Steal This Idea: Scott & Kelli’s Virtual Hug

Steal This Idea: Scott & Kelli’s Virtual Hug

by Tracy Johnson

There’s been so much tension in the world, Scott and Kelli decided everyone could use a hug. But with COVID restrictions, how? Then it hit them: A virtual hug.

This is a terrific idea, but an even better execution of a concept that became a theme day. And it is in the process of becoming an ongoing benchmark during the pandemic…and perhaps beyond.

Scott & Kelli’s Virtual Hug

Scott Smith and Kelli Caldwell are the afternoon show on Contemporary Christian KLOVE’s network. Last week, they talked about how so many people are missing human contact during the pandemic.

So they offered to send a virtual hug for listeners to anyone they wanted.

The team collected hundreds of phone calls and heard some amazing stories on the air. Here’s one of the most touching:

What a great segment. I’ll be reviewing it in more depth on the next Aircheck Sessions show on Twitch in a couple of weeks. But here’s a short summary of why I love it:

  • It’s a powerful story, filled with emotion. Scott let the listener tell the emotional story but didn’t break down with the caller. He maintained an upbeat presence while honoring the story.
  • The show managed the conversation and remained involved in the conversation throughout.
  • It’s highly relatable. The topic tapped into an emotion shared by millions.
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Capitalizing On This Idea

The phone calls keep coming in. We’re onto something and the show is currently making plans to extend this idea. But it’s an easy concept to adapt and use on your show.

  • It’s relatable.
  • The phone lines light up.
  • There’s a story behind nearly every call.
  • Listeners talk about it.


This was a great idea and a terrific theme for KLOVE. It fit their brand values (Positive and Encouraging) perfectly. It’s another example of how to be relevant and relatable about a topic that can be hard to talk about. Well done!


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