(By Loyd Ford) We all know that no one likes a boring host. You’re listeners are thinking about it if you are not. Data, numbers, indicators. They’ve been interested. They’ve gone to websites and watched CNN and Fox News to get the latest details. And. They’ve. Become. Fatigued. Tired.
Really tired of it.
Coronavirus hasn’t gone away or become less important. Our lives have all changed. There is still need for information, but don’t be fooled. We get used to things and you don’t want to bore us. You will lose maybe large portions of your audience if you do.
So, if you are a morning show or afternoon show that has been sharing data and following the curve, it’s important to change with your audience. Now may be the best time to think about a better way to share what’s currently happening with the shutdown, the restart and the latest in Coronavirusworld.
Oh, it’s still with us and there is still a need to check in on “it.” It’s just that overloading listeners with data will lose your show listeners. They will leave. Did you hear me? They will leave if you continue to do this.
If you’re old enough, you may think back to the famous O.J. Simpson trial. It was a most expensive production to prosecute O.J. and they did such a great job presenting the overwhelming evidence that they were exceedingly confident of the outcome. But they forgot that people get lost in data and they lost their jury. There is such a thing as too much. It’s called math and for most people it’s a big “No thanks.”
What do you do in place of continuing to focusing on data? I recommend what great politicians do. No, I am not talking about anyone in the current era. I am suggesting you follow the path of people like U.S. Presidents Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. The best stagecraft politicians in all parties have always crafted short, entertaining stories that transformed support for themselves and their goals in their own most challenging times.
Obviously, we are on the radio today in a complex and fast moving world, but you can craft, promote and deliver clever, short and emotional stories about survivors, families, couples, children, whole families and even those we have lost during these times that will help you be the most compelling thing on radio.
Think about your target audience. Share stories that can impact these people the most. Touch them. Get close to them emotionally by sharing a story that you worked really hard to craft and edit for your on-air presentation. Promote ahead and make the most of it. This is a powerful path for audience connectivity, for lengthening time spent listening and for fame if you do it well.
Remember this: There are many ways to accomplish something rare and powerful. Radio is supposed to be creative, clever and connective. Using brief stories is a powerful way to elevate what you bring for listeners and will help set you apart from every other Tom, Dick and Jane on radio today. If you do it well, edit sharply and prepare only a compelling story that makes a powerful impression and touches the heart of your listener, listenership won’t leave. It will rise.
Loyd Ford consults radio stations, coaches personalities, and provides behavioral and strategic programming to radio with RPC. Reach him anytime. 864.448.4169 or [email protected]