Short attention spans demand clear, simple, worthwhile, short messages. Or, a longer, compelling story that unfolds with miniature payoffs leading toward a suspenseful end. Either way, the key is efficient, focused presentation. The problem is that without disciplined execution, radio stations often leave listeners feeling their time is wasted. And when the audience decides it’s not for them, it’s too much talk. And they’ve stopped paying attention.

There are many examples of this in radio. We could discuss how to manage talk breaks, and that’s certainly an area that needs to be managed. But there’s another area programmers need to work on. And it’s one that has gone overlooked for too long. It’s recorded elements. And that includes promos and commercials.

Shorter, Tighter, More Entertaining

There are three main areas to fix: Promos, Stop Sets and Commercials. All need to be shorter, tighter and provide more entertainment value.

One of the most annoying things to sit through is a 15 second commercial that plays before a You Tube video plays what we wanted to see or hear. Isn’t it maddening? But on You Tube, they let you skip the ad after just a few seconds. Still,

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it’s disruptive because it has nothing to do with the entertainment we’re after.

The public has a severe lack of patience for ads. And yes, radio promos are ads. They’re commercials for the station.

Blair Bartrem, program director of Q107/Toronto says:

If we can’t explain it and invite the audience to take action in 10 seconds or less, it’s a bad idea and we have to think it through some more.

Blair’s right.


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