(By Randy Lane) The old Top 40 tagline “the hits just keep on coming!” applies perfectly to 2020. But the hits we keep on getting are not the entertaining kind. The election kicks into high gear this week, and the next five weeks will be another assault on our collective psyche.
If you’re on a music station morning or personality afternoon show, how do you stay authentic and address the biggest election of our lifetime? There are many obstacles going against you.
The Election Dilemma
Most of the population is seeking comfort and escape from Covid, isolation, unemployment, boredom, inequality, injustice, fires, hurricanes, misinformation, and the polarized election. Listeners are coming to music stations to escape all the above and to be entertained. The last thing they want is politics.
The rub is you can’t be authentic and ignore the election. Here are four ways to acknowledge the election without getting into the weeds.
- The Danger of Commentary
Eliminate all serious political commentary. It’s totally out of step with listener expectations, and you cannot change people’s minds. Even if 75% of your audience is conservative or liberal, the opposing 25% will hate you, and not in a good way. TSL is critical to mornings now, and cume is still well below pre-Covid levels.
- Humor Transcends All
If you venture outside of factual information with commentary, make it brief and make it funny. Run either non-political clips from late night comedy shows, or include humor on candidates from both sides of the isle.
- Election Info Placement
Newscasts and trending segments are the ideal place to deliver election and political news. Since there is a glut of misleading and misinformation online, be a beacon for truth and facts. Don’t trust any information on social media and question much of it on cable TV.
- Voting is a Fundamental and Constitutional Right
Your show’s greatest service between now and November 3rd is to provide voting information. Vote.org has an abundance of information on voter registration, voting by mail, absentee voting and state-by-state voting deadlines, dates, and rules.’
Randy Lane launched his media talent coaching and personal brand development company in 1996. He can be contacted by phone at 805.231.5746 or email at [email protected].