Friday, August 28, 2015

2 DAYS + 400 CREATIVES: Highlights from Morning Show Boot Camp 27

What if you could spend two days sharing ideas with hundreds of extremely creative, self-motivated, often fearless radio talent and executives bent on success?

I got to do that earlier this month at Talentmaster’s Morning Show Boot Camp 27 in Chicago.

Joining Steve Goldstein, Tim Clarke, Jeff Dauler, Harv Blain and John Gehron as a presenter on the “50 Shades of Great: 50 Ideas in 50 Minutes” panel was fun, but even better was being part of the creative give and take.

If you were there, I hope we got to spend time together. If you weren’t, here are some (really, just some) highlights from #MSBC27.

EXCLUSIVE CONTENT STUDY – 7 Key Findings that are Sure to Change Your Approach to Choosing Content

An audience research-driven presentation from Tracy Johnson, Tracy Johnson Media Group and Hal Rood, Strategic Radio Solutions

  • P1s: Tune in for 9 minutes, 3 times per day, 2 days per week (MF 6-10am). The audience misses 95.5% of your show so recycle your content.
  • Each break should have multiple pay-offs. Lost attention is hard to regain.
  • Establish features and manage them as you would a brand. Good features help you develop a deep footprint.
  • A unique POV beats great content every time. Think: “relevant content plus perspective.”
  • Be famous for something (ideally your “One Thing”)
  • Double Your Ratings Math: Leveraging the Power of Plus One
    • 3 quarter hours per day, 2 days per week – contributes 6 QHRs - 1 more tune in per day + 1 more day per week (perhaps your benchmark) – adds 6 QHRs per week to take your original 6 to 12
  • The only reason to put listeners on the air is to make you stand out as a personality.
  • Social media is not a strategy it’s a tactic. Your brand is the strategy.

Live Read/Mad Money

How to make live reads more effective, entertaining and profitable. Jeff McHue – Randy Lane Company;
  • Endorsements get best results of any advertising on the station; Pandora can’t do this
  • Listeners do not tune out endorsements; they're considered part of the show
  • Endorsements are WOM
  • When accepting an endorsement, ask questions about the purpose of the campaign, the target, and how success will be measured.
  • Product decisions are rarely about the product (Harley)
  • “Learn how to tell them a story and you’ll be a success.” (Don Hewitt - 60 minutes)
    • Have a 'Hook Headline' (tell me if this makes me a bad parent)
    • Make stories out of real life. 
    • “Mine Your Life to the Bare Walls” (screenwriting tip)
    • Use a Life Tree to help you recall your stories
    • Ask, "What else can we do to make this better/different?"

Your Station’s Social Playbook: Radio’s 1st Social Media Study

Better Content, Better Ratings: Using Social Media to Drive More Compelling Content. Victor Caballero
  • 'Spray and Pray' common but not effective strategy
  • Three ‘microphones’ – on air, social, digital
  • Heavy social media users are research-friendly
  • Reading/replying should be 2:1 over posting (two ears, one mouth)
  • Consider social for ‘exclusive content;’ put show left-overs on social; create social media benchmarks
  • Use social to make your show last the whole day
  • Implement 'Social Air Checks'

The Producer’s Forum: The Essentials of Great Producers

Sure, some of this applies to producers only, but there are gems here for talent and PDs, too. Eric Rowe (Roula and Ryan – KRBE Dallas), Tommy Owen (Bert Show), Randy Stein (Fitz Show), JC Fernandez (Mercedes in the Morning); Moderator Tommy Sablan (Jeff and Jerr)

  • Biggest change from producer to talent: having to have an opinion on everything we talk about on the show. (JCF)
  • Our show is like SNL. We all bring ideas to the table and Bert is the Loren Michaels who makes the decisions about what gets on the air. (TO)
  • Before you leave, sit back down and do five more things. (ER)
  • Big part of producing an ensemble is managing the situation. You have to make those people like each other for 3 to 5 hours. (TS)
  • Watch the History of the Eagles; seeing how they interact with each other will help any morning show.
  • Always protect the show. It’s the producer’s job is to protect them from outside negative forces. (JCF)
  • A good producer takes time to listen to each member of the crew. Each person in the crew needs to be managed in a different way; they have different needs, egos and personalities. At the end of the day you want your talent to feel special. (RS)
  • As producer, it’s our job to know what’s hot and find that person. With social media it’s much easier to find people. (TS)
  • Try and know someone in every field/part of the community. (TS)
  • Become friends with a big star’s assistant; it can open doors. (ER)
  • Learn how to screen a call and set them up. (TS)
  • Use your texting service to contact people who wrote good text messages. (RS)
  • Record callers you don’t get to for future use or if you bring the bit back. (RS)

Battle of the Bits

Self-explanatory panel moderated by Eric Rowe and Kevin Rolston (Kevin, Virginia and Jason Show) 
  • The Hoax Call Alert. Local fire departments play hoax call and listeners try to identify the voice who was making the nuisance call. Have had some success tracking down some of the callers.
  • Andy & Nicole/WMEE - Terrible impressions. Put names in a hat, partner has to do impression.
  • What’s Your Weird Urge (one caller wanted to kick any person in front of them down the stairs)
  • Tim Burger/WIRK; take us with you on summer vacation. Listeners reserve (like a library book) life-sized cut-outs of the show members, then take them on vacation. Use custom hashtag. Best picture wins prize. On air – the awesome stuff that “happened” to us on vacation.
  • Jim WIL, What do you HAVE to do before the summer ends?
  • Gene/Gene and Julie – pregnant women with gross cravings. We drew one from hat the next day and had to eat it.
  • Gene/Gene Julie- put arm in a cast and get celebrities to sign (anyone they think is a celeb – firefighter hero).  Put cast on in studio and later sawed it off on the air.
  • Scotty K/Riley/Brett Power 96.1 Atlanta – 96 days of kindness – one act every day (pay bills, kid with cancer on air, people who are doing good things in community, cleaning up) Post on Instagram, Twitter, FB - #96daysofkindness
  • Scotty K/Riley/Brent Power 96.1 Atlanta – 10 Day Challenge. Have 10 dates with 10 different women. POV is that dating is hard.
  • Scott & Gina/Idaho – Find the hidden, ratty pair of flip flops (one audio and one video clue – which gets shares)
  • Woody/Alt 97 LA: “Needless to Say” – each player starts with the end of someone telling a story:  “Needless to say he got stabbed and I had to pick him at the hospital.” Listeners call for which one seems like it will be the best story. Then each person tells story.
  • Tampa/New Release Tuesday – find days when people would be released and stand in front of jail with cigarettes and bus fare. Ask, “What did you do, what happened?”
  • Tampa/If you got stabbed (hit by train), call us and tell it what it feels like
  • Jane/Todd Pettingill Show WPLJ – what’s in Amy’s Hair – post picture, give hints (that must be heavy on your head)
  • Pre-arranged caller sets up listener discussion (I want to open a smoker’s bar – people call and opinionate).
  • Personal question poll: How often do you have sex?

Owning Your Career Asset

Managing your career as a financial asset. Michael P. Haubrich, CFP
  • Act like an owner when it comes to career assets; employers just rent your time, talent and potential.
    • People take better care of what they own than what they rent. Make sure you’re doing that.
  • If you don’t charge enough, potential employers won’t take you seriously.
  • Skills you have now are often transferable to the future/future careers.
  • Establish career asset working capital fund – separate this fund from emergency cash reserves.
  • If you lose a job, figure out how to keep performing (Larry from Atlanta podcast) including writing
  • Watch out for willful blindness so you’re not surprised by the future – including being laid off or terminated
  • Choose relationships/investments carefully. 70% of professional football players file for bankruptcy within 5 years of retirement
  • Four things to get:
    • Career coach
    • Talent agent (protects legal and financial interests)
    • Financial planner/advisor
    • Tax advisor

Radio Roundtable

Leading programmers and talent on the current state of radio and stepping up your game.

Greg Strassell, Brian Kelly, Rob Roberts, John Zellner, Todd Pettengill. Moderator: Paul Kaye, Newcap.
  • Make better content today than we did yesterday. But we have to understand what content is.(PK)
  • The future belongs to courageous talent. (PK)
  • Everyone has the same content. It’s how you interpret it and how you disseminate it. (TP)
  • Prep is the way you live your life. The challenge is, “Are you good enough to turn it into something great on the air?” (JZ)
  • When you hire someone, you hire people with different opinions who don’t just go home and watch Netflix at night. One of the most important things is, “Who’s in the studio?” (JZ)
  • #1 mistake is generic content. (GS)
  • If you’re not doing 2 or 3 different shows (each morning) you’re not doing it right because it’s not the same audience. (TP)
  • Local doesn’t mean anything to anybody. It’s about the content. (RR)
  • Entertaining beats local any day. Entertaining and local is a win. (JZ)
  • Local is also being an advocate for your town. It’s not necessarily entertaining, but it’s memorable and powerful. Find something once a quarter that will generate talk in the market. (JZ)
  • The bar is raised when an Elvis Duran comes to the market. You can’t rely on local; you have to step up your game. (GS)
  • If you can tell a story, you can succeed in morning radio. (RR)
  • Be at the intersection of ‘things that happen to you’ and ‘things that happen to everybody.’ (BK)

I always leave MSBC inspired by the collective passion and creativity - and, of course, with a boatload of usable ideas to share with A&O&B stations.

If you’re a talent or a manager of a station who sees talent playing an important role in your station’s success, strongly consider budgeting for Morning Show Boot Camp next year.

It’s one of those gatherings that proves the quote, “The people you associate yourself with have the greatest influence on your life.”

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