Radio Blog

This page contains blog articles on a range of topics of interest to professionals in radio sales, including everything from selling technique to the state of the industry. If you have an opinion on any issue regarding radio or would like to share some of your sales techniques with others, you can submit an article for the blog here (max 400 words, please).

Take Risks

Every day you can hear radio spots that were created by committee: politically correct, watered-down, automatically written radio ads that offend no one…and motivate no one. Commercials that sound like…well, like commercials. They make you want to change the station, or at best, ignore the message.

If you want your spots to make it all the way from the ears to the brain, you’ll need to take a few risks: that your idea won’t work, that you’ll offend someone, that it might not get immediate results, that people will think you’re crazy. You’ll also need to risk having phenomenal success, that you’ll be thought of as a visionary, that your clients will bow down at your feet (well, maybe I’m dreaming).

Surprise the listener. Present the unexpected. Turn the rules upside down. Try writing a 300 word :60, or one with only 14 words. Mix two cuts of music together. Use 56 voices in a spot. Create a spot backwards. Use operatic music for a dance club. Have a spot for retirees narrated by a child. Cast an ancient voice for a young hip audience.

Go in the opposite direction. If your competition has a jingle, use straight talk without music. If they’re listing lots of features (they probably are), do a spot featuring only one: the way the lettuce is chosen at a restaurant, the way a car is washed at a dealership, the 14 steps a plumber takes to make sure he leaves your house spotless after a service call…but make sure you sell the benefits.

Create a continuing story and make each spot an episode that picks up where the last one left off. Design a quiz that listeners have to call in, log on or come in to complete.

Remember, even with a risk-taking approach, the goal is to sell, so get the listener’s attention and keep it while motivating her to respond. Go ahead take some risks. Safe radio is dull radio, and is only useful as a sleeping aid.

Jeffrey Hedquist.

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Radio Blog