Programming Tips for Radio Stations

Do you run a radio station and want to take step it up a notch? Are you planning to increase your fanbase and get more listeners? If so, then you need to get your programming perfect.

Programming is much more than chatting and playing music. In a world filled with streaming and social media, you need to entertain. Below, we give our must-know programming tips for radio station presenters. 

Get Current

People want new content, and they want to know about what is going on in the world at the current time. This means staying on top of what is new and reflecting trends and events that are taking place. Avoid bringing up old ideas and discussing dated topics on your radio show, unless they suddenly take their place in the news once again. 

This does not mean your station has to change its whole approach to be new and fresh. Every demographic and genre will have new events or news occurring daily. If you are playing older tracks and music, then supplement it with new releases related to the genre or artists you have on the station. 

Finally, if you have promotions and competitions then keep them fresh. Even the most successful of promotions will start to lose its effectiveness over time. Stay on the pulse by offering something new and inventive. 

Use Programming Tips on Podcasting

How people listen and consume media has changed. They now want more choice, with regard to how and when they listen to shows. For you, that means that you may find your live show is no longer the primary method in which people engage with your radio programming. 

Combat this by embracing the podcast. You can either record the live shows or create additional supplementary programming to put on your website. The beauty is that you will already have the skills and equipment to create podcasts, you just need to find a great show that people can listen to whenever they want. 

Avoid Dead Air

While this is a broadcasting basic, not every station follows this rule. No one wants to listen to silence on your radio show. People tune in for entertainment and information, and if they are not getting it from you they will go elsewhere. 

Try to make sure you have enough material to fill all of your time slots. If you are a commercial station, make sure the segmentation between advertising, music, and programming is seamless. 

Of course, sometimes things do go horribly wrong and you may be left with dead air. This could be a mishap in the studio or with technology. In this instance, make sure you have a backup plan which may be soundbites, advertising for another program, or particular tracks you have lined up ready to play. 

Get Social

Being on social media is a key part of any radio station’s marketing efforts. Not only does it allow you a direct way to talk with listeners, but it also allows you to share news and upcoming events. By using it to interact, you are forging better relationships with your audience, fostering their loyalty. 

The platforms you choose to use for social media are totally up to you. However, if you have a small station it may be better to stick with just one or two. 

Finally, you should seriously consider doing live streams to social media channels. Video is one of the most engaging content types, and with the simple addition of a camera on your radio shows and a live stream, you can increase your audience exponentially. 

Hire Marketing Staff

Many large radio stations have a designated marketing team. They are in charge of promotions and social media. While you may think that they are an added expenditure, they can actually bring in a lot of revenue. 

A marketing team can offer advertising packages to companies. The companies will then have adverts or joint promotions with the station. This could be the sponsorship of events or more traditional advertising methods. 

You can send your marketing team out to meet the public to promote joint ventures. This markets your station and advertises the paying business. With a few shout outs on your shows, it is a great, all-encompassing marketing strategy for them to use. 

Match Your Presenters to the Correct Time Slots

Finding the best presenters for your station is down to the demographic and preferences of your audience. However, putting these presenters in the right time slot is an art form, that if done correctly, will pay dividends.

Your most energetic, vibrant presenters will probably want to be placed in the prime morning and drive time slots. This is when people most need a lift and some positivity, as they begin and end the day. 

After this, place your more mellow, niche presenters in the evening slots. This is the time people want to unwind and need some relaxation. Unless of course, it is Friday or Saturday night, in which case you need some party people who are heavy on the music and lighter on the chat. 

One great technique is to pair up presenters on your flagship shows. This gives both people someone to bounce off, making their job easier and reducing dead air time. If you are really lucky, try to find two people who are quite opposing in their personality that still have a natural chemistry on air. 

Experiment Off Air

When using these programming tips, do not be afraid to experiment. Combinations of presenters, new formats, and competitions can all be tried beforehand, in one-off guest slots or on podcasts. Once you find a method that works, then run with it. 

If you still need assistance, then Virtual Jock is here to help. We have a host of great services, from talent to format advice. Contact us today to discuss your needs and let us supercharge your station in the coming year!