01 Dec Take The Lead
The lead-off hitter in baseball is critical to the success of the team. In fact, the lead-off hitter in every inning is critical. Likewise, in track and field and swimming relays, the lead athlete’s performance is crucial. For journalists, the “lead story” is vital in getting readers, viewers or listeners engaged in the news.
Attention spans are short. In movies the credits are saved for the ending for that reason. In television, a captivating scene in the show is shown before the opening of the show to entice one to stay tuned. Today’s pop music often has the hook at the beginning of the song.
When planning content for your show or station, focus on your beginning to engage the audience. When music ends, talents must get into their topic within 8 seconds. It’s essential, right out of music, to sink the hook in fast. Also, watch the word count and practice brevity – leave listeners wanting more, not less.
Rather than playing produced openers for features, open with a phrase much like a tease to intrigue your listener. Save your promos, contest teases, sponsorship mentions, giveaways, weather forecasts, traffic reports, and imaging pieces to after you engage the listener. You want to build momentum in your break. Your lead in to your content is your opportunity to maximize listening.