Planning Now For Maximum Fall Ratings Later

 In Blog

by Angela Perelli

It’s time to look ahead beyond tomorrow’s show and plot out some memorable morning show content for fall ratings. Schedule a meeting with the morning show, program/brand director and any other key creative personnel (marketing, imaging, music directors, for example, if they are part of your creative brain trust).

Conducting the Quarterly Planning Meeting 

Like all brainstorming meetings, these meetings are easier and more productive if the attendees do some preliminary brainstorming on their own. Have everyone bring as many ideas as possible from the following categories:

A quest or mission idea

Tie in with a concert tour or local sports team. A Rockford, IL morning show campaigned to get the Rolling Stones to come to their town to play a concert. This was a quest that also carried over several days. They worked to get signatures on a petition, to set up a local arena, contact the Rolling Stones management, etc. Listeners were urged to tune in again and again to find out what was going on.

Promotion/stunt idea

Is there a big local news story, sports team or celebrity you can build a stunt around? A new freeway opening in one town set up the morning show to be the first ones to run out of gas and stall traffic.• New benchmarksSome benchmarks and games are evergreen; others run their course. Are there benchmarks you’ve been wanting to try? A new characterizing platform for a secondary player?

Listener party

Once a quarter (at least), get the show out as a team to meet and mingle with listeners. It can be as big as a station Halloween club event or as small as a happy hour meet and greet with live cut-ins. The point is to find ways to get face time with your biggest fans.

Personal storylines

Take stock of each character’s personal storylines to find serial content. Is there a fear someone wants to overcome? A bad habit someone wants to break? Getting married? Stretch yourself to be an interesting person by creating a story arc for yourself that listeners will be interested in.

Production pieces (song parody, etc.)

What big song of the summer can be transformed into a parody to support a local sports franchise? What viral video or photo can you seize and make your own? Dave Ryan recently posted a picture of himself posing like Justin Bieber’s photo, naked with a guitar. And Don Bleu in San Francisco posed like Colin Kaepernick, QB for the 49ers. The Virgin Morning Show with Marc, Danaye & Fuzzy in Calgary parodied “Blurred Lines.” [link to audio again from last week, if you can find, Alex]

Something new and trendy (TV show, movie, YouTube video, book, app, game, etc.)

Hot right now — Orange Is the New Black, Duck Dynasty, The Conjuring, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Snap Chat…


Who can the show score an interview with? Create a wish list.

Heartstring Pullers

The Fall holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas, Remembrance/Veteran’s Day — lend themselves to kindness, generosity and compassion (St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and summer holidays). What can your show do, that fits your personality, to tie in with the general audience sentiment of taking care of other people in your community?

If each meeting participant brings in at least five ideas, think about the starting list you’ll have! Hone that list to the best ideas — ideas that will help you either strategically in building your brand, tactically in getting more listening occasions, or both — and get serious delegating responsibilities and setting deadlines to hold one another accountable. 

Having some major anchor points solidified on a show’s content calendar well in advance makes it much easier and natural to push forward momentum from show to show once the rating period starts.

 Learn more about Angela Perelli


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