Jock Dos and Don'ts
June 11, 2013
I am positive that at one time or another, you have been a speaker at a school. The same questions always seem to come up: Do you meet famous people? How much do DJs make? Why don't you guys play my requests? What kind of car do you drive? What are jocks supposed to do? How hard is it to get a job? What does it take to be a disc jockey?
By the way, the best question I ever got was "Do you know when you'll be finished? I want to go to early lunch." That kid defiantly has the potential to be a syndicated air personality someday!
"What are jocks supposed to do?" is a question that jocks themselves often need help with too. Here is a list I put together for the jocks when I was an OM or PD:
- Answer the request lines and the chats in the station chat room during your show. It's the one time, other than a personal appearance, to connect with the listener. Don't linger, but be friendly and listen. Always remind them you have to get back to work and to call or contact you in the chat room again sometime. Never be rude to a caller and do not lie to them, if they ask for a request, check and see when it's coming up. If it's not in rotation during your show, tell them you will do the best you can to play it. Meanwhile, if your format permits, ask if they would like to be on the radio and have the caller request a song you know is coming up. Nine times out of 10, this will easily take the place of the request they were originally asking about. Communicating with callers or chatters can provide basic information that might be useful for you to know.
- Checking Yahoo or the Internet for news is great, but you should still read a daily newspaper for local news, community events and tidbits of information that might be useful.
- Do not let your co-workers hang out in the control room during your show. There are a couple of ways to ensure folks don't gather; A. "I would love to talk, but I have to concentrate on my show." B. "Nothing personal, but the PD has been on me about letting people hang out in here." And if you are the PD, say "The GM has been on me about letting others hang out during the show." However, if you're the PD and it is the GM in the studio, just deal with it, ha ha!
- Off the air, be friendly to everyone in the office, but avoid taking part in gossip. Whether you are or not, appear interested in what co-workers do. Don't get in the way, but go out of your way to be nice to everyone.
- Always try to do your best work no matter what it is, on the air, production, personal appearances, and whatever else is thrown your way. Keep your ego in check.
- Do not hide in the studio behind the mic, take advantage of charity functions, station events, and any sort of public appearance to meet new people. Just by being there you might be able to convert them to potential listeners. You never know who might get a diary, become a PPM panelist, or offer you a small fortune to MC an event.
- Take the time to map out your career in this business. Having a plan gives you focus and direction for the future. This kind of attention spills over into your air work and how you might be perceived by others.
- Stay away from office romances; the odds for disaster are just too high.
- Stay away from liaisons with listeners who target air personalities. Musicians are not the only ones that attract groupies. Do the movies "Play Misty for Me" with Clint Eastwood or Michael Douglass in "Fatal Attraction" ring any bells? (Depending on the age of students, I generally skipped this one)
- During your air shift, stay off the personal cell phone and studio landlines. And, don't put personal calls on the speaker phone; anyone passing the studio door can overhear your business without trying to.
- Air personalities just have to work at their craft, mind their own business, and be courteous at all times. Doing anything perceived special by the majority of the public should be kept in perspective by those fortunate enough to have the opportunity or as my grandfather would say, "Don't' get a big head because you think you are more important."