Programmers and (most) personalities have a natural (and understandable) reaction to threats of lost quarter-hours and declining audience attention. The first response is typically to polish everything on the station in the never-ending quest for perfection. The second is to try to do more. More content increases the chance of generating something listeners will like, right? Not necessarily. Recycling content is a powerful strategy, and one of the greatest benefits is the freedom to create less content and more promotion.

Recycling: Less Content, More Promotion

You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule, where 20% of effort produces 80% of your results. In an overcrowded entertainment world, some now claim the ratio is more than that, perhaps as much as 90/10, but that’s up for debate.

The point is that it’s true, and recycling content is a useful strategy for every show. Still, an often overlooked reason to recycle is that it frees you to invest more time promoting your best content instead of preparing more material. 

Successful online publishers invest just a small fraction of their time in generating content and the vast majority in promotion and marketing to get more “juice” from the “squeeze.”

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What if shows were to reduce the amount of original content, perhaps even adopting the One Hour Radio Show strategy? There would be far less preparation time building content for segments. But that doesn’t reduce the workload. It frees you to invest the rest of your time in making that content famous through promotion.

What would happen? Chances are, ratings would rise, listeners would talk about your show more often, and you’d quickly build a larger fanbase.

How To Do It

Does that sound crazy? It’s not. Promotion makes the content better. Combined with repetition, it’s the formula that will drive ratings. Both are ingredients in how brands become more influential, and it’s the driving force of The One Thing strategy.

But it takes courage and conviction. To get started, study the power of Concentration of Force. This principle should guide your plan and give you confidence.

Then, develop a plan by mapping the content to be recycled. Create a detailed programming schedule so you have a clear vision of what will be produced each day. A

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When that’s in place, complete your strategy:

On-Air Promotion: Start promoting your “A” content aggressively. Focus on memorable features and benchmarks. Write creative teases for each segment and plan recorded promos to make your content famous.

Online: Activate your audience by promoting with on-demand audio, videos, and social media and blog posts.

Email: Start a daily email newsletter to promote to your on-demand audio and digital assets and build anticipation for tomorrow’s “A” content.


Recycling makes your best content more prolific. With active promotion, you can quickly build a much larger following and generate more interest. This less content, more promotion philosophy unleashes your creative focus and will result in better execution and publicity.

Then, stand back. This is going to get big!