This tip is sort of dual-purpose…a guideline for Management and Programming, and how it should affect you as an air talent.
The late, great singer Harry Nilsson used to say “Everything’s the Opposite,” meaning that everything turns out to be the opposite of whatever it claims to be. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but there’s a lot of truth in it. (“Military Intelligence” and “free” offers come to mind.) Radio’s full of examples.
Let’s take a look at a few typical claims, and then the other side of the coin—what the listener thinks:
Your claim: “50-minute music hours.”
Listener’s thought: We can all add and subtract. Eventually you’re going to spew out 10 minutes of commercials.
Your claim: “No-talk triple plays.”
Listener’s thought: So when you open the mike, that’s a bad thing? Surely you didn’t intend to say that. Oh, and those recorded identifiers or Imaging pieces you play between songs? They’re TALK.
Your claim: “No-repeat work days.”
Listener’s thought: Wait a minute. That means that I’ll only hear my favorite song once in eight hours. So if I tuned in and only heard the end of it, I’m pretty much S. O. L. for the rest of the day.
I’ve heard jocks unthinkingly say “Hope you’re having a great day!” when there are snowdrifts eight feet high, and the roads are impassable.
And we’ve all heard stations use some form of “We care about you and your family,” but every contest winner they have is identified first as a number. (“Hi, you’re number nine.”) I don’t know about you, but I don’t assign numbers to my family members. “Have you met my sister, Number 7?” seems rather impersonal.
Why not just give up those empty claims and failed gimmicks? Make your station (and your show, on the air) about Values, and about being of service. People will notice. The only Positioning Statement you really need is the name of the station. Then PROVE what you are.
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Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2015 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.