The 24th edition of Anthony’s 24th annual get-together for music radio personalities was jam-packed with opportunities to learn new strategies and tactics for surviving and thriving in the tumultuous radio biz. Nearly all that advice applies to talk radio personalities. The mood among the roughly 150 attendees was generally upbeat. Everybody knows the industry has changed for good. But they still love radio and want to be a part of it.
The group’s attitude was best summed up by the host who told me, “We’ve had four owners since I got to the station. I just keep doing my job. If [the bosses] tell me to do something I think is a bad idea, I share my opinion, but I do it. As long as they keep letting me go on the radio everyday and say out loud what most people can only think, I’m good.”
Here are a few tidbits I gleaned at MSBC:
– “Your personality should be a prism that you hold up to the white light of life. The unique colors that emerge from that prism is your show. Show prep is downloading the information that everyone has access to. Show planning is deciding what you are going to do with that material” — Cumulus SVP/Progarmming Jan Jeffries
– Keep it tight, really tight. Several panelists urged hosts to impose more discipline on their bits and monologues. ”Once you’ve edited your show, edit it again,” said Jeffries. “Build your monologues from the back. Make sure there is a pay-off and work forward from that pay-off.”
Personalities should think of their breaks as YouTube videos, according to Clear Channel SVP Jon Zellner. ”If someone forwards you a video and it doesn’t hook you right away or you see that it’s too long, you are going to delete it.”
– Promos deserve more respect and effort. Several panelists decried the slap-dash nature of show promos. Zellner said it’s gotten so bad he’s told some stations to stop running show promos unless/until they make them better. Saga’s Steve Goldstein pointed out that promos are far more important than social media in terms of building audience. Facebook, he noted, reaches just a tiny slice of the potential audience compared to an on-air promo. Some tips from the panel:
1. Alway promote content over contests, unless the contest is truly remarkable.
2. Watch local TV news promos to learn how to create a compelling message in 10-seconds.
3. The content of a promo is far more important than the production “container” that delivers it.
– The informative session on PPM strategy and tactics is nicely summarized here by Angela Perelli of Randy Lane’s consulting group.