January 22, 2013
I get a lot of questions addressing a variety of concerns. These are three topics that frequently come up.
When to Turn It On
One of the most important things I ever learned changed my approach to being on the air. I was already working in a top 25 market when the legendary jock JoJo Kincaid told me, “You don’t have to be 'up' for the entire time during your shift. You are only on when the mic is on, and you only need 20 seconds to psyche yourself up prior to opening the mic.” Those words gave me a new perspective and I have been teaching it to others ever since. Prior to JoJo, I thought it was necessary to be hyped up during an entire shift, whether the mic was on or off, which was exhausting.
On Air Interviews
There are three types of interviews; sound bite capsules (60 seconds or less), short form (two to three minutes), and long form (talk show format). Capsules do not require advance prep work. However, in short or long form, it’s always smart to hold a conversation with the interviewee for a few minutes either a day prior or just before the actual interview. It puts the interviewee at ease and helps identify what they might be most knowledgeable or passionate about. Sometimes interesting things are revealed in these casual conversations that might not have turned up in the bio information. This approach applies to live or phone interviews.
So Your E-mail Doesn't Get Dumped
Sometimes it is the small things we don't think about. I was encouraging one of my clients to send e-mails to programmers to seek advice, and so that this client could see that PD's are just regular folks. During one of our critique sessions, she told me she had not received any replies. The light bulb inside my head lit up. I asked what she was putting in the subject line. She said either just 'hi' or 'hello.' Bingo. She unknowingly had solved her problem. The PD's probably thought her e-mails were Spam (or their email server automatically dropped them into the Spam file) or they thought the email contained a virus. I simply told her to put in the subject line "I need radio advice/I am an afternoon drive personality." She took my advice and, sure enough, started getting replies.