Successful Radio Shows Master The Art Of Effective Storytelling
Effective radio is really effective storytelling.
Master this art and your radio station will dominate any market.
Listen to your favorite radio station keenly and you’ll be more aware that it’s the radio host’s grasp of great storytelling technique that keeps you glued for hours on end.
What does that have to do with successful radio shows?
It governs all that makes a show a standout success.
There are other secrets, of course, that go into growing ratings, bringing in revenue and making your radio station powerful.
After surveying over 90 stations in different markets from rock to Alternative, Pop, Contemporary, Christian contemporary and Gospel format, certain indicators cropped up in all cases.
Some long held assumptions were also crucified.
Like the assumption that a comedian can hold down a show.
In fact, you don’t even need to be funny to have one of the most successful radio shows.
It does take more technical experience and acute in-depth knowledge of your content, but the rage of many stations of putting a comedian on the morning show doesn’t always pan out well.
What Then Does It Take To Put Up A Successful Radio Morning Show?
We spoke to over 120 people involved in one way or another in radio content production from On-Air Hosts and producers to researchers, radio consultants and Program Managers.
Thanks to the Program directors and Station managers who also lent their insight on the secrets behind their successful morning shows.
When used well, all these 64 techniques will make your radio morning show the undisputed favorite with audiences.
64 Secrets Behind Successful Radio Morning Shows
- The show has a content strategy, which they execute to the detail.
- This content strategy is different from any other show in the market and travels the less obvious path.
- In a show that has multiple cast members, there is one Lead and a Co-Lead. Each is comfortable in their role.
- Each cast member contrasts from the other – in personality, wit and perspective.
- Each cast member brings a different worldview into the equation.
- They know that role play is critical to the success of the show.
- They know that their currency is happiness
- They know revealing their personal flaws on-air (acted or real) elevates connection with the target audience to astronomical levels.
- They know the power of DISRUPT and use it to strategic success
- They know that their secondary currency is empathy
- They know you don’t necessarily need to be funny to be popular.
- They know that dislike is a form of affection.
- They know how to leverage the different elements of talk – satire, humor, controversy, news, opinion and bring them out to great effect.
- They know how to angle music with talk, conversation and promotions to create a vibrant balance.
- They know the most powerful thing about their show is the music.
- They know who their target listener is – right down to a name, age, residence and picture. Though they talk to millions, they talk to one person.
- They know how each hour of the show must progress into the other and why
- They know the power of a ‘twist-in-the-tale’ narrative.
- They are spectacular storytellers.
- They know the greatest stories are personal stories.
- They know the power of immediacy.
- They learn to figure out the mood swings of their audience
- They celebrate their listener’s achievements – as mundane as they may be.
- They are experts in ‘theatre-of-the-mind.’
- They treat the listeners like they are family.
- They are not afraid o experiment.
- They are not afraid to change
- The show is fun to listen to and there’s lots of laughter.
- The cast is vulnerable in sharing stories about their lives so the audience says, “They’re just like me.”
- Their topic choice is driven by relevancy.
- They’re always honest with the audience.
- They prep relentlessly, always looking for the right topics and doing things with them that’ll intrigue the audience.
- They create their own content.
- They are the most inquisitive individuals you could hang around.
- They are always out in the public, frequenting social spots, hanging out in Malls, restaurants, clubs, wherever their target audience are, so they can know what’s buzzing ‘on the streets.’
- They identify with their listeners.
- They are aware of the world around them and how that affects their audience.
- They involve experts in various fields in their show. It goes to show that they want to learn like as much as the audience do.
- They are not afraid to say “I don’t know” It makes them more human with their listeners.
- They prepare more material than they need.
- They actively involve the listener every 15 minutes – through social media, phone calls, interview responses.
- They bring imagination and charisma into every client promotion they execute.
- In prep, they develop more show prep than they need, because they know anything can happen during a show.
- They can turn a bland story into a sensational story just by highlighting a different perspective.
- They can think on the spot.
- If a news story breaks and requires an immediate response, they know exactly how to bring it out on air.
- They have at least two spectacular benchmarks on their show that listeners can’t wait to hear.
- They turn their passive audiences into active audiences by what they say, how they say and why they say it.
- They know what’s going on locally.
- They always tease ahead.
- They promote the music. Always.
- They know the right music that will strike a chord with listeners and sell that emotional connection every time that song is played.
- They have a strong interest in “on-ground activations” relying in their ‘stardom” to create an even more visible impact.
- They know that top of mind awareness is critical. They’ll not stop in taking pictures with fans, commenting on local issues, participating in seasonal and charitable campaigns.
- They are heavy on social media – because they know that’s where the audiences are.
- They can create conflict and drama to hook listeners.
- The show is constantly innovating, coming up with ideas that fit the brand which communicate the show plot, reflect culture, or define who they are.
- They have lots of fun on their show – and it shows.
- They make the listener feel like a star every morning.
- There’s a sense of momentum with their shows – you feel it’s always moving forward either in music, content or their personal lives.
- With time, they evolve as individuals even as their target listener evolves and grows over time.
- They apply shock therapy – every quarter, they will trigger controversy, or a sudden change of personality meant to shock listeners and stir up conversation.
- They implement and champion one massive station campaign every quarter.
- They give back to the community and use their On-Air presence to market and promote that extension.