that story. But it’s always about the story, it’s not about Facebook!

P.S. Please forward this to every air talent you know. And tell them you saw it on Facebook!

Tommy Kramer Tip #97 – Trying Too Hard

There’s a fine line between giving your best effort and trying too hard.

Oddly enough, I find that many Talents have a lot of trouble talking about things on the air that they feel strongly about. Often it seems like the more they care about something, the longer it takes to say. Now I’m certainly not against putting your heart on the air; we want that. But Emotion has to be channeled, or it just becomes “blah, blah, blah” to the Listener. Think of how many Pledge Drives you’ve watched on PBS or heard on Listener-supported radio where it sounds like they just CAN’T shut up.

So here are three guidelines to get you into the groove:
(1) Start with a “headline,” a ONE-line setup to get into the subject.
(2) Make ONE point.
(3) Wrap it up and move on.

Brevity is the most welcome thing about greatness. Look at the TV shows “Modern Family” or “The Big Bang Theory” as great examples of how humorous or even heartfelt perspectives are delivered in short, tightly-worded dialogue. Every line, right to the heart of the bulls-eye. That’s how you have a long run in prime time.

When you try too hard, the results are worse.

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2015 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Frost Advisory #251 – Easter Sunday and the Man with the Umbrella

umbrellaI arrived at Easter Sunday church during a torrential Florida downpour. Streets were flooding and the church parking lot looked like it could host a water ski tournament.

As I jumped out of my car and headed for the church building I was greeted by a friendly young man in rain gear carrying an umbrella. He greeted me with a paradoxical sunny disposition and walked me from my car to the covered walk way. He then ran off to greet the next apprehensive still-dry visitor.

No “we’re glad you’re here” speech from the pulpit that morning would have conveyed that sentiment as much as the man with the umbrella in the parking lot. That church that day demonstrated with actions far more effectively than any words that I was welcome there.

There is no format I’ve ever done that is more difficult to program to reach large numbers of people, must less be top rated in the market. To be successful we have to navigate the most controversial subject ever known – religion – yet still be relevant and meaningful within the context of the squeaky clean radio.

No matter what your station does someone will have a problem with it. You know this to be true based upon opinions among your own staff.

One of the major challenges in growing the Contemporary Christian format is that there are no natural on ramps. People are either “on the highway” and know the music, or off the highway and don’t know Big Daddy Weave from Hercules and the Chicken Fat People.

Many stations compound the problem without even realizing it by programming to only those who already love the music as much as the staff.

To grow your radio station you must run out to the new listener with an umbrella and say, “Welcome!” Meet them in their muddy parking lot, understand their need, and show them in ways they understand how your station meets their need.

Only when they are nice and dry inside do you even think about preaching to them. Or better yet instead of preaching maybe you’ll simply have a conversation as though you’ve been friends for years.

John Maxwell said, “People will not always remember what you said. They will not always remember what you did. But they will always remember how you made them feel.”

Unless you’re willing to make the effort to run through the pouring rain with an umbrella to make them feel welcome you will never get the chance to speak into their lives.

Tommy Kramer Tip #96 – Teasing vs. Promoting Ahead

“Tease it, then do it.” We’ve all heard this for far too long.

First of all, there’s a big difference between Teasing and Promoting. The fact is, most teases are meaningless. The next time you ponder whether or not to tease something, think about this: what if I don’t like what you’re teasing? Then, Elvis has left the building.
Plus, we don’t tease things in real life, so why do it on the air? If we were having dinner together, you’d think it was nuts if I said “my wife Kathy will say something, right after she finishes buttering that roll.”

And here’s a huge factor—you never want to tease Content, just something that you’re going to talk about. “I’ll tell you about the cancerous tumor my aunt has, comin’ up” is just not going to make anyone listen. If you want your show to sound real and conversational, you should just bring something up, so it doesn’t sound calculated. (Although you can keep the tumor thing to yourself, please.)

Add in the fact that if you oversell something, it’s likely to fail to live up to expectations, and it’s easy to see why you should put less pressure on yourself and just let things flow. Look, I don’t want to know everything you’re going to do in advance. Surprise me once in a while.

Promoting is different. However, there’s a very short list of what I believe is worth promoting: [1] Contests, [2] when I can find out more about a station promotion that I might like to be part of, or [3] when a special guest will be on. Very little else, if anything, matters to the listener. We all know that most plugs for stuff on the website don’t really make many people go to it. At most stations I work with, You Tube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all way more important than the station’s website.

Radio stations keep trying to manipulate or monopolize the listener’s time against his/her will. But the listener is in charge, and growing more used to the “on demand” part of life every day. When you only promote things that actually matter to the listener, believe me, you’ll stand out in the crowd.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2015 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.