03 Oct Wednesday, October 3, 2018
This Week in The Lund Letter:
> Entice listeners to keep listening
> Find the deeper story
> And the latest media trends
Lund Programming Clinic: The Art of the Tease
What are the top two ways to increase audience and ratings?
1. Get listeners to listen longer; and…
2. ask them to come back for another listening occasion.
People don’t listen all day; they come and go. The average time spent listening is just ten minutes, but people will listen a bit longer if you give them a reason. And they will tune back in later – when you tell them a reason to listen again.
Promoting ahead is the #1 internal marketing tactic. Promoting ahead builds anticipation, and keeps people listening. Want proof? Just watch Entertainment Tonight, Steve Harvey on Family Feud, or a TV newscast. They do it because it works.
What makes a good tease? Consider these four aspects:
> Don’t read a laundry list of artists. That’s like reading the ingredients on a cereal box to your listeners. Tease an interesting fact about an artist or song instead. Your tease content should be compelling and of interest to your target. Maybe it’s something that affects their life. Keep that target listener firmly in mind when choosing what to tease and how to approach it.
> Be specific in your promote-ahead. Saying “traffic is next” offers no benefit, but saying “I-70 is a parking lot near downtown” is specific and will be of interest to those using that major road. News teases should be specific with a hook that will capture ears, not just “more news coming up.”
> Set listener appointments with your tease. If it’s more than ten minutes away, provide a time stamp so people know when to tune back in. “Rush Limbaugh at 11 AM this morning,” “What do 70% of women do when they wake up? Impossible Trivia at 7:20,” “Win $100 at 9:15,” etc.
> Always go into a stopset with a promote-ahead of what’s compelling coming up afterward. Your plan is to “Tease and Please,” and deliver what you promised.
Generate a plan so creative teases are executed often. Work with talents to perfect their teases. The goal is to develop expectation, sell a listener benefit, and entice longer listening. Always go into a stopset with a promote-ahead tease.
Coming up in this Lund Letter… Making your news valuable.
Do you want your stations to sound better and attract more listeners? …Of course you do! If you are a broadcaster in Indiana, you’re invited to attend John Lund’s 2-hour radio programming workshop at the Indiana Broadcasters convention…and hear aboutthe techniques, basics and formatics of great radio; what’s trending in our digital universe; how to utilize smart speakers for more listeners and podcasting for more revenue… among other trending radio topics. Join John Lund on November 1 at the Indiana Broadcasters Convention in Carmel, Indiana.
If you are not a broadcaster in Indiana (but one of 10,000+ readers of the Lund Letter), you can contact John to speak at your state or regional convention or corporate meeting. John will customize a topical audio-visual presentation for your members’ needs. Contact John Lund.
Lund News Room: What’s Your Story?
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways to communicate an important truth. It is a connection point between two people. It gives meaning, context, and understanding in a world filled with chaos.
The news coverage of the hurricane turned tropical storm, Florence, is a perfect example of going beyond sharing facts and statistics. The slow moving characteristic of the hurricane gave news sources the time to find stories which resonated with the viewing/listening audience. Human interest stories like a pet store owner not evacuating because he wouldn’t abandon the animals, or the women relaxing and playing cards while the storm approached were stories which touched the audience. Empower your news department to find human interest stories in current events to connect with your audience.
Help your news staff to create compelling stories to tell in their news segments:
1. Keep every part of the story focused on the purpose of telling the story. Knowing the “end” is essential in writing great news stories. Superficial facts will only distract.
2. Start each story with an engaging sentence. Think of the headline in a newspaper or magazine which would make someone look at the cover or the front page. For example on the death of Burt Reynolds, a story headline could be “Jack Nicholson received an Academy Award for Terms of Endearment, for a role he passed on.”
3. What’s the angle? Stories can be covered by different camera positions. For example, with Burt Reynolds, it could be roles he turned down, his female co-stars, his immediate family, or his television appearances.
4. Simple is good. Edit out needless facts and statistics. Keep sentences short and to the point. Print media can have long sentences as the reader can skip ahead. With radio’s attention span, deliver short sentences and simple words. Limit stories to no more than five to six sentences.
5. Use the word “you” to make “eye contact” with your listener.
6. Stay away from the generic. Words like “authorities”; “spokesperson,” “officials”; and other generic phrases do not resonate.
7. Use sound bites only to enhance the story. A bureaucrat merely reading a press release doesn’t enhance your story. An eyewitness who gives their observation while exhibiting emotion does add to your story.
8. Use dramatic pauses and vary your inflection pattern with each story. Stories read in a rushed manner or in a monotone don’t hold attention.
9. Always ask, “what else?” Consider enhancing a story with an audio clip from the television show or movie, a piece of music, a celebrity quote, or a sound effect. During the coverage of Florence many television reporters were shown with the backdrop of trees, flags, and power lines being blown by gusting winds. These visuals are more telling than words.
10. Avoid sub stories which take your story away from getting to the conclusion. These sub stories can be used another time as another standalone story.
11. End with a strong resolution to your angle. For example, did Burt Reynolds regret turning down a role, or what was Burt’s favorite role? Many news shows have a feature to close their show. Not only is your last sentence important to each story, your last story is also important.
You want your news to be a powerful element in your clock. By empowering your news team to develop stories that are interesting and impactful, news can become a “secret sauce” in your daily programming.
Smash Your Competition
Wouldn’t you want to know that your station’s programming including talents, music, and marketing is the best it can be? Is the competition taking revenue from you because they have more listeners? The Lund Strategic Programming Evaluation details your assets and vulnerabilities and provides an action plan for growth. Contact John Lund for info on how this study will benefit your stations.
Promotion of the Week: The Human Flag
A great visual, especially in stadium seating. Provide red, white, and blue t-shirts so there aren’t too many or too few of any particular color and a seating chart (or red and white if you’re in Canada, etc.). Take pictures for your website and social media. Great on days with big home games or national holidays. In the US, a good upcoming day would be Veteran’s Day on November 11. Or, do it at a station-sponsored event with the station logo.
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Lund’s Top 3: Invigorating Your Fall Marketing
1. Consider innovative and no-cost marketing ideas; see the Lund Marketing and Promotion Guide.
2. Create ways for marketing strategy to contribute to and enhance the station brand.
3. Stage aggressive on-air marketing for at-work listening; Nielsen’s longest daypart is 8AM – 5PM.
This Week’s Music:
CHR has a new chart leader with 5 Seconds Of Summer’s “Youngblood.” Old Dominion’s “Hotel Key” (Country), Taylor Swift’s “Delicate” (Bright AC), “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5 (Hot AC) and Imagine Dragons’ “Natural” (Alternative) all top their charts for another week. Lund clients receive weekly music research information on current music plus regular updates on the best-testing recurrent and gold titles.
Lund Trend Watch:
Audio Time Share
In a story about SiriusXM’s purchase of Pandora, online statistics portal site Statista shared a bar graph of Edison Research results for the “share of audio time American (18+) spend with the following content sources.” A look at the numbers:
+ 47% of Americans’ audio time spent listening is spent with AM/FM radio
+ 12% spent with “owned music”
+ 9% with YouTube
+ 7% with SiriusXM
+ 5% with Pandora
+ 5% with TV music channels
+ 4% with Spotify
+ 3% with podcasts
+ 1% (each) of audio time spent listening is spent with Amazon Music/Apple Music
Adding the time spent listening to SiriusXM and Pandora together raises them to 13%, pulling ahead of YouTube and of “owned music” (though only by 1%). And none of the other audio sources even have half as much time spent listening as AM/FM radio.
Early Turkey, More Holiday Shopping
Thanksgiving falls on November 22 this year. This early date results in the traditional holiday shopping period between Thanksgiving and Christmas being five weekends this year. John Kelly of Daily Clips predicts that this will mean a heavier promotion load than usual. Talk to local retailers about what they’ll be doing and get involved!
Help Yourself To Another Serving
There will be less need to rush away from the dinner table this Thanksgiving. BestBlackFriday.com has contacted retailers and found many chains that will not be open Thanksgiving day/evening to push early Black Friday sales. Some of them include AT&T (company owned stores), BJ’s Wholesale Club, Costco, Dillard’s, H&M, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Pier 1 Imports, Staples and Stein Mart. Last year, Americans spent $691.9 billion during the holiday season. Retailers are hoping for a matching year-over-year increase in sales of 5.5%. But at least some of them won’t make their employees miss out on the pumpkin pie to get those sales early.
Here is a list of actions this week for the proactive program director:
Fall TV Premieres – Be aware of listeners’ returning favorites in this and coming weeks as well as trending new series.
What’s your next Big Contest and when is it scheduled to begin?
Fall TV Premieres: CBS has the return of SEAL Team and Criminal Minds.
Fall diary week #4 begins. The last week of the October PPM starts.
Conduct music audit to ensure proper music rotation and talent adherence to clocks, etc.
Fall TV Premieres: ABC has returning Station 19. Superstore and Will & Grace are back on NBC.
Streaming Premieres: Netflix has Creeped Out. Miniseries Star Trek: Short Treks starts on CBS All Access (one episode a month).
Evaluate show prep services for timeliness, relatability, ease of use and cost.
Fall TV Premieres: On ABC, returning comedies Fresh Off The Boat and Speechless are joined by new game show Child Support (Fred Savage, Ricky Gervais). On Syfy,Van Helsing and Z Nation are back.
Streaming Premieres: Hulu begins new monthly horror anthology Into The Dark. Amazon Prime Video has the third season of The Man In The High Castle. Netflix has several premieres, including season two of Big Mouth, new animated Halloween movie Super Monsters Save Halloween, reality show Dancing Queen and movie Private Life (Paul Giamatti, Kathryn Hahn).
Movie Premieres: A Star Is Born and Venom.
How visible is your station this weekend? Do remotes sizzle?
Fall TV Premieres: AMC begins season nine of Walking Dead, followed by Talking Dead. ABC premieres spin-off reality competition series Dancing With The Stars: Juniors, which joins returning Shark Tank. Disney debuts new animated series Star Wars Resistance set between Episodes VII and VIII.
TV Special: Tonight and tomorrow, The CW airs highlights from the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
Finalize your Halloween promotion and plan safety announcements.
“Rocktober,” the month-long umbrella contest/promotional period for Rock and Classic Rock stations, is under way.
Today’s programming meeting… The big fall contest. How can we freshen the on-air sound and winner promos?
Fall TV Premieres: The CW has season two of Black Lightning and the fifth season of The Flash.
TV Special: On ABC, the 2018 American Music Awards air. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross will host and a tribute to Queen is scheduled.
Next week in the Lund Letter – Promoting at-work listening, your imaging’s new frontier.
Thanks for reading
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About the Lund Media Group:
For over 20 years, the Lund Media Group has provided programming, music consulting, operational guidance, and research to commercial and public broadcaststations throughout North America and overseas. Whether you program all sports, alltalk, or all music, the Lund Goal is to help stations get more listeners and keep them listening longer. The Lund Consultants are a multi-format custom programming and management consultancy.
Call John Lund for more information about how the Lund Media Group can help your stations achieve more listeners, higher ratings, and more revenue.