Craig Bruce: 25 things he’s learnt in 25 years

Staff Writer

** All 25 are here now **

Craig Bruce, Head of Content at Southern Cross Austereo, is celebrating 25 years with the network next month.

He is sharing the 25 things he's learnt over his career.

Lesson 1

All announcers sound the same. The most important thing you can do is find your unique, authentic voice.

Lesson 2

Every shift is a chance to improve. Being onair is the best way to fast track your development. Treat every gig with respect.

Lesson 3

Share your work with people who are better than you, finding a supportive mentor is the fastest way to improve.

Lesson 4

Australian radio needs more announcers who are passionate about music. If that's you, you've already found your niche.

Lesson 5

Edit. Then edit again. Every talk break should start with what needs to come out, not what should stay in.

Lesson 6

Content Directors hire attitude, not talent.

Lesson 7

Most programmers share the same knowledge on content. The difference is in leadership and talent coaching.

Lesson 8

For young programmers. Think about your communication like an on-air campaign. It needs frequency and creativity.

Lesson 9

Programming great shows is about releasing potential, not stifling it. Start by hiring really smart & interesting people, then let them go.

Lesson 10

The best performers are defined by what they don’t do. They zig when others zag. Radio rules are meant to be broken.

Hire people who have the talent and courage to do something different.

Lesson 11

Being a Content Director is like being the conductor of the orchestra. You set the tone and the rhythm of the band. Remember that everyone is looking at you for their cue.

Lesson 12

There is no right or wrong in radio. It’s just individual interpretation. The most successful Content Directors learn to craft their own sound.

Lesson 13

The great on air teams are just as good at listening as they are at talking.

Lesson 14

Radio is a team sport. The best shows are always the best teams. The primary function of the Content Director is to help create and promote those environments.

Lesson 15

Helping people understand their unique talent is the key to programming… and management… and personal success.

Lesson 16

Anticipation is everything. Christmas is the greatest anticipation campaign ever. Use your airtime to create excitement around your upcoming events.

Lesson 17

Every great show has a unique expression. Fun, relatable, local breakfast shows are a dime a dozen. If you’re using these words to describe your show, it’s officially wallpaper.

Lesson 18

Promo airtime is the most valuable tool you have to create a unique position for your station.

Lesson 19

Find the person who is the benchmark in your area of expertise and copy their work ethic.

Lesson 20

No one will care about your career as much as you do. Be proactive. Ask for what you want. Educate yourself and make sure you're ready for when the next opportunity arises.

Lesson 21

If you're in a metro product team, make sure you engage. Speak up. Push back. Get involved. If you're in the conversation, then you're in the game.

Lesson 22

Reputation is everything. Every interaction on and off the air will contribute to you getting your next promotion.

Lesson 23

Someone important is going to tell you “you suck” at some point in your career. (They’re probably wrong.)

Lesson 24

Understand that you’re creating a personal brand.
Your brand is a promise, it’s an expectation of an experience.
What do your peers and potential managers expect from you?

Lesson 25

One day you’ll be me.
Seems like yesterday when I was the 18 year-old mid-dawner with no clue.
Create your own lessons and write your own rule book.


Craig is also now on Twitter. Follow him @cb_bruce

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