CCM Coaching Tip #4: The 3 Questions -- The Test For Any Content
November 13, 2015
by Tommy Kramer, KramerMedia.net
This is the companion piece to the last tip, "The 5 Subjects." Those guidelines are really solid, but they're only the initial "packing" phase of your trip. Choosing what to leave out of the suitcase is important, too.
Ask yourself these three questions about EVERYTHING you want to talk about on the air:
- WHY is it on?
"Because it'll be funny" is NOT the answer. Neither is "Because I think this is interesting." Those are YOU-focused, not Listener-focused. Instead, ask yourself how it relates to your Listener's life and interests. Does it fit under one of the five main subject headings? (Jobs, Entertainment, "The Buzz", Relationships, or "Things that grow out of the show.")
Now don't get me wrong; funny is fine, but if it's not something the Listener cares about, it doesn't really matter whether or not it's funny. Plus, sometimes "the buzz" is about something that isn't funny—and if you ignore that "buzz" subject, or only service it in the News, you're not going to be as relevant to the Listener as you can be (or your competitor will be).
- Where are you going with it?
What's the "payoff"? The "destination"? Is this something that might need some Listener feedback, or does it stand alone? ("Topics and Phone Calls" is getting really old. Don't automatically try to get phone calls if the Subject doesn't lend itself to them.) A good beginning is to either take something small and personal and then make it universal, or do the opposite—take something big and expansive and bring that down to something very specific to you and the Listener. And make sure that the "destination" (the ending) is different from where you started.
- What does it mean to YOUR Listener, HERE…TODAY?
Is it LOCAL? Nobody cares about something that happened in Iowa unless they live in Iowa, or unless you find a way to relate it to something visible and tangible in your city.
In every market, there's someone who manages to stay at or near the top of the ratings for eons (sometimes to a lot of radio programmers' surprise) by excelling at being LOCAL. This person can be YOU.
Try to be CLEARLY your city (and your area) in every way possible. You really can't be too local. There should be stuff in your show every day that a Listener can ONLY understand if he or she lives HERE.
Avoid the generic. Make what you put on the air have a reason to be there.
- WHY is it on?