by Tracy Johnson
Most personalities feel restricted by format and clock limitations. Song intros are shorter and programmers are paranoid about too much talk. It’s a challenge, for sure. But here is proof that radio talent absolutely, positively can be hot in 7 seconds.
As a matter of fact, this break would have less impact if the talent had taken more time. The restrictive, 7-second song intro forced him to edit.
I can’t remember the station or the personality, but it was on a pop music station in Miami. I only heard a couple of breaks, so I wasn’t sure if he was a full-time jock or a weekender. But it doesn’t matter. This is as good as it gets.
It was the middle of February. A lovely day in Miami, but a massive blizzard was slamming the northeast and most of the eastern seaboard was blanketed with snow and high wind.
Listeners in Miami heard a song start with one beat. The personality said:
If you’re on Facebook today, invite your friends in the Northeast to come on down. It’s another day in paradise on South Beach.
On the surface, this is really simple.
You’re probably thinking, “What’s the big deal?” It’s a simple break, not rocket science. But it kind of is.
Let’s break it down. There’s a lot to like here.
It’s personal: He uses the most powerful word in radio twice in the break: You. The break shines a spotlight on the listener. He focuses attention outward, speaking one-to-one.
The content is topical: Everyone was talking about the blizzard in the U.S. But in Miami, it’s another 80-degree day slathered in sunshine. This personality didn’t just say, “Hey, how about that blizzard? Our thoughts and prayers are with them.” He found a way to make it relatable. Notice he didn’t try to explain the blizzard. he didn’t need to. Listeners already knew.
It’s local: The topic was a blizzard, but he doesn’t even mention the actual topic. Instead, he turns a national story into localized content.
Relevant Community Pride: Rather than just referencing the topic, he builds a sense of community pride: This is a small thing, but it causes the audience to feel a connection to the city. His delivery oozed pride in being from South Florida.
This was just one break and hot in 7 seconds, over the short intro of an uptempo song. But it was fantastic. This was personality radio that made listeners feel great by adding to the listening experience.
This is proof that personalities don’t need a long talk window to entertain, connect, and relate. It just takes creativity, intelligence, and preparation.
Want to capture listener attention? The clock is ticking.
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