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Getting Schooled in Radio

MTV has unveiled the Top 10 College Radio Stations of 2013 as part of it’s 2014 Woodie Awards. On March 16, one of these lucky stations will be named college radio station of the year.

RS Cover 41As part of this week’s Radio Stuff podcast we listened to a bit of each station. We heard rambling student hosts making pleas to “mom” for money to buy concert tickets, songs stopped cold that were meant to fade, tongues were twisted, words were mangled, points were missed. But… there was also laughter, joy, excitement, nervousness, and a lot of creativity.

There were good reminders for us all.

Be authentic. It was very easy to hear the difference between the DJs TRYING to be DJs and students who were being themselves. The latter was refreshing.

Play to your audience. I heard a lot of entertainment based stories, in-house spots aimed at student renters, and references to needing to take a test the next day. These students know their audience because they live the life of their audience. Do you?

Enunciate. One poor fellow needed to be a little more clear when discussing the Indiana Hoosiers’ women’s basketball tournament. He meant to say “Big Ten” and likely did, but it sounded like, “Big tit.” Which is a whole different kind of tournament.

Tell Stories. Most of the DJs we heard were front selling and back selling, but one host took the time to research the song and tell us where it was written, why it was written and how the artist feels about it. It was one of those moments where you think to yourself, “huh, I never knew that. Good to know.”

Believe what you say. A lot of the students would write copy and read it. Which I’m not opposed to. Just make sure you read it with conviction. The words are far less important than the message you’re delivering.

Have fun. Laughter was prevalent, though often times it was nerves. Regardless, we need to laugh more, have fun and enjoy what we’re doing.

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