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Promotional ideas and technique. Always radio, always positive.

Eleven ways to make your next production even better

Steve at Creative Loop

I’ve been meeting lots of students, most recently in a sweaty room at the excellent Creative Loop Student Media Festival in Glasgow. That’s them, above.

Media students often ask insightful and challenging questions, many of which take me back to the basics of good planning and creative production: the foundations of any successful campaign.

The students’ questions are also remarkably similar to those which come up with my commercial radio clients and their agencies.

So, prompted by all these conversations, here are 11 valuable ways you always can make an on-air promotional campaign or a single spot a little bit better and the results a little bit hotter. You’ll know all this already but it’s good to have a written checklist.

Thinking and planning

1. Set a direction.

Work out where you’re going before you set out. Have a brief then challenge it. Who are you talking to? What do you want them to do? Why should they do it?

2. Only use the best idea.

Do I have the strongest, most relevant and on-brand idea? Don’t settle for the first idea. Come up with many and pick the most exciting and fun one.

3. Centre on the listener.

Make it about the listener, not the station. Are you selling benefits or vanity publishing?

4. Look after everybody.

Have you satisfied the client, your station brand and the listener?

5. Stay showbiz.

Is it still fun?

Production

6. Script efficiency.

Does every word count? Could the message be any clearer with fewer words, less clutter and distraction?

7. Casting and direction.

Is this truly the best voice for this piece of communication or just the regular voice artist we always hire? Is this the exact peformance I want? Do you have the voice direction skills to tease out the performance you want?

8. Optimise your production.

Is all the production entirely supportive of the message, entirely necessary and does it fit your station sound? Could this piece of production exist on any other station? If no, good.

9. Still stay showbiz

Is your produced work a genuine pleasure to listen to?

Delivery

10. Are all touchpoints in sync?

Website. Facebook. Twitter. Consistent message? Presenters briefed? Talk-ups using the same keywords, phrases and tonal language as the produced trail/promo? Embargoes set and understood by all?

11. It doesn’t stop there.

Are you tracking response? It costs nothing to use Analytics or Facebook insights. You might want to use Google Forms or Survey Monkey to run a more formal piece of research with your listeners. You’ve got their email addresses, right?

Thanks to Colin Kelly, Gavin Pearson and the delegates of Creative Loop for helping to focus this list. If you’d like to add your tips, please use the comments box below.