You have approximately 15 seconds to make a first impression. That is just as true in radio as it is in real life. The amount of time you are granted after that first 15 seconds depends on how good you are at making what you have to say really matter to that listener.
On Twitter, you have 140 characters to make your point; Facebook gives you a little more lead way, but in general, the reader does not. Instagram and Pintrest are all about the pictures for a reason. The average human (particularly American) has the attention span of a gnat. When you are concise and creative you will be a better communicator.
Jacobs Media’s Social expert, Lori Lewis, put it very well in a recent Monday Memo to A&O&B Clients:
“The next time you post socially – pause and really think about your messaging.
- Is it really of value? Or are you just posting to meet a quota?
- Does it play to the fans’ passions?
- Does it emulate their language?
- Does it acknowledge them in a way that feels personalized?
When every post involves at least one of these factors, you are well on your way to building an active social fan base that is critical for every brand to have today. Self-involved, mediocre social communication is as brand erosive as a bad break.”
Her last line says it all. You must apply these same criteria to your on-air content breaks. The next time you prepare a break, pause and really think about your messaging:
- What is in it for the listener? Is what you have to say of value or are you just talking to fill a break and satisfy the station agenda.
- Are you expressing an emotion and painting a picture with your words?
- Are you telling the story in the same way you would tell it to a friend or are you reading it like a story off of the newswire?
- Have you given the listener a chance to be a part of the break and contribute their viewpoint?
When every live break involves all four of these points, you are well on your way to creating intangible assets that are unduplicatable by any other radio competitor in your market.
Don’t waste a break doing a back announce/front announce. Make that moment matter by creating content that solidifies your bond with the listener on a one to one, very personal level. It is all about the relationship you have with your listeners. Without that, radio will become just another disposable form of media in an already cluttered world.