How to Get Into Fan Conversations

How to Get Into Fan Conversations

by Tracy Johnson

If you’re active on social media, you know how valuable it is to get listeners to talk about something they hear on the radio. Being a part of fan conversations is the best possible marketing.

This usually requires creating relevant content (things people care about) in a relatable way (making them care through performance).

Both are important, though relatable is more valuable. The ultimate goal is to be both relevant and relatable. Accomplish both and a magical thing takes place. Listeners talk about the show. Radio personalities become part of fan conversations.

There is no recipe for making this happen, but it requires two disciplines:

  • Relentless focus on making the show’s performance important.
  • Dedication to the process of show prep.

Here’s how it works.

Focus On Importance

Incredible, repeatable, over-the-top moments usually don’t happen by accident. It’s the result of careful planning and detailed show prep.

In Australia, KISS-FM’s amazing Kyle & Jackie O are relentless preppers. Former Executive Producer Craig Bruce told me their Monday morning show prep meeting could not end until the team was confident with a plan to cause talk and generate press for at least one major segment that week.

Radio Hall Of Fame personalities Jeff and Jer built their legendary success on creating Didja Hear moments. That’s a story or segment that has the potential to cause listeners to tell a friend or coworker:

Didja Hear what Jeff and Jer did this morning?

These moments don’t happen each day. But every show can focus on making each show important enough to cause fan conversations.

The Show Prep Process

The second ingredient is a dedication to investing time and effort into making great moments happen. This demands discipline. There are many ways to prepare a radio show, but are principles that should be enforced in each prep meeting:

  • Every show member must come to the meeting with ideas.
  • Nobody is allowed to respond to the question, “What’s going on?” by saying, “Nothing much”.
  • The meeting doesn’t end until there’s a detailed plan that could lead to fan conversations.

It doesn’t have to be a major topic. In fact, great moments often come from smaller ideas.

And that’s exactly what this show did in a small, yet brilliant way.

Turk Stage Gets Into Fan Conversations

Here’s a great example from Turk, Rachel, and Amateur Alex at Virgin Radio/Halifax.

In Canada, Tim Horton’s is a massive fast-food restaurant.  Side note: Tim Bits are terrific!

A couple of times a year, the company launches a high profile promotion called Roll Up the Rim. It’s a game to “roll-up” the rim of the lid of a beverage to win prizes ranging from free coffee to $10,000 in cash.

Everyone knows about it and it generates a lot of attention while it’s happening. It’s not unusual to see people searching trash looking for cups that haven’t been rolled yet.

Turk took advantage of the promotion’s popularity in a simple way. Every morning, he buys a large coffee on the way to his show. He then promotes “another chance to win $10,000 this morning at 8:50 (when the show ends).”

At the end of the show, he gives away his empty coffee cup, with an unrolled lid. He solicits a contestant, and on the air rolls up the rim to reveal the prize.

Most often, the message is, “Sorry, you didn’t win. Try again”. But they still win Turk’s cup, signed by the show. This is a fantastic idea. And it’s free!


This simple promotion costs nothing, adds personality, and creates a positive benchmark that puts the show into the middle of fan conversations.

Any station could do this. It’s just a matter of being alert, creative, and focused enough to take advantage of the opportunity.


6 Secrets To Cause Talk

The Difference Between Relevant and Relatable… and Why It Matters

Resources for Show Prep

Personality Profile: 10 Reasons Kyle & Jackie O Are One of The World’s Best Morning Shows

Personality Profile: Jeff & Jer And the Hall of Fame


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