Tommy Kramer Tip #38 – Hamburger, No Onions

Sometimes it’s a battle of wills to get a Talent to do–or not do–something. I once had a session with a morning man who didn’t realize his tendency to do bawdy sexual content. His argument was, “I don’t see why you’re harping on this. It’s not like I’m Howard Stern.” But what he didn’t get is that his station’s Listener would perceive any sexual content as being over the line. This guy thought that “a little” racy was okay.

So I asked him to think about like this:
I go to a restaurant and order a hamburger with no onions. If I bite into it and taste even a small chunk of old stinky onion on it, it doesn’t matter to me that it’s just “a little” onion. It’s something that I didn’t want, and specifically asked you NOT to put on it. It didn’t take any extra effort—indeed, it didn’t take any effort at all—to do it right. So the next time one of my friends wants to eat there, I’ll probably tell him he shouldn’t, because “they never get my order right.”

Obviously, if this is how your restaurant is perceived, you’re not going to be in business very long.

Every station, in every format, has some form of “onion.” Some element that its Listeners don’t want. Maybe I come to your Classic Rock station to hear the music, but don’t want to hear you abruptly chop off the end of a song. Or I come to your soft A/C station not wanting to hear songs with suggestive lyrics. Or (the other side of the coin) maybe I come to your raunchy, outlandish Talk station not wanting to hear “safe” wimpy subject matter. Whatever the “onion” is, if I (the Listener) don’t want it, don’t give it to me.

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Tommy Kramer
Radio Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2013 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.