(By Randy Lane)
Do you know someone who has been affected by breast cancer? I’m betting your answer is yes. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women, and it takes the lives of nearly 50,00 people every year.
Several female personality influencers have taken mammograms live on-air and on social media to create awareness for this pervasive disease. Radio stations have staged bras across river bridges and other public events to raise awareness and money for research.
It helps to have a spokesperson from the American Cancer Society to share information or to announce an event, but think about it this way: will the audience respond more to a spokesperson telling listeners about a fundraiser or a survivor reliving the story of her emotional struggles from inception to triumph? People connect to your show through emotion. Stories can touch listeners’ hearts and inspire them to respond.
Whether you’re talking with a breast cancer or a Covid survivor, delve into the emotional components of their story. Be sure to allow your show to breathe, embrace emotional moments and let thoughtful silences play out without hosts jumping in too quickly.
The same scenario plays out when radio stations get involved to help fire, flood, and other natural disaster relief efforts. People have trouble connecting with intangible organizations or a huge effort to help thousands; however, they relate to one person or one family’s story.
We have coached several of EMF’s KLOVE and AIR 1 personalities over many years. When their hosts appeal to listeners to donate money or highlight their financial goals during pledge drives, the response is usually crickets chirping. Conversely, when they air a person telling a sad to joyous story of how listening to KLOVE or AIR 1 changed their life, the dollars pour in.
Prompt guests to reveal their inner thoughts and feelings upon learning of their condition, the struggle, and the turning points. What was the mindset that got them through it? Was there a silver lining or gift from the experience that changed their perspective or their life?
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].