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Kris Byerly
The JOY FM Network

Radio Imaging: The Underpaid, Overlooked Personality




As a 10 year old, growing up in Bradenton Florida, my after school ritual consisted of making mix tapes of some of my favorite songs on the local top 40 station, 933 The Power Pig, out of Tampa.

Every Mariah Carey, Ace of Base, Boyz II Men and occasional “Whoomp There It Is”, “Regulators” and “Hip Hop Hurray” song would prompt me to slam down the record button and play the role of radio DJ.
I was glued to the radio every morning and night. MJ & BJ, Bubba the Love Sponge (who I wasn’t allowed to listen to), these guys made me belly laugh with their antics, prank calls, character voices, and outrageous bits. I also remember that DEEP Radio God voice booming “POWER 933 … The POWER PIG” “Come on … Admit you … You love hogging” … The jingles “Power 93!”.
It wasn’t just the songs, or the DJs that hit me as a 10 year old, slightly rebellious kid … but the imaging as well!

Yes I’m biased towards imaging, being an Imaging/Production Director … but have you EVER had listeners singing your jingles, or laughing at an imaging piece your station created?
If the answer is YES … good job, congrats, can I steal some of your ideas? ;)
If the answer is NO … Then you may be neglecting one of the biggest personalities on your station and you may need to take a look at your imaging.

If you’re logging anywhere from 3 to 6 talk breaks an hour, spinning 10-12 songs, your imaging HAS THE OPPORTUNITY to entertain, engage, and enlighten your listeners more often than your personalities do.

A few years ago, during a monthly production meeting, my PD said “I love how our imaging has become its own personality” … I didn’t realize how big an impact that would have on how our production team would write and produce imaging.

Asking yourself questions, in regard to what’s between the songs, is a great place to evaluate!
Are you current in your imaging copy, are you engaging your listeners with social media cues, are you provoking them to listen longer, are you enlightening listeners to your brand … are you relying on old copy, old jingles, dated sounds? Are you underpaying and overlooking one of the most heard personalities on your signal?

3 things to consider when writing and producing your imaging:

1) You can be as clever as you want but don’t let the message get lost in the cleverness.
The point of imaging is to hammer home who you are and reinforcing your brand.
Don’t muddy the message with an attempt at being clever.

2) Avoid Christianese … Speak like your listeners.
Not all of your listeners have a Christian lexicon on hand, so speak to them as a regular person, in terms/phrases they understand.

3) No one likes burnt toast (except for Brant Hanson)
Like any good song, imaging has a shelf life … Keep it fresh, keep it consistent, keep it from burning.

After 20 years I still remember the “Power Pig” imaging.
The ideas, bits, and branding that imaging provides will stick with you!
Next time you put pen to page, or start to type out some copy … remember, your imaging is being heard MORE often than your personalities.


Kris (aka: Kris P. Kreme) is the Director of Imaging and Production at The JOY FM Network in Florida. He can reached at