Tommy Kramer Tip #81 — The Only Two Elements

Normally, these coaching tips are for air talents, and this one does apply to your air work. But it’s primarily for MusicRadio Program Directors, simply because I don’t want Air Talents to get in trouble with their bosses over something that I said. The old “it’s easier to get forgiveness than it is permission” thing isn’t really true in this day of Corporate Programming templates and marching orders from above. Now, all too often, “This is the way we do it,” good or bad, is the way of the world. So if you’re a PD, please just take a few minutes and read this through, then take a day and let it wash over you.

No matter what you think, to the listener there are only two elements:
1. Music.
2. Things that aren’t music.

“What about our Imaging?”
Well, it’s not music, is it? Your “Imaging,” to the listener, is just a commercial for you. So when you play a song, then a recorded Imaging piece, then another song, you do not necessarily have the image of playing more music, even though the deejay didn’t say anything. In the mind of the listener, it was song, commercial for you, song.

Go retro. Before this modern template of Imaging playing every other song, the jock usually talked over the song intro, or sometimes a jingle played between songs. (People will sometimes sing your jingle. They’ll never sing your voiceover guy’s Imaging liner.) At the end of a music sweep, we stopped down, did some Content—briefly—then went into a stopset. It was perfect, IF the jocks were concise, and had something to say that informed or entertained.

“But we have things we want to promote.”
When you allow the jocks to talk more often, things can be talked about. There are more opportunities for meaningful teases to be given, for the personality of each jock to emerge, and for true forward momentum to be the first impression a person gets of your station.

“We have limited resources. Some of our jocks aren’t all that great.”
Add the word “yet.” With budget restraints, or a young or inexperienced staff, it’s tempting to not let them talk much. But that’s counterproductive, because no one can learn to ride a horse if they never get in the saddle.

There are only two elements. Play great music. And when you talk—which should be fairly often, but not lengthy—say something worth hearing.

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Tommy Kramer
Radio Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2014 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.