Highlights from Morning Show Bootcamp 2012

 In Blog

Whether you were able to attend or not, Angela Perelli and Stephanie Winans have some takeaways from the sessions at Morning Show Bootcamp:


  • You only have eight seconds to hook listeners. Think about the YouTube video forwarded from a friend. You only give it a few seconds before you decide whether to watch the rest. Radio is the same.


  • Transitioning to PPM is like the difference between window shopping and walking down the same path to a doctors appointment. The road is the same for both, but you’re quicker and more direct in PPM.


  • Because of the focus on occasions, think of twenty minutes of your show as a whole show.


  • Check listening patterns and make appropriate changes when people’s routines change. (For example, summer, moms may not wake up as early to rush the kids to school.)


  • Read Angela’s article from last week on “PPM Five Years Later and What You Can Do About It” here.

On Branding

  • A morning show promos can run as many as ten times a day, so in some ways it is more important than the show. Don’t make it an afterthought. Take a hint from television: their biggest budget is on promos, and they spend money advertising on their own station.

On Content

  • “Don’t define whether a topic is good by whether the phones are ringing”, says Bert Weiss, Q100/Atlanta, Syndicated.


  • Just because something is happening in your life doesn’t mean it’s entertaining or on-air worthy. Check your ego and only air the best, most relatable stories.


  • Sensationalize your teases, but make sure they’re related to the content.


  • Check comments below articles to come up with new angles on topics.


  • If you work for Clear Channel, use Feature Tracker to see how long people stick around during your benchmarks.

On Digital Media

  • Use social media to engage P1s and gain new listeners. Syndicated Morning Host Bobby Bones shared his content focus for social media. He described two distinct types of content:

1. Complementary content is for P1s. It relates back to something on the air. “For more of Bobby’s interview with Taylor Swift, check out our podcast.”

2. Secondary content targets new listeners, like a billboard does. Secondary content is for anyone, not just fans. For example, Bobby Bones created “Captain Caucasian” rap videos for secondary content, because they’re entertaining. All the “S*&t _______ Say” viral videos are examples of secondary content. This type of content can potentially give you “buzz” and bring new listeners to the show.

  • Treat social media like your girlfriend. “Don’t ignore her. She wants attention and a reciprocal relationship to feel connected and passionate about your show. Like your girlfriend, you won’t get what you want by ignoring her and making it all about you,” Stephanie Winans said. “Craft your social media posts with a ‘What’s in it for the listener?’ mentality to become the audience’s source of entertainment long after your show is over. Be more interested in engaging listeners than “selling” your show to them, and you’ll get listeners who promote the show for you.”


  • Use Parody to Make a Hot Topic Your Own. Creating your own parody gives your show a way to talk about a hot topic in a different way than competitors and other media. In Stephanie Winans’ presentation, she used this example (pictured) from Mad Dog and Maura, Virgin/Toronto.

When Kanye West’s Twitter was hacked and this picture of Kim Kardashian (turns out it wasn’t her, but a porn-star look-alike) went viral, most of us were staring at the picture trying to figure out if it was Kim, or directing listeners to the website to look at the picture. Mad Dog got busy and took his own picture to parody Kim’s, generating a huge response online from listeners. Parody is funny, characterizing, and topical. Train your brain to think “parody” when these hot topics emerge.

  • 58% of radio listeners watch videos regularly, according to Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media. So learn to shoot and edit video if you don’t know how.


  • Post content in every way you can, on every platform you can,  because no two listeners consume content in the same way.

On Listening Habits

The following highlights are from Alan Burns’ two year study on 6000+ women 15-54:

  • The average woman wakes up at 6:45AM, and working moms wake up 6:15AM. The average woman doesn’t turn the radio on until 8:00AM, although she is awake at 6:45AM.


  • Get an alarm function for your listening app because people aren’t waking up to clock radios anymore; they’re waking up to a cell phone alarm.


  • 25% of women turn on a radio before they leave home. Consider posting on Facebook early since many women are checking Facebook before they turn on the radio.


  • As Ken Benson from P1 Research proved with his ACE content tool, listeners love to laugh, and they love when talent are real and genuine.

On Talk Radio

  • If you want to learn if you might be good at talk radio, offer to do a weekend talk shift on your cluster’s talk station.


  • Prep not only your angle, but all possible angles on a topic.


  • Don’t become so wrapped up in the issues that you lose your sense of humor.

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