Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Media’

Seven Ingredients of Great Radio Talent

The recipe for being a great talent on radio is really a witch’s brew; a pinch of this and a touch of that. Everyone I talk to seems to have a bit of the trade secret to share, but tragically there is no mysterious vault where the “great talent formula” is locked-up. From my experience at least some of it is gut instinct, DNA-related, or luck.

But, we do have the start of a recipe thanks to some heavy-hitters in the radio world who’ve been gracious to give time and insight to the Radio Stuff Podcast. So, here is the start of a winning blueprint for being a great talent.

Steve Goldstein Amplifi

Steve Goldstein

Have something to say.  “Point of view. That tops the list,” says former Saga Communications programming exec and Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein. (audio) “There are a lot of good mechanics out there and they can make a DJ show work, but somebody who has a point of view and something to say that’s where personality comes in.”

Make eye contact with the listener. This is hard to manufacture if it doesn’t come naturally. It’s not actually looking into the eyes of your listener, but as Goldstein explains, “the ability to say, ‘I know who you are and I know what you’re going through.’ It’s tough.” This authentic connection to an audience is paramount to greatness.

Be hungry. The best talent are insatiable. “Everybody should be hungry. If you know what you want to do – do it. Be hungry and just get there,” says iHeartMedia VP of Talent Development Dennis Clark. (audio) He has worked with the likes of Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran and Bobby Bones and they all have this in common. “They’re hungry by just performing and doing a quality show and they just love the business of radio. I think a guy like Kane in D.C. or Fred in Chicago they really have a bunch of different places they’ve been to become better and better along the way and really grow their personalities and grow their acts. Same thing with Elvis, he went from Texas and New Orleans to Atlanta, Philadelphia and then finally New York. Ryan too, you know? If he could’ve been hired in any job in radio he would have taken it at the time when he was just starting out at Star in Atlanta.”

2015-03-17 10.31.19

Dennis Clark and Larry Gifford

Be now. We live in a world of rapidly decreasing attention spans. Frankly, I’m surprised you’ve made this far into the blog. Being “now” is a mantra you hear from Clark a lot. “The one thing that is a demanding factor from our listeners in radio is what’s going on right now. What’s happening? What’s the latest? I need a friend right now, I need companionship. Whether its music or a talk show or a personality morning show or it’s a vibe or feeling or something like that – “now” is crucial.”

Social currency. I preach this to my clients. Social currency is a detail, a nuance, an observation, an opinion, a theory or a revelation. It’s radio’s equivalent of a meme. Something you include in your show because it arms your listeners with information that is sharable when they’re at work, play or home. Dennis Clark also talked about this. “Radio gives people such small talk pieces that they can take to their family at home and “oh, I didn’t know that about Taylor Swift” or “I didn’t know that about the New York Yankees.” So, they can hear things from people they relate to and bring it to their conversations.”

david-g-hall

David G. Hall, Media Strategist

Create a partnership. Success at a radio station demands you to be on the same page with management. Media strategist David G. Hall believes trouble is inevitable if you don’t. (audio) “More often than not what happens is the leadership of the station doesn’t really know what the target is or they don’t do research. They’re not really sure who they are trying to go for. So, then they have a morning guy who’s not clear who he is trying to talk to and he goes on the air and does something that he thinks is pretty good and then he gets in trouble for it, because it is so far out of whack of the expectations of the manager – who never shared those expectations to begin with.”

So what does a talent do?

Hall explains, “The best thing to do is to ask for the expectation. Be really clear.” Hall suggests you ask the following questions of your program director and it will make a huge difference in how you go on the air and will really focus what you do;

  • What do you expect of me?
  • What is the target audience?
  • Where are we trying to go with this radio station?
  • Who are our competitors on either side?
  • Who am I trying to take listeners from?

Storytelling. This is my addition to the list.  Stories are an effective way to transport an audience and share important information and values. Learn to write and tell stories in short form and long form; from 140 characters to an hour-long production. Stories that are personal and emotionally compelling engage more of the brain and thus are better remembered than simply stating a set of facts. When we experience emotional stories it also produce two chemicals in the brain; Cortisol which focuses the audience’s attention and Oxytocin with makes them more empathic. (Watch a video on it here) It’s science people! If you’re not a great storyteller, practice becoming one.

##

Subscribe to the Larry Gifford Media “Radio Stuff” email and each Tuesday you’ll receive an email with all sorts of stuff about radio. Sign up here.

Kidd Kraddick’s Last Selfless Acts

KiddKraddickKidd Kraddick – a Dallas radio institution and syndicated radio host – died suddenly in New Orleans where he was for a golf tournament to help raise money for his children’s charity Kidd’s Kids. The charity is dedicated to helping impact the lives of children who have terminal or chronic illnesses or are accident victims. He was 53.

(Billy the Kidd made the announcement on 106.1 KISS-FM in Dallas last night)

The charity golf tournament wasn’t Kidd’s last selfless act. It turns out when one of radio’s good guys goes too soon, the walls come down between personalities and radio stations and we all mourn and celebrate his life and career as one industry. In his death he’s helping to unite the radio community. Here’s a sprinkling of the reactions.

Terry Jaymes - Kidd Kraddick

There’s really no way Kidd could have understood the impact he’s had on so many people and the radio industry in general. He even made an impact to radio friends around the world. The reaction on Twitter, Facebook, and coverage in news has been overwhelming. One listener credits Kidd for “restoring his faith and belief in FM radio.”

And I too have found myself caught up in it. I didn’t know Kidd, but I’ve respected him from afar and have never heard anyone say a bad thing about him. No one. Which, in this ego-fueled industry, isn’t just rare – it’s an anomaly. It’s the exception to the rule.

News of his death strangely shook me up. I supposed when someone dies so young and suddenly it makes you consider your own mortality (as he was doing just last week on the radio show.) Death touches us each differently. It can be an end or a beginning, simultaneously a rebirth of spirit and the death of a man. Having gone through the death of my father I understand the impact of losing someone close to me. I also know I appreciated it when his friends and colleagues shared their stories and his wisdom with me.

To honor Kidd’s legacy, I have extracted some of the rules of life and radio he’s left behind. These rules come directly from words and phrases used by his family of colleagues and listeners.

Kidd Kraddick Rules of Life and Radio

Bring laughter and joy to people’s lives whenever you can.

  • Listeners remembering the lovable and entertaining Kidd share stories of morning giggles, wide smiles, and brighter days.

Use your talent to build something greater than yourself.

  • Kidd’s charities were extremely important to him, he helped countless kids and families in their darkest moments. He didn’t have to. Listeners admire his kindness and dedication and lift him up as an inspiration.

Don’t be afraid to lead with your heart.

  • Listeners and co-workers describe Kidd as having a big heart and full of compassion. They admired his love of children. When you lead with your heart, you make a difference in people’s lives.

Be authentically you.

  • Kidd was a natural talent who made friends at every turn. He related to listeners and listeners related to him. It was truly a radio family and listeners are grieving over the loss of a friend.

Help people.

  • In addition to his charity work, Kidd was a mentor for dozens of people in the radio industry, he gave up-and-coming bands exposure, respect and a shot, and his positivity helped spread light through the country each day.

 “Keep looking up, cause that’s where it all is.” – Kidd Kraddick