Prank calls are one of the most well-received features that radio personalities offer. But do prank calls fit your personality? Is your brand enhanced with prank calls, or do you damage the integrity by creating humor with a victim?
Even great material can hurt your image if it isn’t consistent with your personality brand profile. It doesn’t matter how funny it is, or how provocative if it’s not a good fit. But with a creative approach, many things that don’t naturally fit can be made to fit by finding the right angle.
That starts in the creative process, but personalities often don’t develop content with a sense of how it impacts their personal brand development. With a little brainstorming at the beginning, you may be able to make prank calls fit your show.
Prank Calls and Good Guys
Great ideas can be made to fit just about any radio station, if you apply creativity and find a way to integrate it with your brand values. You can do that by choosing the right type of prank call. But what if your personality brand is “good guy”? Can nice shows and prank calls co-exist?
While prank calls are a high-testing, audience-captivating feature, they’re usually considered edgy, with the victim becoming upset and an on-air fight breaking out. Is it possible to arrange for nice shows and prank calls to co-exist?
Some shows rely only on conflict to provide the emotional spark in their prank calls. That’s a mistake. Yes, it can get attention but isn’t all that clever, and it’s difficult to sustain the feature when the payoff is simply someone getting angry and yelling at you.
Think of prank calls as a story with a surprising twist. Develop the story by starting with a topic, carefully curated and prepared to fit your brand image.
Then, develop the story using all five elements of storytelling structure.
On Elvis Duran show, Phone Taps are a benchmark feature that the show is often best known for. In Elvis’ network, it’s even the point of advertising and marketing for many affiliate stations.
Here’s an analysis of how and why this feature works for the show.