Promos designed to improve the results for a high profile radio show are important. Positioning personalities and character traits are also important. That means the time devoted to airing morning show promos is valuable. Promos are basically commercials for a radio show. And good commercials work! So doesn’t it make sense to invest time in making those commercials great?

Let’s review some guidelines on how to make morning show promos sizzle.

There are two aspects of great morning show promos. Both are important. Promotion for a specific reason at a specific time is tactical. Positioning the character traits of the talent or station is strategic.

Promotion is Tactical

Morning show promos don’t attract new listeners to the station. Think about it. 100% of the ads are heard by people who already know about the station. A large percentage of listeners are already somewhat familiar with the show.

However, just because a listener is familiar with a show doesn’t mean they love it. The average morning show Cume is less than half of the station’s cume. Even dominant shows rarely attract more than 60%.

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So promos on the station are a perfect place to advertise. But this type of promotion should be considered tactical, not strategic.

Each promo should have a clear, simple message and call to action. Focus on encouraging the audience tuned in right now to tune in tomorrow for a specific occasion.

This is most effective with tactical content-based promos as detailed here.

Positioning Is Strategic

There’s also an opportunity to schedule promos that position personality.

Most of these should be scheduled inside the show to deliver additional tune-in occasions and reinforce character traits.

Think of it like this: The audience is tuned in to the show for a specific reason. This is a perfect time to reinforce brand values. If it can also deliver another tune in occasion, it’s even better.

5 Tips For Effective Morning Show Promos

Many programmers confuse the goals for a promo or simply try to do too much in a single promo.

Some stations run positioning promos outside the show and vice-versa. They misunderstand the difference in positioning and promotion.

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Remember: Promote outside the show. Position inside the show.

Here are 5 tips for better promos.

Fit The Image

Each promo should reflect the personalities of the show. The presentation should always be consistent with the personality brand profile. This applies to all promos, even those designed to drive tune-in occasions.

External Focus

Write from a listener perspective with an emphasis on audience benefits. For example, don’t say, “We want to send you to Paris.” Rephrase it as “Win a trip to Paris”.

For more details on how to write with an outward perspective, go here.

Specific Benefits

Write a promo with an emphasis on benefits. But it must also be specific. Start with how (exactly) the audience’s experience is improved. That will help the promo copy fall into place.

Invite, Don’t Yell

Ordering, threatening, and hyping won’t work. Listeners are savvy consumers who have heard ads forever. They don’t want to be assaulted. Produce bright, exciting promos. Just dial back the hype.

Be Ratings Friendly

Promos are mostly to drive ratings. But they’re not just tactics to manipulate the ratings system. Be conscious of how the ratings game works.

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Make sure campaigns are optimized to resonate with ratings respondents.


Did you notice what’s missing from the list of 5 tips? It’s a promo playing something from that morning’s show. Using show audio can be an effective technique at times, but often it’s a lazy, sloppy way to promote.

And it doesn’t drive new tune in, does it?

Creating a great morning show promo can enhance a personality brand and drive ratings. Master the skill and response will improve. And here’s the great news: It’s free!

Have a great show promo? I’d love to share it with the community. Contact me and send audio along.


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