Monday Memo: Improving Results from Endorsement Spots | TALKERS magazine : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Monday Memo: Improving Results from Endorsement Spots

| January 28, 2019

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The news/talk stations I work with make big money doing what talk radio does best: cutting through mental clutter, with live endorsement spots delivered by familiar local on-air personalities.

And as you read in my Monday Memo three weeks ago, this technique can help sell podcast sponsorships.  ICYMI:


OOPS.  Do your endorsement spots say “I haven’t sold you yet?”

Often, these are long-standing advertiser relationships.  Two cautions:

  • If you’ve been touting an advertiser for years, DON’T say so. “For years, I’ve been telling you about [name of business]” = “…and I haven’t sold you yet, have I?”  Instead…
  • Keep the pitch fresh, and CUSTOMER-centric; rather than talking about a store. In one spot I heard, for a sewing supply retailer, the well-intentioned host sounded awestruck as he recited the store’s inventory (“over fifteen hundred bolts of fabric!”).  That’s the store’s problem.  Instead, solve the listener’s problem: “Imagine the money you could save if you made all your kids’ back-to-school clothes this year? [advertiser] will give you free lessons!”

Avoid saying…

  • “MY GOOD FRIENDS AT [name of business],” which sounds real phony.
  • “All-new:”Say “new,” if it IS new, AND if newness is a listener benefit (and say why).
  • “…AND MUCH MORE” means nothing. Weed-out stuff like this, and you’ll give copy more time to breathe.
  • “Needs,” as in: “FOR ALL YOUR [product category] NEEDS” (the ultimate “BLAH, BLAH, BLAH”). Instead? Either:
  1. Say something more-specific, a benefit statement. Or…say nothing!
  2. Too many spots are over-written, causing the announcer to rush. Let copy breathe.


Holland Cooke ( is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet; and he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show on RT America.  Read HC’s Monday Memo each week at, and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke

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Category: Advice