One of the key concepts I teach air personalities is how to turn up the volume. This applies to building more interesting stories, creating features that take on more importance with the audience, being more present with promotion and much more. And it also applies to generating more listener attention. One of the ways to turn up the volume is to give listeners a warning! Breaking News is a tactic we see in media everywhere. And it works.

Breaking news has almost become a joke in some circles, just because it’s used so frequently. Every time a new piece of information is added to a story, there’s a Breaking News alert. But it makes sense. It adds immediacy and interest to what’s about to be presented.

Breaking News sends the message that something important is coming. A new development is happening. It’s not just part of an ongoing story, or a detail being added. It frames the content as more important than just saying, “This just in…” or “Here’s the latest on…” or “In other news…”.  Breaking News adds drama.

Air personalities can create the same sense of urgency by using the Breaking News technique in a different way. It can be applied to any information segment. That might include a news story or a new weather forecast.

For example:

This just in: A new weekend forecast-It’s not what you were expecting.

Here’s some breaking news on the accident on Highway 67…and how long you’ll be stuck.

Breaking news this morning on Kim’s latest drama with Chloe.

But creating a sense of urgency can be go further than just using the term. It can be as simple as calling attention to something you’re about to do in a more dramatic way. When we turn up the volume on content, the audience takes notice. And that deserves an alert!

Breaking News, Alerts and Warnings

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