It’s amazing how radio stations almost always take on the personality traits of the program director. Sometimes it takes awhile, but it happens nearly every time. It radiates through the brand, from what comes out of the speakers to what you see in public. That’s not a bad thing. Not at all. But it does bring about challenges in creating a station with character. In promotion and marketing, it’s a matter of creating a balance of plot vs emotion.

This is a challenge because program directors are human beings. Well, most of them. Humans tend to default to having a dominant left brain (logical, reasonable) or right brain (emotional, creative). Listen to any station for a relatively short period of time and it’s pretty easy to predict whether which is the strength of that station’s PD. You hear it in personality, imaging and promotion.

Of course, all promo messages should be simple, clear and lead to an active response. They should contribute to the personality brand of the station or show.

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Station promos on a left-brain station are full of plot: factual, informational and logical content. They’re heavy on instructions and detail and light on personality and emotion.

Balancing Plot vs Emotion

A promo from a right-brain station are heavy on emotion. The promo may sound great and be exciting, but it’s also confusing. It may be missing a meaningful call-to-action.

It’s possible to have both, but it requires a special effort. It’s not that every person is exclusively plot or emotion. Think of it as being left-handed. That doesn’t mean you never use your right hand. It just means it’s more comfortable to use your left. That’s how it is in creating promos that stimulate and inform.

Like most things in life, balance is key. The balancing act of plot vs emotion can be tricky, but with a thought and planning, programmers can create powerful content and highly effective campaigns.

Emotional marketing guru Graeme Newell of 602 Communications is a proponent of connecting with audiences emotionally. He explains the concept this way:

If you don’t explain what it is, they get lost, but if you don’t connect it to emotions, they won’t care.

The plot is the“what”. Emotion is the “care”

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Explaining Plot

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