7 Deadly Sins of Radio Personalities
If you’re on the air or a programmer responsible for those who are, there are 7 deadly sins that should be purged from your life.
Many shows are guilty of all 7. Most commit several on a regular basis.
Confession is good for your soul. Fortunately, there is forgiveness.
Here are the 7 sins:
- Gluttony. Too many topics. And those topics don’t have enough depth. Most shows burn through content. This is mostly a problem in the preparation process, rather than performance. When there’s too much content, each topic is usually shallow, lacking impact. There are limited points of view. These shows are informational, not provocative. You’re also doing too many features that don’t cut through. Get rid of all average features. Identify the hits. Do them more. And do them better.
- Sloth. You don’t OWN your content. That story about Taylor Swift is only important if you hijack it and make it yours. This is the art of curation, adding your unique perspective by projecting character traits through topics. Breaks featuring results from surveys and lists are weak, and lazy. And no matter how interesting the content, listeners won’t give you credit. Take it and own it.
- Vagueness. Promos and teases aren’t specific enough, and aren’t constructed to generate response. There’s nothing wrong with demonstrating the sound of the show in a promo, but do it with a call-to-action. That goes for teases too. A mention of “your weather forecast coming up” is nothing but a waste of time”. “More good times tomorrow morning” doesn’t inspire any action. It’s clutter. Invest time to provoke a reaction.
- Vanity. This is manifest by failing to respond spontaneously. On multi-personality shows, everyone is usually so focused on what they want to say, they don’t pay attention to what is being said…by cast members or listeners. Perform spontaneously, in the moment. If this is a weakness, join an improv team and develop response skills.
- Ignorance. Most personalities turn down the monitors when they aren’t talking. They have no idea how the listener is hearing the show. If you are ignorant to the music, weather, traffic, news, promos, sweepers and even those pesky commercials (you know, the other 95% of content on the air), you come off as distant and disconnected from the very things listeners hear most. This is a missed opportunity.
- Confusion. Features, benchmarks, contests, games, promos and liners are often complicated and hard to understand. There’s too much detail, not enough excitement. Just because you’ve been doing it every day for a month doesn’t mean they understand it. Explain it clearly as if they’re hearing it for the first time. Leave the meaningless details for the website. You don’t have to tell me that “The Garth Brooks concert is coming up on Friday the 17th at 8pm at the Sports Arena, and tickets are available by calling (number) or you can get details on Ticketmaster’s website.” Just tell me how to participate! Make it easy! And stop with the clever names that don’t position what the features is all about!
- Honesty. If you aren’t constantly and objectively evaluating the show, it won’t improve. Programmers and talent both need to get better at monitoring and adjusting performance. It’s shocking how many shows haven’t listened to audio in months, some in years. Listen weekly at least, daily if possible. And listen to the show like a listener, not a broadcaster. It’ll change how you perform.
Turn away from your old habits and set yourself free!
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