Radio’s 10 Immutable Laws Of Emotional Connection
These laws apply to radio broadcasting and podcasting.
Any powerful skilled radio presenter or podcast host will at some point or another use these 10 immutable laws of emotional connection to build audiences.
They will inevitably succeed in their quest.
Some presenters use all of them, others use part of them.
I call them ‘immutable’ because it doesn’t matter when or how you apply them, the results will be the same.
They will catapult you to the top of your market.
To differentiate itself from others, a radio station must do more than successfully execute the various layers of a well integrated product strategy.
While solid execution in this area is necessary the architecture of any product, it is not enough to build competitive distinction or even touch the surface of building a local powerhouse.
To do this, you must capture the hearts of the market, and that requires going farther and deeper to bed with your audience on an emotional level that builds long term brand loyalty.
Distinct Or Extinct?
This is where you go beyond the format, and all of the components of product design and architecture, we must focus on developing strong emotional and local bonds.
Powerhouse bands are not functional equations. They are built on feelings, emotion and personality.
While there are many steps to the brand-based business model, this checklist asks the question, “Motions or Emotions”
Do we go through the ‘motions’ in our on-air presentation or do we connect with the audience on an ‘emotional’ level?
Relatable to the lifestyle and attitude of the listener, selling the station with passion to make it relevant and believable to another human being?
This is where the magic happens, this is the quintessential point where a ‘product’ becomes a brand and where a D.J becomes a personality.
The words of brand strategist, Scott Talgo sums it up quite well. A brand that captures your mind gains behavior.
These ’10 Laws of leveraging emotional connections’ can be used as a training tool for talent.
They offer an incredible opportunity to build brand equity by bonding and forming relationships, with the audience on a far deeper level but leveraging the power of emotional connections.
Let’s find out what these laws are.
The 10 Laws Of Leveraging Emotional Connections
1.The Law Of Lifestyle Psychology.
Being in touch with the psychology of your listener, talk about the things your listeners are talking about.
But first, you must understand the attitude, culture and events that shape the mindset of your target audience.
Identify real emotions, use thought starters.
2.The Law Of Bonding.
Speak in your listeners’ vocabulary.
Drop the ‘jock spiel’ and speak one on one to your ‘friend.’ (Aka listener) Think about the different ways you speak to an acquaintance versus a close friend.
Speak to your listener as your companion, share with them, and laugh with them, confide and treat them like you are their best friend, rather than some disembodies voice talking ‘at’ them.
Be careful not to force emotion as it may backfire into a fake or condescending approach.
3. The Law Of Relating
The “Oprah Phenomenon.”
She is one of the wealthiest women in USA, yet relates to the average, everyday woman…and that average woman relates and connects with her.
She shows her vulnerable side and talks about her weight issues, childhood, and the things that are important to every woman.
The real stars don’t act like stars, they act like the common person, sharing the same feelings and experiences, and that’s precisely what makes them stars.
4. The Law Of Shared Experience (Simplicity)
It’s the little things that truly have the biggest impact. Think Seinfield.
The small, everyday real life situations and observations let the audience into your daily life – embarrassing moments, silly problems, and everyday situations.
Your listeners/friends want to know that you have kids, go to the supermarket, and find yourself in the same situations they do. This can be as simple as weaving a relatable into a generic weather forecast.
You may be wearing a tank top and shorts picking out the Christmas tree this weekend. Sunny and 75”
The bonding power of this type of referencing in content and station imaging keeps us “high touch” as real companions, experiencing and finding humor in real life situations.
5. The Law Of Balance
React emotionally to both humorous situations and difficult tragedies.
Cover the spectrum of emotions: humor, tragedy, social awareness, addressing the topical and social issues that are important to your target life group and community.
Become a relatable, responsible personality.
6. The Law Of Storytelling
The greatest speakers, authors, screenwriters, songwriters and politicians of all time have harnessed the power of storytelling to form bonds and strike an emotional chord within us.
They create a ‘personal’ connection.
7. The Law Of Simplicity
Avoid pitfalls that inhibit emotional bonding.
Talking at or down to listeners, noisy production that muddies the message and sounds good to radio guys but not the real listener, inside jokes, slick clichés and meaningless inside station words.
8. The Law Of Character Definition
Just like the various cast members of the Hit Show, Survivor, establish your role for character personality development.
The producers of Survivor also did this well.
Each cast member was chosen to play a very distinct role.
It was no accident that an ‘old-fashioned’ ex-Navy seal, a female truck driver from the Midwest and a gay corporate consultant were chosen for the same team.
Each role was distinct and consistent.
This created a powerful set of group dynamics which kept America glued to their TV screens for successive ‘Survivor’ Hit shows for years on end.
9. The Law Of Presentation
Execute with your heart and soul. There is no replacement for passion.
10. The Law Of Discipline
The theory of loose and tight.
All great things combine loose and tight. Utilize strong break structure, yet sound relaxed – this is planned spontaneity.
Have the discipline to keep your break focused and simple.
Too many breaks turn into poor breaks because they go on too long. Leave listeners wanting more and they’ll keep coming back.
A great example of this is the hit TV show Survivor.
It aired once a week, America couldn’t wait until Wednesday and planned their week around being available at 8.00 pm.
Radio (and podcasting) can learn a valuable lesson here.