Megatrax kicked off its series of informational webinars with a reunion of our panel for 2013’s NAB Radio Show, Imaging for a PPM World, featuring Terry Phillips, DJ Necio and Craig Taylor.
Terry Phillips – CBS, Detroit, MI (above, left): Terry Phillips is a Detroit based Radio Imaging Producer & Voice-Over Talent, as well as the Creative Director at 99.5 WYCD and 104.3 WOMC. Terry’s voice can currently be heard on many radio stations around the US and Canada. Terry can also be heard in commercials world wide.
DJ Necio – Radio One, Dallas, TX (above, center): DJ Necio writes and produces imaging for: 97-9 the Beat in Dallas (Radio-One), also produces imaging for Hot 104.1 St. Louis (Radio-One), and the Rickey Smiley Morning Show Syndicated Network.
Craig Taylor – Clear Channel, Los Angeles, CA (above, right): Craig Taylor, Production Director KFI/KTLK 2006 to Infinity and Beyond. Certified Hatchet Throwing Instructor 1456-1522 (previous life)… and the Creative Services Director for KFI AM and KTLK for Clear Channel Los Angeles. KFI is the number one news talk station in the US.
Here are a few of the key takeaways from this valuable panel:
- Localize your content. Necio says “We make a big point to localize.” One advantage local radio has over streaming media and satellite radio is its local focus. Our panelists agreed that naming the communities you serve, featuring “trending topics” relevant to your area and engaging local listeners online and on the air is critical to standing out from competing media and other stations. Craig thinks people like to hear their hometown’s name on the radio, and that weather people could do better with naming more than just the big cities since the weather’s about the same in the surrounding towns. Terry says: “Know your town. Know your listeners… I think the key to success for all three of these producers in three completely different towns is that we’ve found way to connect to our markets… connecting with towns and people and not just name-checking.”
- Keep an eye on the calendar. You know that certain holidays and annual events are coming up. Are you planning ahead for them? If you’re organized, you’ll be working on imaging for specific events weeks in advance. This also figures into knowing your audience and your brand—Craig says KFI mostly makes fun of the major holidays (and other things), and Terry says that his conservative, country music audience wants and responds to imaging and content related to national and patriotic holidays.
- Don’t produce for the sake of producing. Craig Taylor says that every promo or imaging piece he produces has a purpose, and that his eyes are always on the 15 minute credit he needs for PPM. He likes to tease listeners with news promos that leave one detail out (Which celebrity was busted for smuggling lizards into the country?), or with promises of upcoming content (Stay tuned for traffic in 60 seconds!) to keep listeners from switching away.
- Play to the way your listeners FEEL. Craig also tries to image younger than his P1s are. He believes most people view themselves as younger than they really are. Terry agreed, citing a piece of marketing from Sony that determined that most people think of themselves as (or wish they were) 19—including people as old as 64. He said: “People don’t want to feel old. It’s one of the reasons ‘oldies stations’ won’t use the world ‘oldies’ anymore.”
- Embrace social media. Necio and his team approach Facebook strategically. They encourage listeners to find them on Facebook, and then they use Facebook to encourage people to tune in at specific times for specific reasons. Craig pushes everything social through his station’s website to increase revenue/click opportunities.
- To stay creative, think outside your format’s box. When you’re looking for inspiration and trying to keep things fresh in your work, take a walk or a drive and listen to a station from another format, or take in something from a different medium. Experiencing someone else’s imaging can inspire you to try new things. Terry says that “getting out of the normal state of mind” works for him.
- Make a direct call to action. Our panelists all recommend making specific calls to action: Listen to this show, at this time, for this reason. You can do this on the air and via social media, and you can choose which things to promote in response to your calendar or your numbers. Who needs a boost? Necio says they “hit it hard,” saying the same thing over and over in different ways.