Are you faking local? [op-ed]

Content Director - The Breeze Network

It’s nothing new that a talent coach will focus on the lowest of coaching hanging fruit “local” as the main filter for a local breakfast show.

But, the one thing that I’ve seen on numerous occasions is the misconception of “local” – that just because your studio is in the same town or city as your audience that you think that’s enough to be local. Fact is – it’s bullshit – it is fake. It’s fake local.

This “fake local” show will open a voice break with the name of the town… Say its going to be sunny today and then continue with some boring generic content – usually about themselves like or something they saw on TV… Fake Local!

The REAL LOCAL show is a smorgasbord and an unstoppable stream of local touchpoints, local stories with people and content that connects and resonates with the local audience – You know people in your city by name, you are there when they need you… you have an unbridled passion for everything the city does and you bring it to life on all your platforms!

This was obvious for us in 2017…

One of our local breakfast show was suffering. It was stuck on a 4 share. Ranked 12th in the market. Programmers and GMs had a go at everything to try to fix it, add a co-host, make it solo, do some marketing, give away some cash… The playbook had run out of ideas 101… It was a daily punishment of fake local and losing big time.

Insert a new programming vision, a REAL LOCAL playbook, a fortunate change of breakfast announcer and within 6 months the show doubled the share and today (18 months) is now ranked 3rd in the market and the highest ratings ever in breakfast, number one in target with increases in audience and Time Spent Listening.

My advice is – stop faking it. Be REAL. If you are going to say you’re a local breakfast show… then be it – be in love with your city. If you’re a GM don’t be blinded by someone’s spin – anyone can be good with clients – this doesn’t make them local… and finally, if you are a CD – then coach with a REAL LOCAL enthusiasm and vision to be the most passionately local show… If you do – you will win every time.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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26 Sep 2019 - 2:44 pm

as radio personalities what’s more important to the listener being entertaining or local , or a bit of both….

19 Oct 2019 - 10:22 pm

Radio really isn’t local anymore, the so called big networks pretty much control it all. Personally I don’t even bother to listen to Australian commercial radio stations anymore as the whole experience is just fake. You get a more real radio experience listening to overseas stations via the internet.

19 Jan 2020 - 4:47 pm

River 94.9 is a great example of doing local right.
They are a commercial station but they behave very much like a community one, especially when bad things like flood/fire happen- they are every bit an Ipswich station and by including Toowoomba and having a large transmission range, they’re likely the most popular station for those who reside and travel here


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