AI is transforming how radio stations work. As technology evolves and improves, programmers, personalities, and consultants are finding innovative applications to streamline workflows. Following my free webinar last week, three broadcasters shared how they are all in on AI for promos.

All In On AI For Promos Starts With The Script

A skeptical programmer contacted me shortly after the webinar to share his frustrations trying to get Chat GPT to turn out usable promo copy.

He wrote:

I keep hearing about how great AI is, but I think it’s horrible and can’t imagine it can turn out anything I can use. I’ve been trying to get Chat GPT to write promo copy but it’s vague and stiff. I end up rewriting everything. It’s a total waste of time.

This is a common result, and after a few back-and-forth emails, it was clear that the programmer didn’t understand how to tap into the power of Chat GPT. Here are a few tips that resulted in a series of much-improved promos:

Use Chat GPT 4.0 (the $20 per month paid version), not Chat GPT 3.5 (the free version). There’s simply no comparison between the two.

It’s All About The Prompt. Chat GPT does its best with what it is given, so explain what you want it to do. Tell it the writing style you want. Describe a character voice for your brand. Include relevant information in the promo (and leave out the rest). Tell it the length of an ideal script for the spoken word. Define a specific goal for the script. If you have a great script from another promo, provide it as an example of what you’re looking for. You might also tell it to write as if it were for a character like (insert famous person here).

Tweak it. Chat GPT will make adjustments if you provide feedback. Tell it what you like and what should be changed. Without direction, Chat GPT writes radio scripts with cheesy phrases like, “Hey, listen up, all you radio listeners out there…” Eliminate that by telling it to drop all cheesy phrases and write in a more personal and one-to-one personality. Instruct it to adjust and produce another draft. Continue the conversation until you get one you’re happy with.

Save it. When you’ve found a prompt that works (especially when it helps the AI capture your brand’s personality), copy and save it for future use.

The Voiceover

If you’re all in on AI for promos, the next step is selecting a voiceover talent. Many good services and more are emerging, but Eleven Labs is a great place to start the search. Radio Content Pro uses them for product demos and even long-form voiceovers. Here’s an example.

Consultant Jon Holliday also accesses Eleven Labs to voice special promos. He told me:

When we discussed reviving the old month-long special programming for Zeptember with our client V-Teck Communications, we thought it would add a cool dimension by adding a British voice.

Here’s how it sounded on WPKO:

Jon and I compared experiences using Eleven Labs. Here are a few tips and tricks when feeding the script to an AI voice:

Adjust voice settings. You can change the style of each voice, which creates virtually unlimited options. When you find the right combination, save your work so you don’t have to recreate it each time.

Write phonetically. The AI does a good job interpreting your intention but has difficulty with radio-specific language like call letters and dial positions. When the AI reads 107.3 and calls it “One hundred Seven and three tenths,” write it, “One Oh Seven Point Three.” If the numbers are rushed together, put in pauses with dots: “One…Oh…Seven…Point…Three.”

Use punctuation in the script to insert pauses. Sometimes, the AI voice rushes thoughts together. Write in shorter sentences, and if you want to leave a breath between lines, include two, three, or four dots. It’s easy to edit pauses out of the script.

Feed It Short Scripts. Jon has found that adjusting the text and punctuation solves most of his problems, but I give the AI 2-3 lines at a time when things don’t sound quite right. It’s easy to stitch the lines together with simple audio software.

Station Imaging & Listener Testimonials

Chuck Geiger programs a group of stations in Alaska and is one of several stations that use AI for listener comments. Reel World offers this service through some of its production services, but you can use other VO services effectively if you’re not one of their clients.

The keys:

Write Short: 1-2 lines of “listener” testimonials are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, but the longer they talk, the greater the chance of giving away the secret.

Write The Way Real People Talk: Copy that is too polished or slick is a dead giveaway.

Produce It: A music bed or imaging effects behind the listener testimonials improves the pace and helps it sound more authentic.

Get Script Ideas From Chat GPT. Ask the AI to write like a Man on the Street interview. Then, describe the type of personality you want the scripts to reflect and provide a few talking points. Ask for 50 creative, unique examples of short (less than 10 seconds) scripts to use. You won’t be able to use them all, but you’ll probably find some brilliant ideas.

Here’s a great prompt template. Adjust it to fit your brand!

You are a professional copywriter. Your job is to write clear, concise testimonials for my radio station. Each should be written in a conversational style that could be spoken in a casual manner by an average listener. Each should be no longer than 10 seconds when spoken.

The station is called Magic 92.3. In addition to the full name, some refer to it as Magic, and some as 92.3. and is designed to appeal to a 33-year-old adult woman who lives a busy lifestyle. Our music is a blend of the most popular, mostly uptempo pop songs of today and the biggest hits from the past twenty years. The Peppy And Zippy morning show is popular for being funny and making listeners laugh. Their most popular features are the $1,000 Minute and the unpredictable, sometimes shocking, and usually outrageous daily relationship feature called The Panic Button.

Be as specific as possible in the copy, including artist names, song titles, and emphasize how the station makes the listener feel emotionally.

Here are two examples you can use as a model:

“I start my day with 92.3 and Peppy and Zippy every day. Some of those problems that come up in The Panic Button are so cringy, but I can’t turn it off!”

“Magic is just right. I love Taylor Swift and Lizzo, but it’s awesome to hear a fun Katy Perry song from back in the day, too. It’s awesome.”

Conclusion

I hope you enjoy the ongoing series of best practices for making the most of AI, including this article about being all in on AI for promos. Several broadcasters asked how to learn to use AI effectively, and I shared how I’ve learned to use it:

Tap into experts. The AI engineers and developers at WP Media created Radio Content Pro by training AI bots to hunt, gather, and curate content for radio stations. I’ve helped them over the past year and have learned much about deploying AI as a tool. There are several excellent newsletters with helpful guidance, but the best way to learn is to experiment.

Trial and error. Don’t get frustrated when AI doesn’t do what you want. Adjust your approach and try again. AI is the greatest game-changing technology since the personal computer, but there is a learning curve.

Get A Shortcut: Radio Content Pro is amazing and deploys AI bots to act as creative inspiration. Let me know if you’d like a demo and tour of how it works.

Please share your use cases for leveraging the power of AI for your station with examples, and if you have ideas for future tips on using AI, let me know what you’d like here.

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