Story Arc Radio
August 14, 2012
In 2012 great morning show content can come from many sources;
- Daily team storytelling
- Daily personal storytellingÂ
- Listener storytelling
- Turning topicality into primal content (doing interesting and compelling things with topicality)
- Leaving listeners 'wanting more' with daily Cliffhangers
- Developing Story Arc Radio
A story arc is an extended or continuing storyline.
Morning Shows that embrace story arc radio have a far greater chance of success than those that do not.
Story Arc radio fast tracks heritage and demands foreground listening.
Most great breakfast shows deliver 4-6 major story arc campaigns across a 12 month period.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
In most cases they run a min of 4 weeks (including teasing etc) because any shorter and they won't change listening patterns. You need to allow time for ''recall and talk'' to become a factor.
The goal of story arc radio is to drive cume/reach into the morning show.....then additional tune ins across the day.... and back into mornings.
These campaigns can be driven out of topicality, community and listener needs or perhapsÂ justÂ via a great concept.
They force opinion and they cannot be ignored.
Common traits for great story arc radio
A strong premise that evokes emotion
A great cast including a hero and villain
Primal themes like anger and lust
A critical path with various twists and turns
A false climax
A compelling conclusion
A moral to the story
Here is an example....................
In a far away, long ago kingdom, Cinderella is living happily with her mother and father until her mother dies.
Cinderella's father remarries a cold, cruel woman who has two daughters, Drizella and Anastasia. When the father dies, Cinderella's wicked stepmother turns her into a virtual servant in her own house.
Meanwhile, across town in the castle, the King determines that his son the Prince should find a suitable bride and provide him with a required number of grandchildren. So the King invites every eligible maiden in the kingdom to a fancy dress ball, where his son will be able to choose his bride.
Cinderella has no suitable party dress for a ball, but her friends the mice, led by Jaques and Gus, and the birds lend a hand in making her one, a dress the evil stepsisters immediately tear apart on the evening of the ball.
At this point, enter the Fairy Godmother, the pumpkin carriage, the royal ball, the stroke of midnight, the glass slipper, and the rest, as they say, is fairy tale history.
Check the story arc.......................
The story of Cinderella certainly ticks all the right boxes.
Pay particular attention to the extremes......from ecstasy to agony ....back and forth right through her life.....makes X Factor look pretty shallow really.Â
Lets look at a few more proven morning show Story Arcs for radio......
- Man Made Wedding (the groom does the lot)
- Facing Your Fears
- Date my Dad
- Breaking a world record
- Creating the Rules of Life
- Best Home cooked meal in your market
- Inheriting kids overnight
- 15 Days of Fame(the anti Idol)
- You only live twice (think witness protection)
- Hottest Asylum Seeker
Some tips when executing your plan
Really spend time on the plan.
Make it big by working up a critical path (storyboard the campaign).
Ensure you really cut through.
Work hard to deepen the content.
Do this right and you get a month of 'must listen to' morning radio....but even better, the content should be so engaging that listeners feel compelled to talk about the campaign and you get the credit.
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