Action Is The Key To Killer Content

 In Blog

In college, I once got a D on a story writing assignment. My paper included detail on my main character, a Julliard music student, burned-out on violin practice, critical parents, etc.

The professor handed it back and asked, But, what is she going do?

Action is the key to storytelling. No action = no story.

Every successful show’s content includes brief, relevant information, emotions, and opinions. In coaching radio and podcast hosts, we emphasize “stories, not stuff.”

The key to making these topics universal (and more compelling) is in the human behavior behind them.

Think about these examples:

Emotion: Dave Ryan at KDWB is deathly afraid of heights. Dave could explain his fear and describe his thoughts and that would be OK. But, Dave took emotion into action and rappelled down a tall building in Minneapolis.

Information: Only one out of every three sexual assaults is reported to police. Twitter users transformed that statistical information into action, sharing what happened to them with the hashtag #whywomendontreport

Opinion: Virginia on WRMF’s KVJ Show says mothers should be free to breast-feed their infants any time, any place. The show moved from opinion into action with a segment about a wedding ceremony where an argument broke out after the bride was distracted by a mother breast-feeding in the sanctuary.

Stuff: Physical items – like a pair of diamond cufflinks – are not compelling by themselves. But the Graham Norton Show went from stuff into action when Charlie Sheen told how Donald Trump once gave him diamond cufflinks as a wedding present. Charlie later had them appraised and learned they were cubic zirconia.

As you prepare content, try expanding airtime for stories where action and human behavior are involved, and shrink airtime for content based exclusively in information, opinion, emotion or stuff.

Photo Credit:

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.