How To Build A Radio Show With The GIFS System

How To Build A Radio Show With The GIFS System

by Tracy Johnson

When you hear the term GIFS, you probably think of those funny, animated photos that make their way into your email box all the time. But this is a GIFS System that could be just what you need to add consistency and structure to your radio show.
One of the most common questions from clients is how to set up a radio show that gives their station the best chance to improve quickly. Of course, there are as many answers to this question as there are personalities. But there are some fundamental elements that can make a show balance and give it that consistency that helps listeners figure out how to use you.
GIFS is an acronym that stands for Game, Information, Funny and Story.

The GIFS System

GIFS has nothing to do with content, personality or character traits. It has everything to do with how you create and program that content so your personality can stand out.

G is for Games

Radio shows should be designed so listeners can play along. Build in interactive elements that engage your audience. This could be actual games, like $1,000 Minute or Heads Up, or it could be phone topics that include audience response.

It’s not just literal games, but the means for the audience to interact.

Gamifying is making it fun to play along with, but doesn’t have to include actual callers or physical reactions. It means to add content that causes the listener to be engaged with your show. That could be as simple as a multiple choice tease that plays like a game.

I is Information

This is a broad category that could include news, weather, traffic and sports. Or it could be events happening in the community. Or an entertainment report. It may be a style and fashion update. Or one of the popular Good News features many shows use.

Some shows, like Free Beer And Hot Wings have a daily feature where Hot Wings gives a short commentary on social issues. What you do for information will vary by format and market. Think of this category as a demonstration to the listener that you’re in touch with what’s happening in their world.

F is for Funny

Nothing beats funny on the air. Nothing. Make listeners laugh and you own them. But you have to be truly funny, or at least create funny situations. This can’t be over-emphasized. It’s critical.

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By the way, fun is not funny. Fun is also important. But while fun may make me feel good, it doesn’t make me laugh. And making them laugh is priceless.

If you’re missing funny on your show, you can import it. Check out the features Ask Alexa, a daily feature with Alexa answering questions in a most unexpected way. Or, consider a phone prank feature like Phone Jibba, which is one of the funniest things you’ll hear on any radio station. It’s a daily, self-contained prank call feature. Both are market exclusive, and are available for a monthly subscription fee or by barter.

S is for Story

The fourth letter a segment your audience can get involved with by following a story as it unfolds. Relationship features like Second Date Update and War Of the Roses are successful because they are content containers for great stories.

Along with making people laugh, learning to tell stories is a critical skill for every personality. Not everyone is a great storyteller, but you can learn to be a much better storyteller by studying it.

Applying GIFS

When you figure out what to do, the next step is programming it so your audience is exposed to the four qualities consistently.

Start by deciding what percentages each of the four categories should represent on your show.

Few shows will be a strict 25% for each category. Maybe you’re 50% Funny, 30% Story and 10% Information And Games. Find your ideal formula, then start to create features to hold GIFS.

Here are is a simplified example, with each category having equal weight and a show that executes four main breaks per hour:

Hour 1:
Qtr Hour:
1: Game: Thousand Dollar Minute
2: Information: Hollywood 360 Entertainment Report
3: Funny: Phone Jibba Prank Call Feature
4: Story: Second Date Update relationship feature.
Hour 2:
1: Game: Phone Topic of the Day
2: Information: Hollywood 360 Entertainment Report
3: Funny: Ask Alexa Feature
4: Story: Love Letters to (Show) relationship feature.
Hour 3: 
1: Game: Heads Up
2: Information: Hollywood 360 Entertainment Report
3: Funny: Phone Jibba Prank Call Feature
4: Story: Second Date Update relationship feature.
Hour 4:
1: Game: Would You Rather Phone Topic
2: Information: Hollywood 360 Entertainment Report
3: Funny: Ask Alexa Feature
4: Story: Storytime with (Personality) feature (personal storytelling segment)
When you fill the breaks between segments with teases, promos and relatable content, the show comes together very well. T

Conclusion

You might be thinking, “This seems really simple. It makes sense. But doesn’t it become predictable?”.
No, it doesn’t. Not if you fill those segments with creative performance with your unique personality! The beautiful part of a solid structure like this makes it easy to execute your show and invest your preparation time to the content going into each segment.
GIFS show structure provides a consistency and familiarity that will help your audience get to know your personality faster, As a result, they will know how to use your brand. That leads to more quarter-hours and a faster path to building your fan base.

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