“Shift” to “Show”: Tips for Today’s Radio Personality

Being a radio personality is much different than it was just 10 years ago. In the past, the hardest part of your day was the hour or two of show prep. Show prep is still very important. But today you need to do much more to have a successful show before, during and after. If I was starting out in the radio business today, here are some tips I would be following to make my show the very best it could be. Keep in mind that these tips apply no matter what market size you’re in.

1. Daily Show Prep
It’s very easy to grab a page or two from a show prep service and call that your “show prep time”. Anyone can and 95% of people that do show prep do this. However, to make my show the best it can be, I’ll dive deep into each local news website that I have bookmarked. I’ll look for local stories that touch me and my audience and copy/paste that information into my own show prep sheet. I’ll try to contact people of interest and have them be a guest or caller on my show. Your show prep service sheet won’t have local information.

2. Social Media Posts
Social media posting has become a part of the on-air personality job description and deservidly so. Social media is marketing and you should definately want to market your show. This means posting on the station social media channels as well as your own for your followers. Admitedly, this can take a lot of precious time, so look into a service like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule posts in advance or on different channels at different times. Be sure to mix up the content that you are posting. Copy/pasting today’s celebrity birthday list is NOT good content.

3. Replying to Social Media Posts
One of the biggest things that set social media moguls apart from the rest is engagement. Don’t just think of social media as a place to broadcast your station or show message. The key is engaging your followers. That means saying “thanks for the follow/retweet”, agreeing or disagreeing with topics, etc. A good way to think of social media is like you’re running a radio talk show online. Now imagine the talk show without any caller feedback. Without callers, people lose interest. Replying to posts also give you the opporunity to ask a follower on-air to your show to discuss their view. Many personalities do not use this effectively and miss out on the opportunity to add more followers. Active social media channels are follower magnets.

4. Blogging
When I was doing a daily on-air show, blogging was in its infancy. Nobody saw the reasoning or importance. Today that has changed. Blogging can increase ratings for your show because it shows that you’re a radio personality that is actively engaged in the community and not a voice-tracked robot. Your blog should be about things that interest YOU. Give your opinion on topics. Become the go-to person for something like local restaurants, pet adoption, or local music. Blogs receiving lots of online engagement will bring the station more online revenue so be sure to ask if incentives are offered for over-performing blog content or blog sponsorships. We’ve written several articles on getting started in blogging and the importance of radio personality blogging. Be sure to check these out.

5. Video Content
If you want to be an elite radio personality that really takes their show to the next level, become a regular video blogger. Basically you are taking content from your show, blog or some other topic and talking about it in front of a camera. Take it up a level by adding effects, images and other content (like a newscast of sorts). You’ll upload this to Youtube, Facebook or/and other video sharing platform.

Here are a few video content ideas:

  • Local Restaurant Review
  • Pet of the Week Adoption at Local Animal Shelter
  • Business of the Week
  • Local Band/Artists

We’ve given you 5 ways to take your radio show to the next level. The key with each of these is using them to market each other. When you blog about a topic, send notices to social media with links back to the blog. If you upload a new video to Youtube, don’t share the Youtube link.  Instead, send the link to the video embedded on your station website blog. Never send listeners somewhere else. Keep them on your station and on your station website.

Even though these tips might sound like more work, they all provide more opporunities to excel in your career and make more money. They key is having a work ethic of wanting to make a shift into a dynamic show. Late night TV programs are a great example of this. With their expanded website and social media exposure, they are keeping followers and adding new ones each day. Build these tips into your show and you’ll go far.

Jim Sherwood serves as the chief creative, brand strategist, lead developer, meticulous project manager, and station collaborator for all Skyrocket Radio sites and projects. Jim is a 30+ year radio veteran with a resume spanning several small, medium, and large markets including roles as Digital Content Manager, Program Director, Production Manager, and Morning Show Host.