How To Build A Radio Show With The GIFS System

How To Build A Radio Show With The GIFS System

by Tracy Johnson

Most folks think of GIFS as an animated photo found in their email box. But this GIFS is a system that could be just what is needed to add consistency and structure to a radio show. Many clients use it to build a well-balanced, successful show.

GIFS gives a show the chance to improve quickly by providing a skeleton that holds the show’s body together. It consists of fundamental elements that help listeners figure out how to use the show.

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 simply provides the environment for personality to stand out.

G is for Games (Play-Along)

Radio shows should be designed so listeners can play along. In the acronym, G is for Games but stands for interactive elements that engage the audience. It’s not just literally playing games, though.

Games mean any method provided for the audience to interact with the show.

This could be actual games, like $1,000 Minute or Heads Up. Or it could be phone topics that include audience response.

I is Information

Information means providing a sense of being in touch with the world. That can be achieved with news, weather, traffic, and sports. But that’s just the most common type of “I”.

It could also be achieved with an entertainment report. Or a style and fashion update. Or one of the popular Good News features many shows use.

Some shows offer a daily feature with a short commentary on social or political issues.

Think of this category as a demonstration to the listener that the show is in touch with what’s happening in their world.

F is for Funny

Nothing beats funny on the air. Nothing. But you have to be truly funny, or at least create funny situations.

This can’t be over-emphasized. It’s critical. Funny is the #1 character trait for radio personalities.

By the way, fun and funny are not the same. Fun is important. But while fun may make me feel good, it doesn’t make me laugh. The ability to make the audience laugh is priceless.

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There are several ways to become funnier, outlined here. One method is to import it. Check out the features Tough Love With Siri and Alexa, a daily feature with voice assistants answering life advice questions in a most unexpected way.

S is for Story

The fourth letter is telling a story. Relationship features like Second Date Update and War Of the Roses are successful 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 every air personality can be a much better storyteller by studying it.

Applying GIFS

Understanding GIFS is one thing. Putting it on the air is another. Build show clocks so listeners are exposed to the four qualities.

Start by deciding what percentage Games, Information, Funny, and Story should represent.

Few shows will offer exactly 25% in each category.

Maybe the show is 50% Funny, 30% Story, and 10% Information and Games. The exact mix will vary depending on the personality and show goals.

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

Hour 1:

Break 1: Game. Thousand Dollar Minute.
Break 2: Information. Hollywood 360 Entertainment Report.
Break 3: Funny. Prank Call Feature.
Break 4: Story. Second Date Update relationship feature.

Hour 2:

Break 1: Game. Phone Topic of the Day.
Break 2: Information. Hollywood 360 Entertainment Report.
Break 3: Funny. Tough Love Feature.
Break 4: Story. Love Letters to (Show) relationship feature.

Hour 3: 
Break 1: Game. Heads Up.
Break 2: Information. Hollywood 360 Entertainment Report.
Break 3: Funny. Prank Call Feature.
Break 4: Story. Second Date Update relationship feature.

Hour 4:

Break 1: Game. Would You Rather Phone Topic.
Break 2: Information. Hollywood 360 Entertainment Report.
Break 3: Funny. Tough Love Feature.
Break 4: Story. Storytime with (Personality) feature (personal storytelling segment).

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Conclusion

You might be thinking, “This seems really simple. It makes sense. But doesn’t it become predictable?”.

No, not really. Not if you fill those segments with creative performance! GIFS adds consistency and familiarity.

The beautiful part of a structure like this makes it easy to execute a show that will help the audience get to know how to use it faster. That leads to more quarter-hours and a faster path to building your fan base.

Winning Features & How To Program Them Seminar on Demand

The Play-Along Factor

Tough Love with Siri and Alexa

A Library Of Feature Ideas

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eBook: Winning Features & How To Program Them

Radio’s Most Popular Features

Why Radio Features Are A Basic Building Block For Your Show

What’s Your Carpool Karaoke One Thing Feature?

Here’s Why You Should Have Branded Radio Features

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Manage Radio Features Like Disneyland

Download My Feature Programming/Scheduling Tool Here

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