Successful personalities MUST always strive to be local and topical. Take advantage of every opportunity to be "one on one" with a listener (one person by name as opposed to 'an audience,' which is impersonal and generic).
From "the old ideas are often the best ideas" department:
* Every time mention is made of "a listener" calling the persons name, city, and even audio should be used.
* Keep a list of people who call your morning show and relate back to them in the future. i.e.: "..Joe from Everytown called last week and pointed out...." This really puts you in touch with the Everytown audience and imagine how "Joe" will feel when he hears his name back on the radio.
* Every place has an employer in the area where "everyone either works or lives next to someone who does." Intro all contest players on the air by name, city, and occupation, which is always followed by "and a part time security guard at (company)". This tongue in cheek bit is not only fun but adds some great local spice and your own way of doing so.
* Do the same thing with Song Parodies/produced bits provided by the national comedy services. Tell listeners that the song or idea was sent in to you by a well-known local musician, or comes from a secret recording studio in a small nearby town with a funny name, if you can't re-lyric the parody with some sort of local reference or angle.
* KMPS/Seattle's Ichabod Caine announced on the air each day for many years where he would be going at lunch to "prepare tomorrow's show." He literally did his writing and brainstorming in a different local park, restaurant, museum, or other public place each day. The discipline of "going somewhere specific" each day and sitting down for two hours with the public before going home after leaving the radio station forces Ichabod to prep AND gives him lots of fresh grist for localisms every day. He drops names of people who come out to see him and solicits content from everyone who does.
* Take 30 listener winners of your station's at-work salutes to lunch each Friday. Present Grand Prizes at the weekly event. Take a digital video recorder to the lunch and collect listener testimonials about the station, reactions from the winners, as well as fun human stories that these folks share with them. Use the audio on the air next week and the video on your website.
* When using phone calls on the air you do not have to air the entire phone call, and in most cases you would not ever want to. Edit "on the fly:" Introduce the caller, where they are calling from and a lead sentence setup for their story as if you know the person instead of wasting any time asking them their name, etc. on the air and cue the audio up to "the point" of the call. Clip the playback immediately after the main point of the call has been made. Make it SOUND like every one of your callers never wastes time, does small talk, or says anything that it's right to the point and worth using.
And, of course, you know their all of their names, where they work and live, what they want to tell you (because you asked in advance off the air), making you the "local authority!"
Remembering the Great Dan Daniel: Six Principles Behind the Success of One of America's Premiere Air Talents - *Dan Daniel was one of the great air talents in America, being a standout in New York City for 42-plus years before he passed last week all too soon at 81...
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