Radio Programming Ideas For Personalities and Programmers, Especially Country Radio Broadcasters.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Learning From Talk Radio
I recently ordered the CD ROM copy of Coleman's 2005 presentation to the R&R Talk Radio Seminar, and - yes - the lessons from the focus groups did hit the mark for the personalities tested (Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Michael Savage), as rated in focus groups of their listeners both qualitatively (individual focus opinions) and quantitatively (using high-tech "dials" connected to a computer) but the points are universal and well worth applying to your show too:
- Strong ideas with strong calls can sustain interest - Deliver what people want and what they expect - Give something real and substantive - Listeners react first with their heart and then their mind - Listeners lose interest on almost any topic, even if they really like it, if it goes too long - Offer an opinion people agree with - Use popular ideas and ideas that trigger an emotional response to tweak a monologue. - Use emotion evoking language - A joke or humor can create interest, but it can also go on too far and become the message, not the means to the message - Make it easy to understand; people will not invest time in figuring out what’s going on - Even a good thing can lose focus and get off point - Don’t let callers take you off expected topic - Listeners won’t give you very long and won’t forgive you for having bad callers - But, getting back on topic quickly can regenerate interest - The role of a sidekick needs to be clear and they need to contribute - Conflict can cause interest - Men and women react differently to content - Anticipation of change can create interest - Don’t let the conflict become the message - Don’t forget to keep your listeners in the loop. They need to understand what’s going on.
In short...(Coleman's Conclusions) •Give listeners what they expect and want •Give listeners something substantive •Make it easy to understand, stay on topic •Any reaction is better than a flat line; a flat line is cognitive tune out and that is seconds from changing channels •Humor and controversy can create interest, but if overdone become the message, not the means to the message •Listeners react first with “heart then mind”. Emotional triggers get people involved even if in the end they don’t like their own reaction •Listeners respond more favorably to opinions with which they agree than to a real discussion or airing of differing opinions •Listeners will give a show 60 seconds to hook them unless it’s a known brand. They will give a known brand 120 seconds •Patriotism works every time •Anticipation of something new will hold the audience or peak their interest •Women are more tolerant of most content than men
Want to know more? Jon Coleman, Chris Ackerman or Warren Kurtzman, of course, would welcome the opportunity to look at these things in your local situation with your own content and rated by your listeners.