Since there are so many places to get the music now, you have to be more than just a playlist.
COMPANIONSHIP (especially in the car) is still really important.
PERSONALITY should be mandatory in EVERY daypart.
There should be “something going on” ALL the time, in every hour of the show – both “station things” and your own Content.
What you have in common with the Listener is what binds you together. If you’re generic, you’re invisible.
This week’s Frost Advisory is a departure from my regular thoughts on how to make your radio station really nifty. Instead I’d like to take this moment during Thanksgiving week to encourage you in the important work you’re doing at your station.
I’m told that the word ‘encouragement’ literally means to pour courage into. This word appears over 100 times in the New Testament. In fact, one of the descriptors for the Holy Spirit is Encourager (Acts 9:31).
“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.”William Arthur Ward
The more words are used, the less the Personality stands out. The more complicated a Promotion or Contest is, the less effective it is.
Keeping things simple from a formatic perspective should be married to keeping things as simple as possible in coaching talent, so they can perform in a way that truly resonates with the listener.
My methods, and the formatics I recommend are all about keeping it simple so there’s more “meat” in the Content – and even in the STYLE of the Content. Our job in the coaching arena is to make it EASY to sound consistently top-notch every day.
Poisonous things can slip in – too many words in a forecast, the name of the station redundantly said again by rote at the end of a break (taking away any possibility of the First Exit that surprises the listener), goofy names for promotions that don’t tell us what the Promotion or Contest IS, reading crappy liners (that the station Imaging voice should read, if you simply must do them), etc. Guard against these.
It’s not just “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” It’s “Keep it simple or I listen to something else.”
The freeways in my town have electronic messages on signs that direct drivers to all kinds of things. The number of miles to a destination or intersection. Road hazards or accidents along the way. Amber alerts with car description and license plate number. (Good luck remembering that without writing it down).
Are you buckled up?
One of the offshoots of trying to read something on the air is that since ‘print words’ are not the way we actually talk, it erodes your authenticity.
Where I live, Louisiana, there are tons of local commercials on radio and TV, and way too many of them have the owner of the business – usually a balding guy with a golf shirt on, wearing a 32-inch belt over which hangs his 40-inch waist – telling you that he’ll give you the best deal on “America’s most popular midsize SUV luxury brand” and that his dealership is “Rated number one in customer service in a survey of repeat customers.”
Blah, blah, blah. Words that he would never say – maybe no human would ever say – in a real conversation. And we’re then obliged to see his wife, small children, and their dog SHOUT his name. (Except the dog. He barks. He’s the best part of the spot.)
…or we hear some radio station disc jockey try to read something, and treat it like he (or she) just thought it up.
Listen: Authenticity is self-revealing. So is the lack of it. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, don’t fake it.