The word “new” holds a magnetic appeal in marketing and branding. Consistency is important, but without something new and exciting, the audience will take you for granted. There’s never a bad time to introduce innovative ideas, but there are two times that are ideal for giving your show or station a fresh coat of paint. One is around back-to-school time, in the fall.  The other is the start of a new year in January, immediately after the holiday break. The fresh-start vibe is the perfect moment for radio shows to unveil changes.

This isn’t about making format changes, though January is a good time. And it’s not just about tossing together a new group contest or promotion, though those can be exciting enhancements. I’m talking about updates that cause listeners to be interested and pay attention. But don’t just throw it together at the last minute. Start making plans now.

Excite Listeners In The New Year

As your audience embraces New Year resolutions and intends to change their routines, your show can become a part of their new habits. The blend of familiarity with innovation is a potent mix.

Start with a thorough show audit. Like Disney refreshing its theme parks, this process involves removing outdated elements to make way for new attractions.

Here are some things to consider for the new year:

Branding Overhaul: This is an ideal time to introduce branding and production elements. Consider launching a new audio signature or theme.

Theme Weeks Or Months: Kick off the year with promotable themes. Theme Weeks or Months are highly profitable and can add new life to otherwise ordinary features.

Feature Refresh: Keep your most popular segments, but consider introducing new features or revamping existing ones to align with current trends and listener interests. This is a good time to rest secondary features and introduce something new. We have thousands of ideas here.

Storylines: Update the narratives around your cast members. New year resolutions, lifestyle changes, and personal goals can become engaging content if you brainstorm and harvest stories.

Interactive Games: Games are more popular than ever. Introduce new ones! Need an idea? Here you go.

Promoting New Year Programming

Making changes won’t matter if the audience doesn’t know about it, so plan creative campaigns to generate awareness. Think of how an established brand like Starbucks focuses on a new drink when it’s released. Now do the same for your new features and benefits.

Create engaging promotional materials: Release new video trailers highlighting and demonstrating what’s new and revise your website and social media sites to promote and show off your fresh new attributes.

Get listeners involved on social media: Are you launching a new game? Find ways to allow online and social participation.

Promote It On-Air: Promos should emphasize the new features that support the station’s (or show’s) core brand attributes. Don’t default into making the new features just “another thing we’re doing.” Celebrate it in a prolific way.


Finally, don’t wait to put some of your new ideas on the air. Start now with a soft launch before the year starts. This allows for fine-tuning before the official launch. Practice, revise, and test your changes. You’ll be able to launch with a polished, finished product.

This is also the perfect time to get the team together with a single focus. Some shows get sloppy over time. Reset expectations internally and commit to a For The Show mentality. Set clear, achievable goals and a few rules that will help you achieve those objectives in the new year.

January marks a new chapter. Don’t let it pass by unnoticed. Plan meticulously to captivate your audience with fresh, engaging content that resonates with the spirit of the new year. Plan early to win listeners’ attention by starting new routines and launching the new year with something fresh and exciting.

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