Monday, November 01, 2010

(More) How To Do Traffic Reports (a rant continues...)

I continue to await a tidal wave of "smart traffic reporters" to immediately course correct and begin to stand out by using more powerful words after my two - highly-acclaimed if you believe the comments they attracted - blog posts last week (How To Do Weather Reports and How To Do Traffic Reports), so today's is probably more whistling in the wind.

However, here goes anyway. Yet another useless phrase that radio traffic reporters must expunge from their vocabulary forever if they hope to have listeners turn UP their reports rather than keeping them on "ignore."

"There are no accidents or problems; everything is running smoothly..."

You phoned all your usual sources. You checked the web cams and listened to the police scanners, so it seems perfectly logical to start your report with this phrase especially in the wee hours of the early morning when there's very little traffic on roads, let alone anything to be concerned about.

Every traffic reporter does it.

Which is exactly why YOU should NOT do it....until you hear a radio newscast start with the headline phrase "there's no news this morning and there's nothing to report."

PPM proves: when you have nothing to say, don't say nothing.

I rest my case.


Pete Miller said...

No one's training! They're also being paid squat!

Marijane Milton said...

Especially in PPM markets. !!

Audra Briner said...

They are compelled to find innovative ways to say the same thing..over and over..with the misguided belief that, in doing so, they are doing a better job.

Unfortunately, it backfires every time, just like that car they're reporting about t...hat "isn't causing any problems on the highways and bi-ways (which begs the question, why did you even mention it?? Sigh!)!"

Perhaps if traffic wasn't sponsored, this need to make something out of nothing would simply go away!

Just a thought. Great question to pose, though!

Valerie Geller said...

Right about the training.... Easy Fix!

(BTW - there's a book.....)

Anonymous said...

Ok! But the reports ARE sponsored!!

Beginning at 5 am on a cluster of six stations, we have over 70 traffic reports over the next four hours. Each report is monetized. Most days there are no notable traffic events.

There are NEVER any notable traffic events for the first hour and a half of traffic, so if you don't say "things are running smoothly and we have no accidents causing any delays", how do you fill those 70 reports that sponsors are paying for day-in day-out?