Good Tease, Bad Tease: How To Tell the Difference

Good Tease, Bad Tease: How To Tell the Difference

by Tracy Johnson

Pre-promotion is one of the most important aspects of building audience anticipation and setting appointments. But what makes a good tease? And how are they so different from a bad tease?

There are many types of teases, of course. And teasing strategies go much deeper than just comparing text. But there’s value in looking at actual teases, then fixing them with a few simple tweaks.

Good Tease, Bad Tease Example 1: Be Specific

Here’s a weak tease:

Hi, this is (your name). I’m here until 10 this morning, and in the next hour we have Hollywood Sleaze. That’ll be right before the news. And a ton of your favorite music.

There’s a lot wrong with this tease. Mostly, it just doesn’t say anything. It’s 10 seconds of clutter. Listeners don’t care about your work schedule. Promising you’re there until 10 does nothing for them. Saying “in the next hour” is far too broad. My life will change in the next 60 minutes and I’m not going to adjust it because of what’s on the radio. Promoting the Sleaze, news and “your favorite music” is shallow and non-specific. I don’t want to hear the news, but I may be interested in what’s IN the news.

So let’s fix it:

Hey, thanks for listening this morning. I’m (Name). What was Ellen doing to her Tom Cruise yesterday when he said this (play short clip). I’ll tell you the inside scoop in 7 minutes during Hollywood Sleaze. And before that, the new song that I promise will get stuck in your head all day…right after (current song playing).

Specific comments drive tune-in. Notice that we fixed the tease by promoting fewer things, and yet the tease is longer. That’s okay. Sometimes it takes a few more words to be effective.

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Good Tease, Bad Tease Example 2: Stop Advertising Tune Out!

Weak tease:

Okay, we’re taking a break, and when we come back, you’ll get updated traffic and weather.

Never, ever call attention to the commercials. It’s a terrible thing to promote! Avoid saying things like, “Don’t go away” or “taking a break”.

Here’s a fix:

Are you stuck in that mess on Highway 52 this morning? Yeah, it’s going to be awhile. We’ll tell you how long you’ll be stuck and what caused it…and in 10 minutes, I took my 4 year old to a movie on Friday, and I’m still paying the price. I’ll tell you how to avoid being in my hell at 7:43.

This tease now moves forward and gives the audience something to look forward to, and it relates to something immediate happening in their life.

Good Tease, Bad Tease Example 3: Promote Content

Weak Tease:

Another Prank phone call coming up in 10 minutes. You’re going to love it.

The fix:

Coming up…we’re going to call a doughnut shop and try to convince the owner to deliver one pastry to our home…to take advantage of their free delivery service. And the doughnut guy loses his mind (play short audio). A new Phone Tap at 7:25.

Listeners don’t tune in to hear your ¬†feature. They tune in for the story in the feature. So sell the story, not the content container.¬†Once you’ve hooked the audience on something they’ll like, you just have to let them know where to hear it!

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The fastest way to grow share is to convince your existing audience to listen more. They’ve already chosen to listen, so you know they like you. Just make it easy for them to tune in more often. That’s teasing.

Teasing isn’t a difficult skill to learn, if you take it seriously and devote the time to it. Make it a part of your daily show prep for every segment.

Photo credit:

Author: Tracy Johnson

Tracy Johnson specializes in radio talent coaching, radio consulting for programming and promotions and developing digital strategies for brands.

For more than 30 years, Johnson has been developing on-air superstars that attract fans, retain audiences and generate revenue.

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