(By Jeff McHugh) Which of these stories has more bloodshed: the original Star Wars or Game Of Thrones? Most people would say Game Of Thrones.
But on CBS’s 60 Minutes, Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin countered “Star Wars killed more people than I do. I mean, right in the opening of Star Wars, they unleash the Death Star against the planet Alderaan.”
Millions died in Star Wars while Game Of Thrones only killed 2339 in the whole series (so far). Why do audiences feel death more personally watching Game Of Thrones?
People relate to individuals and connect with them more emotionally than groups.
Focusing on one person is a good principle to keep in mind for content on your podcast or radio show.
• Social Media: Individual personality and show accounts can often be more powerful than station pages. In Atlanta, Rock 100.5’s Instagram has 2,943 followers, the Bailey and Southside show page has almost 7,000 and Southside Steve’s individual page has nearly 8,000.
• Show Branding: Prioritize personalities above the station. Listeners bond with authentic on-air individuals more powerfully than they do “commercial-free Mondays” or giveaways. Always include player names in imaging with any show names like Morning Mess.
• News Stories: Audiences connect emotionally to a big-picture idea like the proposed border wall through specific individuals, like the 8-year-old child who died in U.S. Customs custody on Christmas Day.
• Charity Drives: Talk about helping one person instead of thousands. Social scientists say audiences can feel futility when asked to help a lot of people, but will respond emotionally to the story of one person in need.
• Sports: Tell stories about players, not scores. In my hometown of Portland, fans started a Go Fund Me for a “we love you” billboard for injured NBA Trail Blazers player Jusuf Nurkic, raising over $11,000 in six days. It is harder to imagine fans erecting a sign for the whole team.
• Opinion and Ideas: In 1988 only 11% of Americans were OK with same-sex marriage, but fast-forward to today and 68% say it’s OK. Experts say that dramatic shift is a result of more people coming out of the closet and more Americans knowing a gay person personally.
Jeff McHugh is known for coaching talent for radio, TV and podcasts. He brings a mix of positivity, creativity, and strategy to the shows that he coaches. He is a member of the team at The Randy Lane Company . He can be reached at [email protected]