Tommy Kramer Tip #189 – Short, Longer, Longest

You should be able to do three versions of anything you need to promote:  Short, longer, and longest.


[5 seconds]
“KBUT 94.9 window stickers are free at any Tom Thumb grocery store…”

[10 seconds]
“KBUT 94.9 stickers on your window or bumper look great, tell people what kind of music you like, and can win you cash!  Pick yours up today FREE at any Tom Thumb store.”

[20 seconds]
“KBUT 94.9 bumper stickers look great and they’re free – and just like duct tape, if you put enough of them on your car, you can actually cover up a broken window or a big dent.  And the number on each one is what we use to give out cash and prizes – like maybe even a NEW car!  So get your sticker today at any Tom Thumb grocery store, then listen for your number to be called out on the air.”

Now you probably already know that the shortest version is the hardest one to do.  But at any length, CLARITY is the key.  You can always add more word pictures, if more length will work.  But if you can’t do the super-short versions, you’re not great yet.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2017 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

A Gift From Pearl Harbor

“The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest.”
~Simon Sinek

Every year on December 7th we hear about the attack on Pearl Harbor, “A date that will live in infamy.”  Our lives changed in that day… yes, each and every one of us, irrespective of age.  For that is the moment that drove us to superpower status.

Before December 7, 1941, the United States had the 14th largest military in the world and was a country going through a time of isolationism.  The war produced “the greatest generation,” and they, in turn, produced the next generations.

But that’s not the end of the gifts.  On CBS Sunday Morning, in an interview with some of the remaining survivors of Pearl Harbor, one of them said something we’ve heard many times before, but rarely pay much attention to.

“I live every day as if it were my last.”

That concept doesn’t get much long term traction because the activities of life take over, and we think of it from our own perspective.  But what if, as leaders, we looked at today as our last day through the lens of how our leadership looks to the people around us?   Would others see us as the leader Sinek talked about?

How would you lead differently if tomorrow were your last day?  Would you be irritated as often?  Would you talk about the people around you any differently?  If you had only the one day, would you think about your legacy?

Conversely, would you be more honest with people if it were your last day?  Would you still kick the “I have to talk with them about that challenge someday” can down the road once again, or deal with difficult issues when they come up?  Would you be more grateful for the opportunity your team gives you?

We all have the gift of this kind of foresight available, and we all can sacrifice at least some self-interest if we choose to.


Frost Advisory #344 – Your Listeners Are More Important Than Your Features And Sweepers

“Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself.”
~Donald Miller, “Blue Like Jazz”

Think about the things you love.

I love the guitar because my high school buddies Kenny and Wally loved the guitar.

I love Mexican food because I’m a Texan.  It’s the law.

I first loved baseball because my dad loved baseball.  In fact, when you ask someone how they became a baseball fan they usually respond by talking about someone they love.  There is no better example than following last year’s World Series when Cubs’ fans wrote the names of loved ones on the brick wall at Wrigley Field.  Curious, isn’t it?

Everyone listens to your station because they love something else.  So every effort to make them love our features and sweepers misses the point.  It’s like trying to convince a baseball fan to love a team because the pitcher’s mound is 60 feet 6 inches away from home plate.

“Write because you love the reader.  Never write to prove your point.  Write to remind the reader they have infinite value.”
~Donald Miller

People love your radio station because they love something else.  When you figure that out, just stand back and watch people begin to love your station.

Tommy Kramer Tip #188 – No “Hallmark Card” Content, Please

Even very bright talents will slip up once in a while and do “pap for the masses,” thinking that it works.

This is what I heard one jock say recently:
“I love this… ‘good moms let their kids lick the beaters; great moms remember to turn off the mixer first.’  Yeah, I’ve been there”

Really?  This sounds like a Hallmark Card for Mother’s Day, or something Ann Landers or Erma Bombeck might have written – in 1981.  And no, you haven’t “been there,” or we’d have noticed the Child Protective Services van outside that house.  (Because, apparently at some point, that mixer was left ON.)

Let’s be clear: I’m certainly not against doing things that are heartwarming or encouraging.  That’s fine, but NOT if it sounds insipid or obsequious.

If you don’t know what those words mean, just ask Siri.  Because, contrary to what that air talent thought, it’s not 1981 anymore.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2017 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Frost Advisory #343 – Why Does Everyone Think Their Radio Station Is Interesting?

Go ahead.  Ask them.

Everyone, of course, will say that ‘yes’ their radio station is interesting.

“Where men are strong, women are good looking, and all children are above average.”
~Garrison Keiller

Then why is it that your own staff, the folks that are supposed to care the most, don’t listen at their desks.  Why is it that you don’t hear the station playing in the hallways?  Why are we “the team” not rooting for our own cause?

The program director of one of the best-known Christian radio stations in America looked out his office window at the parking lot and said to me, “I don’t see one bumper sticker for our station.”

(Go look out at yours. I’ll wait).

If your station is SO interesting why is it that your fanniest of fans listens fewer than 3 days per week?  That’s half as many times as you go to your mailbox.

Your station really isn’t all that interesting, you know.  But maybe it can be.


We have to bridge the gap.  We have to risk taking all that radio stuff we do and connecting it to the listener’s life in ways that are meaningful and relevant.

We have to do stuff and say stuff and be stuff that matters.

It’s really the only choice we have.  Our future success will not come from our mattering less.