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Ace McKay
Air Personality

Unleashing Your Right Brain Rock Star





ďPut up your rawkfist if youíre feeling itĒ is a great to envision the next time your staff gets together for a promo team meeting.  Throw up your fist straight in the air as you lead your team to discover ways you can be more creative in the community by reaching out to your listeners.

The thing separating good stations from great stations is not just the real and relevant content on the air or even the music but the level of creativity that we invest into what comes out of the speakers.  There is a rock star at your station or hopefully more than one that can help drive your creativity into everything you do on the air from events, web site contest and social networking to imaging and promos.

Challenges of any station is never how creative we can be but due to all the hats we wear and what is often a small staff limits the amount of right brain activity because we are smothered in the details of whatís going on day to day. Our left brain takes over while our creative side fights for room in corner just because there is just so much to do.

As you listen to your station this week, how creative are you in all areas of your station? Pay attention to the imaging, the Day Sponsors, Impact Partners, newscast, etc. Whatever areas need more right brain injections, as you listen to your station this week, reflect on how creative it is and how creative it can be. The person who is in charge of these areas is naturally left brained but doesnít mean you canít make it better it just means you have to lean on those more creative than you are. Thatís what makes a team a team when we surround ourselves with people who are gifted in areas we are not.

So to get the right brain jumped started, there a couple of things you and your team doing to help you balance your station with where you are and where you wanna go creatively.

1. Right Brain Storming Sessions

The idea behind these sessions is to not iron out details aka left brain each other to death but to cluster ideas you have or bounce things off each other. Whether you are talking about Motherís Day Promotions a year in advance or Back to School or Christmas, itís a chance to dream big by asking is money and time were not an issue, what would/could we do?

Now you canít let your creative team only be PDís or Air Talent but balancing it with your staff that has both left brain and right brain super powers. These meetings should be no less than once a quarter so that you can stay in touch with your creative side. Itís obviously not the only time to be creative but if you have ideas before the meetings just hold off on sharing them till then. We can often get ideas and run down the hall with a torch to get them rolling and no one has time to hear them and the fizzle out before they ever had a chance to burn properly.

These sessions will challenge the more left brain people on your team but it keeps you and your team from waiting till 30 days before an event or holiday to do something on the air that ends up being less than stellar because it was created out of stress.  If you can, take these sessions out of the building whenever possible. Then you donít get stuck being distracted by stuff in the station. Planning ahead seems foreign to most stations because the day-to-day is overwhelming.  Right Brain thoughts beget more Right Brain Thoughts.  The passion you have for your station and ability to tap into that creatively will make you station sound better and draw in the listeners whether they are a P1 or first timer.

(Side note: Once you birth an idea in these sessions then you point of action following that meeting needs to be the execution of whose gonna run with the ball and make sure it gets done. These can be accomplished in your regular promotions/programming meetings.)


2. Appoint a Professor Right Brain

Not that we need more hats to wear but having someone to spearhead the creative sessions and other areas of creativity on the air will help keep you right brain thinking all year. Make it a position on your team if you can but having that one person churning out the creativity in the whole team will make you a better station.

This person is also just not the person who generates the meetings but all areas of copy, content and events.  We can often do a task for something on the air and while it may feel creative to that person, it gets on the air and falls flat because itís just not what if can be. However, taking it to your ďProfessor Right BrainĒ on staff will allow you both/all to make sure that itís the right messaging necessary to draw in the listener.

(Side Note: Asking for help makes you stronger and creates a creative filter for you the longer you do it. Itís NOT a sign of weakness.)


Creativity is in all of us. We just need something to draw out it and its like working out or eating better, Its hard at first but until we donít make it a regular habit, does it make us healthier. The brain is a muscle and when we exercise it properly it will make us stronger.


 Ace McKay has been on-air and programming stations across the country for the last 18 years. He can be reached via email at