Westwood One's Metro/Shadow Traffic is a trove of research on what listeners want from radio's traffic reports over the many years they've been doing them.
The #1 complaint? Folks hate it when a radio reporter describes a terrible tie-up in great detail and strongly recommends avoiding the huge bottleneck and only at the very end mentions the place where it is.
The radio listener's ears perk up, suddenly realizing that is the route they drive, but also very annoyed that they missed the information.
Ask any listener who relies on traffic reports: mention the place where the jam you're about to describe FIRST and THEN give the details.
Smart traffic reporters even promote that they always do it that way so that listeners always know they won't miss anything important.
Incredibly, the majority of traffic reports are still not done this way in spite of the fact that it has been conventional wisdom for many years, driven by Metro research presented in city after city over the years.
It's still possible to stand out as the most user-friendly traffic reporter in your market by simply giving the location first and then the details of the jam. Every time. No exceptions.
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2 weeks ago