It would be a good idea for radio station to stop reading those cute, national “kicker” stories and replace them with something locally engaging with strong local impact. I know these rip-and-read stories are easy show-prep but they don’t have any lasting impact on your audience when there is no local tie in. We need to spend real show prep time on learning interesting and valuable things about people, places and things in your local area. There are many stories out there, every day.
We must stop relying so heavily on syndicated show prep material to connect with our local audience. Much of this material is average at best. Some of it is just bad. We must start reengaging ourselves into the community to find out what people are thinking and talking about. I recently had a morning personality brag to me about how he got all of his show prep “done” in 15 minutes. After listening to his show the following morning, you could tell he was telling the truth. There was nothing on this person’s show that separated him from any of the other morning shows. In fact, he had much of the same weak, syndicated material as some of the other shows in that market. Any station can read, “This Date In History,” and they will. This feature might be easy but it’s very weak because it’s not unique.
Unless we become locally engaging and culturally relevant we will lose to the first station that does or to the one that already is. Don’t believe that you only have to win the music quality image to stay or become a winner anymore. While music quality is very important, they can still be preempted. But strong, local personalities are difficult if not impossible to defeat. Remember, we are not only competing against other radio stations in today’s world, we are competing against all other media sources.
You have to start today, making a new and powerful commitment to ensure that your on-air staff works hard at being locally engaging and interesting. These things can come in many forms; they can be humorous, serious, touching or anything in-between BUT they must be locally powerful to make a difference. Some of these topics/thoughts could be derived nationally but must be driven locally.
Brian is a 30 year radio veteran who has successfully served many companies over the years as Program Director, Operations Manger and VP of programming. After many years of success working for individual radio stations and clusters, Brian Joined one of the most trusted consulting firms in the country, Audience Development Group. For the last 15 years Wright has enjoyed building alliances with scores of stations in the US & Canada helping them grow in ratings and revenue. Contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org