Friday, April 18, 2014

Vary Your Pitches

As you coach and encourage talent in critique sessions it’s important to avoid a routine.

Different ways to do it:

1.  Set by set.  If the team is missing some of the basics, this can be like watching the game films.  It’s painful to watch that play where you missed your assignment and cost a win, but it has tremendous impact and can be sure that everyone who talks on the air is aware of what you expect to hear from them.  What percentage of the breaks passes the “who cares” test?

2.  Overview.  This doesn’t involve listening to an air check.  Show the team your own version of this monitor clock (with thanks to a 1980’s McVay Media programming manual form) of an hour of their show.

Goal:  to give more of an overall impression of the station's balance of elements in every quarter hour to a casual listener.  How likely is that person to become more loyal based on the “big picture?”

3.  Ask the talent to tell you how they feel about today’s show.  If it’s a team, ask each person to rate the show on a scale of 1-10 and then talk about the differences from each character’s perspective.  Often, talent is much more self-critical than you could ever be.  Guide and encourage them in self-help.

If every critique session follows the same pattern, you’ll find that everyone comes to them with two very human reactions:  defensiveness and denial.

Once you've mixed up these methods, you may want each daily talent meeting by giving them the choice of which of the three they feel will be most effective today.

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