Most on-air talent do a great job identifying content that’s likely to interest their listeners. What they struggle with is how to tease it ahead of time, get into the content with a hook, deliver the meat of it concisely, how to get listeners to engage with them and how to get out. When talent master that process they realize that they had much more content than they needed all along.
The key to getting more mileage out of our content is to activate and engage with the listener. When we learn how to pre-build, solicit and receive engagement, and dole it out in bite size chunks, we can leverage that content over several breaks.
I still hear a lot of on air talent just throwing a bunch of content against the wall to see what sticks, grabbing several things from various prep services and basically just filling time. Then they get out of the content breaks by soliciting engagement vaguely and halfheartedly. That essentially leads to a lot of tiny broken promises to the listener because there’s never a feedback payoff. They’d be better served going into those breaks with a few ringers banked and being very specific about how/where they want the listener to interact with them. Here are my 5 keys to a successful content break.
Top on-air talent don’t just read the press release, they turn it into content by making it a versus or rank that topic that engages listeners. They understand that to activate listeners they have to personalize or localize it, simplify the choice and be specific about how they want them to engage. Of course an incentive adds fuel to the fire, but talent can still get interaction without one.
Engagement isn’t the only way to get out of a break, we can also use a funny/witty line, appropriate drop, localize it, tease forward or tease to another platform. But, if all we have to say is something generic, ‘Now you know,’ or ‘Sounds cool’, clearly we’re missing the mark. We should hand select the content we have something to add to or we can lead the listener to add to.
Focusing on how to stretch content over multiple breaks allows us to narrow down our prep, making it more manageable and allowing us to be more selective about what we put on air. Plus, along the way we’ll be much more likely to generate content that’s well suited to share on the station website and social feeds. Let me know your thoughts, comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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