7 Show Killers

 In Blog

We learn from our mistakes by observing what not to do. In the current Fortune issue, Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, noted, “It’s fun when the world tries to condemn a failure, and inside, you just smile and say, ‘We were learning.’”

Following up on Jeff McHugh’s blog, Mistakes and Learning, we have identified and learned from seven major show success killers. This list applies to radio and podcast shows.

1. Generic hosts who do not share their authentic personalities.

      Neutral hosts without a clear viewpoint who do not share their life experiences through storytelling are commodities. They don’t stand out and connect emotionally like personality brands.

      2. Weak content premises

        • Yes/no topics: “Would you discipline someone else’s child?” is a dead-end topic ending in yes or no responses.  “What happened when you disciplined someone else’s child?” will generate entertaining stories.
        • Lists with no stories: Reading online lists anyone can read is not entertaining. Highlighting the most interesting ones with personal stories connects with the audience.
        • Visual content:  Since most radio listening occurs in autos, describing a photo or video listeners can’t see is not relatable.
        • Topics about objects without emotion: “What food do you hate?” will only generate a list of foods. “When” and “what happened” premises generate stories.
        • Guest interviews: Guests are rating killers when there are no stories, or you don’t make them part of your show, like chiming in on your ongoing topic.

        3. Weak execution:

          • Slow setups: Linear and meandering setups lose new and cume listeners within ten seconds.
          • Unclear or no resets: Be inclusive to convert cume to fans. TSL is short; you can’t assume listeners heard your last segment.
          • Meandering, reiterated conversations, and tangents: Short attention span and impatient listeners are bored quickly.
          • Generic, vague, or no teasing: Your show will lose momentum and TSL.

          4. Exclusive conversations:

            Inside discussions excluding listeners waste listeners’ time and cause tune-out.

            5. No storytelling:

              Too many shows set up topics and give their opinions without stories to illustrate their points. It’s always better to make listeners feel than think. Go short on opinions and long on stories.

              6. Poor planning: 

                Many shows gather and list content without turning it into a show plan. What you do with content is a show plan. What’s the unique angle? What’s the setup and payoff? A show plan is the key to sticky content.

                7. Not maximizing social media:

                  Posting local social media content several times daily is a huge advantage over syndicated shows. Social is also a platform to deepen your personality brand. Too many shows fail to post their highlight content daily to expand their content potential.

                  Thanks to Andy Winford, program director at KSKS Fresno KATM Modesto- Stockton, and RLC’s Jeff McHugh for their input on this blog.

                  Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

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