Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The other day a fellow talent coach invited me to listen to one of the morning shows he coaches. It plays lots of music. More than 50% of the total program time, including commercials, is devoted to music. The morning team has just 8 to 12 minutes per hour to present content it creates. I’m thinking to myself, wow, that’s not much time to make a connection and establish a relationship with listeners. I started feeling sorry for the morning team until I realized the big opportunity it completely ignores. The music.
This morning team is totally disconnected from the music in its show. When the music was on the morning team was gone. All I heard in and around the music was station and show imaging, mostly prerecorded. It was like two separate shows all morning. There was the “music show” (more than 30 minutes per hour) and the much shorter “personality show” (8 to 10 minutes per hour). The two shows weren’t connected in any way. There was nothing distinctive about the “music show”. It sounded much like what you’d hear on Pandora.
The big attraction to music is how it makes you feel. The sound and the lyrics create a vibe. Music is mind altering, heart penetrating, mood changing, and memory making.
Music creates a huge opportunity for radio personalities to connect with their listeners. It’s all about the shared experience. Listening to the music with your listeners. Immersing yourself in the songs. Doing a little research. Reading the lyrics. Paying attention to how songs make you feel and sharing the vibes.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. I’ll bet you won’t forget this song or the vibe Johnny Vaughan shared with his listeners on the “Capital Breakfast”. It’s no wonder it was the number one morning show in London and the audience loved the experience of listening to music with Johnny.
Monday, April 9, 2012
There was a big brouhaha last week in
"Until they (those involved) leave the station, they are not going to be allowed to cover anything related to Scott Walker (the governor)."
"We want you to know that we consider this a serious issue. We are in the process of dealing with it internally. Our reputation of being a fair and unbiased news source is of paramount importance to us."
"Station policy prohibits overt political activity. As journalists, our folks know that they must remain totally unbiased."
One television station reported that "many employees" defended the petition signing. They told management "it didn't feel like a political act, but instead felt similar to casting a vote". Management disagreed saying, "Voting is private. Signing a petition is not".
"I think anyone worth his salt is for or against certain things. It's going to come through if only in the selection of what goes on the air and what goes into the waste basket. So it seems more honest for me to call it 'Paul Harvey News and Comment'. That way listeners know they're getting their news from my perspective."
Paul Harvey decided it was more important to be trusted than attempt to achieve the nearly impossible journalistic ideal of being "objective". It worked pretty well for him.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Radio personalities often ask if they should repeat content during their shows. Repeating great stuff can help ensure that the content you present is consistently the best it can be. Repeating stuff just because you don't prepare enough content to fill your show is not a good idea or healthy habit to form.
Here are three simple questions I recommend personalities ask themselves to guide their decision:
- Is this my best work today?
- Is it better than the content I've prepped but not yet presented?
- Is it good enough and complex enough that listeners who've already heard it will appreciate hearing it again and, importantly, likely hear something "new" and interesting that they missed/didn't hear the first time around?
Thursday, March 15, 2012
The war is between those who believe in the America of our founding fathers and those who believe traditional American values and beliefs are old-fashioned, unrealistic, and out of step with "today's world". They believe our culture is in need of a radical transformation.
Sadly, Rush's advertisers have become pawns in
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
So, what happens? We lose something that removes fear, fuels curiosity and powers the imagination and creativity of every child. We lose our naïveté and its effect on what we think and do. Bill Atkinson, one of Apple's super designers and programmers, gained this insight on his successful quest to meet Steve Jobs’ seemingly unrealistic expectations for the Apple Lisa computer. "I got a feeling for the empowering aspect of naïveté. Because I didn't know it couldn't be done, I was enabled to do it."
When you find yourself thinking something can't be done, try a little naïveté. Set aside your experience and what you think you know. Sometimes knowledge and experience can be dangerous to your creativity.
By the way, the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson is full of inspiration and wisdom for creatives.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
From a very young age we all have a quiet little voice in our heads that comes from somewhere deep inside. It whispers unique and amazing thoughts and ideas to us. In the beginning, we all hear these ideas, get excited, and do something about them. Unfortunately, the bigger and more unusual the ideas, the more resistance we encounter when we try to bring them to life. Eventually, most of us stop listening to that quiet little voice, dismiss its thoughts and ideas, and just try to fit in because it's too damn hard to do otherwise.
The great artists never stop listening to that quiet little voice in their heads no matter how tough it gets. James Taylor was Bloomberg Televison the other night with Charlie Rose. He talked about how hard it was for him early on in his life.
"I was born with a difficulty of being in my own skin. Living in human society,
I just ran into trouble. I think everybody does to a greater or lesser extent. I
did feel as though I was born on the dark side of the Moon and that I didn't
have a place in this world when I was 15."
James Taylor's troubles living in this world inspired that quiet little voice in his head to help him write some remarkable songs. Here's how James described the process to Charlie:
"I don't really feel as though I write songs. I feel as though I hear them firstDon't stop listening to that quiet little voice in your head. It's your genius. Write down everything it says no matter how weird, nonsensical, or fragmentary it may seem at the time. If you don't write it down, you'll forget it. Then, like James Taylor, spend time with the stuff you collect. Work it and shape it. Figure out what you were born to create. Build it. Publish it. The world is waiting for you to make a difference like James Taylor has with his songs.
and remember them and get them down. It's such a mysterious and subconscious
process that I couldn't really say that I wrote those songs. I just channeled
them or they happened to me first. There is a sort of lightning bolt kind of
moment when you're visited by a song and you get, hopefully, as much as you can.
Sometimes it's a whole song, but sometimes it's just a fragment. Then you have
to collect those fragments and often later on you sequester yourself and hide
away somewhere and work 'em."