Planning Ahead for the Sake of Spontaneity
If I were to tell you to drive from Seattle, Washington to Miami, Florida the first thing you’d probably do is tell me you’d rather fly. Fair enough. But, let’s pretend you’re driving.
What would you do? Make a list.
(Your list may not look like this, especially if you don’t enjoy beef jerky)
The point is you don’t really just jump in a car and go. You plan for the things that are predictable.
Why do we do this?
We do this so when we’re driving along and we see a sign for “Biggest Ball of Twine” and want to stop, we can. But, when you’re done you need to know to get back on the highway instead of winding through back roads. That’s where planning comes into play. We also plan ahead in case we want to buy a cool souvenir. How do you know you can afford that stylish cowboy hat if you haven’t planned ahead?
Planning ahead allows for spontaneous moments on road trips… and radio shows.
USE THE FORCE (OR A CALENDAR)
Do not be the radio host who awakens on December 18th, realizes Star Wars is premiering, looks at his team and says, “What do you guys want to do with that today?”
That’s the attitude of someone who doesn’t respect his or her audience, but couches it in the spirit of spontaneity and authenticity.
Radio truth bomb: You can be spontaneous, authentic AND plan ahead.
HOW TO PLAN AHEAD
The key is to plan for moments and events you can, so you can focus your attention the day of your show on creatively tackling stories you couldn’t anticipate.
Create a calendar and plot out holidays, big movie releases, local annual events, big sporting events, concerts, and anything else your audience is in to.
Brainstorm ideas with a group of folks a month or two ahead. This is everything from on-air bits, pieces of audio, liners, promos, parody songs, listener engagement to web content and social media plans.
Focus your list on the items you want to do.
Assign someone the task of doing each item.
Put deadlines on it.
Day of: roll it out.
This planning process gives you the freedom, time and opportunity to own it, edited it, be creative, and produce something great. Simultaneously, it gives you the confidence to be in the moment instead of thinking about what’s next and frees-up your creative brain to be spontaneous.
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