Radio Promos Must Do At Least One Of These 3 Things

Radio Promos Must Do At Least One Of These 3 Things

by Tracy Johnson

It’s so exciting to hear radio promos that resonate with the audience. The right promo at the right time can enhance a brand, inspire an audience to take action and add to the station’s entertainment value.

How do great promos come together? It takes time and attention. And a little creativity doesn’t hurt, either, because no matter how good he production value, promos are still basically commercials.

Knowing how to write an informative promo is pretty easy. But truly great promos deliver a message with personality and unique style.

3 Things Radio Promos Must Do

Here’s a good way to get started on a path to better promos. No matter how long or short, each message should do at least one of these three things:

  1. Move a storyline forward. By that, I mean advancing a show or station’s storyline. For example, does the promo help the audience understand more about what you are all about? Does it increase or enhance brand values?
  2. Set an appointment or create a call-to-action. Image promos are fine, but great promos give your audience something to do.
  3. Establish character and personality traits for the show, members of the show or the overall personality brand of the station.

Listen to promos on your station today, including all the imaging separators and liners. Then evaluate them on this criteria:

  • An acceptable promo must do one of these 3 things. If it doesn’t, get it off the air and rework it.
  • A good promo does 2 of these things. This should be do-able, with a little time invested in creative writing and crafting the message.
  • A great promo does all 3. This is less common, but when you achieve the first two, and deliver it with unique personality traits, it’s a home run!

Promos That Rock Seminar on Demand

Radio Promos With Character Examples

Every element on the station is an opportunity to promote, position and entertain your audience. This is particularly important for stations that rely on a music library (Classic Hits, Classic Rock, etc.) to sustain their existence.

But it’s just as much an opportunity for any format wishing to tighten the relationship between the brand and audience. Don’t waste an opportunity to enhance those brand values.

Here are some great examples of promos that tell stories about the music, artists and brand, courtesy of CHOM-FM in Montreal:

The station has a series of promos that further cement their history while telling a story about artists. Here’s another example with Green Day:


When you add it all up, radio stations invest a lot of time to promote their own brand values every single day.

Here’s an interesting project: Calculate how much you “spend” on promos in a day. Find out how much an advertiser pays to reach your audience. You  invest thousands-probably tens of thousands-of dollars per day.

So shouldn’t you spend that money wisely, by putting more attention on the message?

Every promo has value, but even more importantly, it makes a statement about your personality, show, station and brand. Start investing time each day in crafting those commercials.

More Resources on Creating Killer Promos

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It’s All About The Hook ebook
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The audience never hears a story unless the performer captures attention in the opening line. This eBook shows you how to start fast with a quick hook to create must-hear moments on the air. […]

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