American rock journalist, Ben Fong-Torres, recently interviewed a PPM panelist and confirmed what many of us already knew – PPM is not 100% accurate. The pager-like PPM devices, while more accurate than diaries, are not infallible. They do not perfectly collect all listening in all situations.
In a recent article, Springwise.com lists five businesses that look to the crowds for content, including Listener Driven Radio.
Tapping the crowd for creative input can provide a double-sided benefit for businesses: first, it unleashes a huge resource of ideas, often at little or no cost. Second, it’s a powerful marketing tool, providing information about who potential customers are, and about what they like. Here are five recently spotted enterprises that make use of content from the crowd…
Click here for the full article from Springwise.com
Dave Charles – ByrnesMedia
Engagement is about getting your audience involved in your show. It’s about using the best of social media and capturing the best bits on air as part of the station’s ongoing dialogue with its audience.
Now is also the time for radio to embrace some new production values that engage the audience on their turf. For years we’ve used listener requests, shout outs, street segments, artist grabs and internet bits, especially from YouTube, to enhance our shows.
Twitter, Facebook and texting are current forms of active listener engagement beyond radio. It’s time to put both together now. To achieve this, you need to work with your on-air talent to integrate comments and listener conversations that will add more engagement to live shows.
Some stations have good on-air systems to capture callers and voice bits. Voxpro by Audionlabs has one of the best systems. Check them out on (audionlabs.com). This excellent system allows you to record all voice bits, edit them and put them into a category and file for use whenever your talent needs them. Some of these clips are not time dated so they can be stored for future use.
The art, however, is not the recording and editing of these live bits and putting them into files, but in how they are integrated into the live on-air shows. That’s what needs to be developed. PD’s and talent alike need to work together on the styles and variations. Believe me, there are endless ways to roll them into a live break. Every talent will have a different approach to using them. The key is to start your talent moving in this direction now.
The art is in experimenting with this concept. Everyone may have a different approach. So rule one is to keep an open mind and keep the clips simple until you get a feel for this new engagement approach.
If you use these clips as part of your rap, you’ll add more listener presence to your show which will make you sound like you’re a part of your listeners’ conversations. The real difference is that it sounds like your talking with your listeners and not at them. This is the highest form of involvement. As more listeners hear their bits on air, the more they will talk about it with their friends. We all know how important it is to create good word of mouth.
Not all talents will have the production and editing skills required at first. This is an acquired skill that can only be developed with practice. The trick is to edit out the right segments of the clips from the raw conversations and put them in a file order that can be easily accessed and used. This also means proper labelling so you can easily find them.
The best way to begin is to use no more than two voice clips within a live talk break. Script the structure of the bits indicating where the voice grabs will be placed allows the talent to keep the break on track.
Ryan Seacrest and Maura on Virgin Radio Toronto are very skilled at using listener and artist grabs to add engagement to their shows. Listen to them on the net to get a sense of how effective this new engagement can be. Quality of the cuts is also essential.
It’s time to replace some of the station’s cluttered ID’s and production with listener engagement bits. Some stations are over cooked and over produced. Over produced stations have TSL problems because they are too hot and too cluttered.
Let’s talk about how to use this new tactic to develop listener engagement. I believe you need to explore listener engagement as a show priority.
Contact Dave Charles at ByrnesMedia toll free at 1-866-332-1331.
Dave Charles – ByrnesMedia
Always prepare relevant to your audience demographic and psychographic. Psychographic means how your audience feels about the things you talk about. Is it relevant to their lifestyle? How will they emotionally respond to what you say and how you say it?
Beware of trends and fads and how they affect the behaviour of your listeners. Shift happens and talent needs to be aware of these changes. An example of this is how Twitter is now hotter and faster than emails. Twitter broke the Haitian earthquake story before traditional news networks could get there.
Convergence is a reality in our new media world. Devices like the iPhone now offer, in addition to email, text, Twitter and Facebook connection, a chance to order many apps that helps you to have everything you need on one platform. Be sure to call ByrnesMedia for your Radio Station iPhone app today and promote it properly. EG ‘Take your home town FM station with you when you travel’. There are over 220,000 apps available and some good ones for free.
Deliver immediacy. With new media information from sources like Twitter, it’s important that you update your audience. If you don’t, you’ll lose your ‘preferred source’ status.
Evaluate what listeners are interested in. Read widely. Look for sites that talk about what really matters to listeners. Tap into this and filter your showprep through these various lifestyle filters. Check out the ByrnesMedia website for new and fresh information at www.ByrnesMedia.com.
Find a better way and fresher approach to do the basics. In Australia, Mike Perso, one of Austereo’s top personalities, would incorporate listeners into doing basics like time and weather and finish up the bit by adding a local element from the listener’s area of the city. EG ‘what’s happening at your place today?’ Most successful shows today are locally focused.
Good means great. For you to remain relevant and viable to your audience, you need to keep five words in mind always. INFORM, ENTERTAIN, IMMEDIATE, LOCAL and ENGAGE. Being good in all of these areas will assure you of success. Each of these five words has many variations. Some talents are better at information than entertainment. Know your strengths and be the best in the areas you specialize in. Being immediate is stronger than being local. Twitter has made this our new reality.
Heart and soul. The best talents who achieve great ratings time after time project amazing heart and soul. Add conviction to that and you’ve got a winner. The audience knows if you are into it. Reality TV and the internet have changed this forever.
Interactive is best. Create a dialogue with your listeners. Give them a chance to be a part of your show topics and discussions. This ranks up there along with immediacy as something listeners desire. Most of us form our opinions by consensus. We compare our thoughts against those of others. How often are you swayed by great comments or taken on a new perspective because you’ve listened to another opinion?
Just do it! Nike said this in their ad campaign first. For radio it means ‘take a stand on something’ that separates you from the pack. Be brave and bold. Be proactive. The great and late Tom Rivers of 1050 CHUM glory days used to sign off his show by saying ‘Lead, follow or get out of the way’.
Keep it simple. Larry King is the king of simple. He doesn’t talk much. But what he says and how he says it cuts through. Don’t be afraid to make your point simply and directly. Your audience will remember what you said.
Leverage opportunities. Jaymz Bee, morning personality, is thinking about running for Mayor of Toronto. His campaign is all about the things that make Toronto great and how to make the big city better. He used Twitter, Facebook and a website to gather thoughts and information from his listeners. He said that he wants to put the party back into politics. He’s naming his new party ‘The Cocktail Party’. So along with the serious issues of finding out how to make Toronto better, he’s also having lots of fun with it.
Minute by minute. Your audience’s lives are more complex than ever. Everything is moving faster and faster. Trying to keep pace in a rapidly evolving new media and digital world is stressful enough for most but more particularly for older demo stations. Announcers need to think more minute by minute in planning their breaks to make sure that every break counts. Don’t hook too far ahead. Pay off on information and entertainment as soon as you can. Do the twenty minute test. Turn your station on at any time on any show for twenty minutes. Assess the content, information and entertainment during that time. Now do the same with your nearest competitor and see how you stack up. I use this method to determine if a station is on strategy. You can use the same method to evaluate your relevance and content value.
Now you must know your audience. It’s a good idea to find out the hot topics with your listeners and make sure you’re giving them enough information to keep them coming back for more.
Opportunities. Most of the great shows exploit new opportunities. Get into the habit of brainstorming new ideas that add freshness to your show. Most opportunities are lost because they weren’t properly explored. PD’s need to find 15 minutes to do ‘instant brainstorms’ to look for new opportunities to expand each and every show. Brainstorms are used by all major companies to develop new software and concepts for their consumers. Your show is part of what your listeners can choose from. The best ones get the attention and ratings deserved based on the quality of the content and entertainment.
Play back your show. If you don’t listen to your show on a regular basis you’ll never evolve it. I recommend you do that with your PD. Also, do that with people you respect. Every now and then it’s a good idea to get a fresh perspective.
Questions? To achieve a great interview, it’s all about asking great questions. Read Larry King’s book, ‘How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere. The Secret of Good Communication.’ This is the best book you’ll ever read on the art of doing great interviews.
Restate and replay. Many times you’ll have a great moment on your show that is often missed by your audience. Don’t hesitate to replay a good bit back later on in your show. Be sure you hook it and set it up properly with a specific time to hear it.
Seize the moment. Most days it’s hard to find an event or cause that’s worth expanding on. The new thinking on ‘seize the moment’ is that it doesn’t have to be a big event – it can be small but personal. What new media does so well is that it’s ‘personal communications’. Be sure that you look for something that’s real and of general interest to your audience. EG. Finding a wallet in the back of a taxi. Put the taxi driver on the air describing the wallet. Identify the person and have them call the station. When the person calls you, put them on the air. That’s a small example of seizing the moment.
Tease and hook. TSL now means second by second tuning in the world of PPM. Keep this in mind when you hook and tease your bits. Make sure you pay off A.S.A.P.
Utilize all available free resources. Three of the best showprep resources are the Internet, Twitter and Facebook. But never underestimate the power of getting out and experiencing things. I highly recommend you experience your city. Keep your eyes open for characters and things that are great ways to find out the hot topics. Mine was always the local cab company. I had five drivers I would call on a random basis for the hot topics. Don’t forget that ByrnesMedia offers one of the best showprep services in North America. It’s not free, but it’s a very worthwhile investment.
Vibe. Winning shows have the right vibe. Vibe is an attitude that needs to come from the head through the heart. It’s the very essence of your style and performance. A winning personality also has swagger and confidence to deliver a show with real spark and appeal.
Will to succeed and carve out your share of the audience. The best advice given to me was by Greg Smith of ESP Media Australia. He said, you must think about every show as if you were running for election. Make sure your always on topic and relevant to the needs of your audience. I now share this sage advice with you.
Xtra effort is the norm rather than the exception. The most successful shows all have that xtra gear that propels the show into greatness. Xtra results come from talent that meets with your PD to review, refine and rebuild a better show for the next day. If you’re not getting regular direction, find another station that will give you the right direction.
Yesterday once more. Shows that live in the past usually fade away into the ozone. The exception is an oldies trivia show. Most of us love factoids and bits of trivia we can attached to our favourite old songs. BOOM FM, Toronto has framed oldies from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s as Toronto GREATEST HITS. For announcers, be in the now. Keep your show in the present and moving forward to the future. Think of it this way; right now you’re playing someone’s favourite song. You may not like it, but someone does. So play it and respect it.
Zone. Find the zone for your talent in context with your show and daypart. Are you in the zone with your show and talent? When you are in the zone, you are on form to do great radio.
Aug 1-31 “Children’s Vision and Learning Month”: To remind people of the important role that good vision plays in a child’s ability to read and learn. Call 330-995-0718 or 1-888-268-37770, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.covd.org.
August 1-31 “Get Ready for Kindergarten Month”: A celebration to support a happy entry into kindergarten. Going into kindergarten is a life-changing event not only for the child, but also for parents, siblings, and educators. Call Katie Davis 914-244-8777, email email@example.com.
Aug 1-31 “Happiness Happens Month”: 10th annual celebration to encourage people to express happiness and discourage parade-raining. Sponsored by the Secret Society of Happy People. Call 972-459-7031, email firstname.lastname@example.org. See www.sohp.com .
Aug 1-31 “National Inventors Month”: Celebrating the importance of new inventions that improve the quality of our lives. Call 1-800-836-8808, email email@example.com. Web: www.investorsdigest.com
Aug 1-31 “National Win With Civility Month”: When we are civil to each other we confirm our worth and acknowledge the worth of others. Call Thomas Danaher 702-384-7376, email firstname.lastname@example.org..
Aug 1 “Sisters Day”: Celebrating the spirit of sisterhood. May include biological sisters, sorority sisters, sisterly friends, etc. Call Tricia Eleogram 901-681-2145. email Eleogram@aol.com. .
Aug 1-7 “Single Working Women’s Week”: This week we celebrate the single women who make the modern world a better place – and who find the money, time and energy to lovingly support others. Call 773-292-3294, email email@example.com.
Aug 2 “Civic Holiday”: The first Monday in August is observed as a holiday in seven of Canada’s 10 provinces (Manitoba, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Ontario, Saskatchewan have Civic Holiday. It is called British Columbia Day in BC and Heritage Day in Alberta).
Aug 2-6 “Psychic Week”: Either invite a local psychic into the control room and have some fun on the air, or phone a different psychic each day “live on the air” and when they don’t answer saying “Hi [insert your name and your station name]”, hang up on them as they can’t be very good. After all, shouldn’t they know who it is?
Aug 7 “Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day”: Buy anything lately? Did you succeed in getting the darn thing open? For info call Thomas & Ruth Roy 717-279-0184. email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aug 7 “Professional Speakers Day”: A day celebrating the consummate professionals who help people through their oratorical skills. Call Jim Barber 954-476-9252, email email@example.com. See www.professionalspeakersday.com.
Aug 13-15 “Abbotsford International Airshow”: 47th annual. Leading air show in North America attracts the world’s top aeronautical performers. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.abbotsfordairshow.com.
Aug 6-16 “Halifax International Busker Festival”: Halifax, NS. Street performers and artists from around the world, vaudeville nights and entertainment tent. Call 902-429-1068. email email@example.com.
Aug 1-7 “World Breastfeeding Week”: Breastfeeding advocates, health care professionals and social services agencies focus on the importance and benefits of breastfeeding. Email the LaLeche League of Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org. See www.lllc.ca.
Aug 10-16 “Elvis Week”: Over 75,000 fans invade Graceland and Memphis for the hundreds of events that are organized. He died Aug 16, 1977. Call Graceland at 1-800-238-2000 or www.elvis.com Payphones near the ticket-line: 901-345-9847, 901-332-9416, 901-332-9442. Also, call the ‘Elvis’ McDonalds Restaurant (in Tupelo-his birthplace) 601-844-5505.
Aug 15-20 “Weird Contest Week”: It happens in Ocean City, New Jersey. Artistic pie eating, French fry sculpting, wet t-shirt throwing and more. They have a different contest daily, so call Mark Soifer, the PR Director of Ocean City at 609-525-9300, or email email@example.com for some great stories.
Aug 12 “Vinyl Record Day”: Favourite songs can bring back fond memories and Vinyl Record Day encourages celebrating these music memories with family and friends. The day also seeks to recognize the tremendous cultural influence that vinyl records and album covers have had for more than 60 years and the need to preserve that audio history. Call Gary Freilberg 888-644-4567, email gary@VinylRecordDay.org.
Aug 16 “Joe Miller’s Joke Day”: Joe is believed to be the first person ever to publish a joke book. Joe was a comic actor who worked at the Drury Lane Theatre and he published a 70-page book [247 Jokes] called “Joe Miller’s Jests” in England in 1739. It was revised and expanded hundreds of times and the last printing contained 1,500 jokes. A great opportunity to launch your own joke book, with money going to charity.
Aug 18 is “Bad Poetry Day”. Compose some really bad material and read it on the air, or have people call in with the worst material, or read a few lines of well-known poems [visit your local library] and have callers tell you what you’re really saying.
Aug 22 “Be An Angel Day”: Encourage people to do “one small act of service for someone” today. For more information on this day call Rev Jayne Howard-Feldman at 410-833-6912, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.earthangel4peace.com.
Aug 25 “Secondhand Wardrobe Day”: Although a secondhand wardrobe is both economically and ecologically sound, buying and wearing used clothing is generally not viewed in a positive light. The purpose of this day is to encourage thrift store donations and to remove the stigma of previously owned clothing and accessories by providing information about the cost benefits, skills required and pleasures of buying secondhand.