by Tracy Johnson
One of the most important traits of winning radio personalities is to develop a genuine, likable nature. Some are born with it. Others have to learn it. Here’s a most unlikely source: Newspaper death notices.
The Toronto Globe and Mail featured an article by Tamara Vukusic called Life Hacks from The Death Notices. It’s clever, well written and includes lessons gleaned from an unlikely source. Most of them apply to radio.
Tamara’s premise is wondering why she is fascinated by this section of the paper. She reads summaries of the lives of people she has never met and knows nothing about. Why? She identified 10 reasons, each punctuated with a quote.
If you are reading this, I have passed my “best before” date.
Her obituary was autobiographical, so she could laugh at herself. Self-deprecating humor is contagious and genuinely likable. Use it!
They must have called one hell of a party in heaven for Lorna to decide to leave us on Sunday.
Be up for anything, and take risks. That’s where the fun and interesting experiences are.
She provided shelter to her children’s friends who were alone and lost in the world
Building a successful brand over time demands personalities show their character depth.
She went to the symphony in the pouring rain on a standing-room only ticket, this anecdote so evocative of her adventurous spirit, joyousness in the most most inclement of weather and passion for music
Listeners are attracted by things you do. They fall in love with who you are. Design stories that show your character.
She adored books on Charlemagne as well as Peanuts cartoons. She could recite lines from Shakespeare and Mel Brooks
Let your freak flag fly, even if some of the traits seem to be incompatible or inconsistent.
She had one unrealized dream – to be a journalist. On a recent move, her children discovered dozens of notebooks full of quotes and her thoughts on issues at the time.
Intimate details reveal depth in personality. Find ways to share these traits through content and presentation.
She was a constant source of giddy, spontaneous humour to all who knew her, and yet she could not tell a conventional joke to save her life. That was fine, because her frequent failed attempts at joke-telling were vastly funnier than the jokes she was trying to tell. She wrote everything down and then lost track of her notes.
Quirks and imperfections are at the heart of relatability. In building Character Profiles for radio personalities, this is the area we focus on most.
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