Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #386: To Tease or Not to Tease – and Why

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…

DO tease:
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:
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Frost Advisory #532 – I Love You, But I Hate Your Politics

There is an election coming up next week. Perhaps you’ve heard something about it. It’s been in all the papers.

Perhaps you’ve heard from a listener wondering why you’re talking about Donald Trump or Joe Biden. Maybe you’ve received a friendly e-mail from someone questioning your personal salvation because your station aired political commercials for You-Know-Who!

Maybe its even more personal that than. Maybe you’ve unfriended “friends” on Facebook for their political rants. (I know I have). Maybe there have even been conversations at your dinner table that have resulted in awkward pauses, or worse, name-calling-finger-pointing-and-gnashing-of-teeth.

What’s going on here?

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #385 – Demo (Aircheck) Guidelines

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.

Frost Advisory #531 – What We Can Learn From The Little Store With A Funny Name

When I was growing up we actually had a favorite gas station. I can only imagine the reaction from Gen Xers and Millennials.

It was Obie and Doc’s and we had “traded” (as my dad would say) with them for years. Friendly. Full service. Check the oil. Check with wiper fluid. No cash? No problem; put in on my tab. We never considered going to another gas station unless we went out of town.

That sounds so foreign today with gas stations and oil company brands seemingly racing for the generic. What’s the difference between a Shell and a Mobil? Sorry, Exxon/Mobil. The ubiquitous nature of gas stations makes even location (“closest to me”) no longer as significant as is which side of the intersection is it on. (There is a Shell station near me that recently went out of business because its NE corner was not as convenient to traffic flow as the NW corner where the BP now thrives).

While Shell, BP and Exxon/Mobil all arm wrestle for low price and convenience, there is another company that has embraced a different strategy. It is described in “Blue Ocean Shift” by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, as “shifting away from the red ocean of competition to a blue ocean of differentiation and low cost.”

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #384 – Choose ONE

In a recent session, I went over a break the air talent had done with a nice message: how just saying “hi” to someone who’s been emotionally damaged or mistreated may be ‘revolutionary’ to that person.

But he loaded it down with too many examples before settling on that one gesture.  There’s a tendency for us to be like lawyers, “stacking up evidence” to fortify our point.  But you’re not paid by the example; you’re paid by the CONNECTION.

So whenever you could give a “laundry list” of examples, just choose one to draw a smaller, more precise target for the Emotion to center on.

A closer “sphere of vision” will bring out the more personal, visual, and emotional elements in your Content and its delivery.

Frost Advisory #530 – There Will Never Be Another NEW Format

When I first heard these words I was stunned.

As an old radio dog who has been a part of launching several new formats I wondered how could this really smart guy say something so implausible?

The speaker elaborated on his point for those of us trying to catch up.

“Successful formats are based upon consensus. Consensus is created through familiarity.

No familiarity? No consensus. No format.”

Several of us began to squirm awkwardly in our chairs. Either our expert is off his rocker, or we’re feeling like freshman students in a graduate class.

“Think of the last new format that has come along,” the group was challenged. After an awkward pause someone guessed, “The Jack format?”

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #383 – Nothing is Worse than Being Ignored

One of the main things to keep in mind for any air talent is something that strikes to our very core as human beings: nothing is worse than being ignored.

If you’re on the air, but nothing you do or say really “grabs” the listener, it’s a waste of time.

Here’s a litmus test:  What stood out today about your show?  (Or any day’s show, for that matter?)  You should be able to think “Oh yeah, yesterday was when we did this…”

If you can’t recall something memorable from your show, neither can the listener.  We all know about stations who’ve been in a market for years, but with no real success.  Let’s not be one of them.

Frost Advisory #529 – My Very First Car: A Programming Lesson

The Frosts were big on hand-me-downs. Sigh!

I was often dressed in my two older brothers’ slacks and shirts. Fortunately, that didn’t happen with my older sister’s clothes, although I do remember the pre-adolescent embarrassment of having to wear my sister’s white sweater in the Christmas parade because I didn’t have a white sweater, and my parents sure weren’t going to buy me a white sweater that I’d never be caught dead in again. (That’s when I learned the coming-of-age reality of girl’s sweaters buttoning on the wrong side.)

On my 16th birthday and the day I received my Texas driver’s license, I received a hand-me-down of my mother’s Oldsmobile Cutless. I was thrilled that I had my own wheels and that it had an awesome Delco radio! (Yep! Radio geek even then). What wasn’t great was that it burned oil like an Arab sheik in a cranky mood. And the wheel alignment consistently pulled right after a few thousand miles.

So I learned.

I had to carry several quarts of oil in the trunk for when the thingamajig ran low. I knew I had to be on alert for when the steering wheel would start pulling after a few thousand miles.

Your station is like that.

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