Morning Basics Matter
March 26, 2013
This week, we prepare for Spring ratings with a focus on morning show formatics and execution.
- Plan the show the day/night before. Then add late-breaking content before airtime.
- Research your content. Find interesting bits, news and topics via the Internet, prep services, and your DVR ... all before the show comes on the air.
- Look for the big event that is the hot topic of the day. If you find one, weave it throughout the show and aim straight for your core target.
- Plan every break ahead of time; this includes every element, the order of delivery, how to start, and how to get out. Having a planned exit will keep the bit shorter and on a more direct course.
- Have at least one benchmark or bit every half-hour. That's also a key ingredient in setting listener appointments and building timing guideposts for your audience.
- Do consistently great shows every day with identical benchmark features at the same times for regularity and reliability. Help listeners plan their day and their on-time arrival by keeping your show (and your audience) on schedule.
- Practice brevity in stopsets; keep them short for flow; leave listeners wanting more (not less).
- Talk up the music and exhibit passion for the format; occasionally provide music info into/out of songs beyond title and artist.
- Sound local with relatable community info; talk to the target listener.
- Be likeable and positive; stay away from politics, race and religion.
- Have listener phone calls and participation. This may be in benchmarks, games, and via phone or social media.
- Talk about top-rated TV shows and their stars ("American Idol," "The Voice," "Dancing with the Stars," etc.); focus on the ones your listeners watch. The same goes for the major movies. You'll be helping listeners plan their spare time.
- Produce a "best of" promo right after the show. Run it every other hour promoting the next day's show.
- It's okay to be vulnerable. That's how you get a true emotional reaction and attraction. Let the listener in on your life, assuming you have one!
- Ditch the "I" myopia. Don't talk about yourself too much; most bits shouldn't start with a story about you.