By Holland Cooke
BLOCK ISLAND, RI — A station I often hear pronounces itself “The Station of Record,” a designation no authority has actually bestowed. Besides being bogus, this claim sounds dated. The Internet has made users the authority. When we can read online reviews, authorities like movie critics and Consumer Reports, etc. are old school.
Self-important station-centric claims ask listeners to care – even admire — how WE are doing. Instead, explain how you help how THEY’RE doing.
- Describe how what-you-do is available. Specific goal: Invite more occasions of listening.
- Promo copy is listeners’ instruction manual for using the station. Don’t squander it telling people that you think you’re mighty.
Does station promo copy contain unintentional put-downs?
Here’s another misstep I hear in news/talk stations’ on-air imaging: Meaning-to-give-comfort-that the station will keep listeners well-informed, promos say “LISTEN AND LEARN,” or offer that listening “WILL MAKE YOU SMARTER.”
- Language like this can easily sound condescending. People don’t tune-in to get educated. They listen to cope, because you accompany and entertain and inform and guide them.
- So, instead, sound enabling, by expressing benefit statements in listener language. “WE’VE GOTCHA COVERED, FIRST-THING-IN-THE-MORNING, AND THROUGHOUT YOUR BUSY DAY” says we’ve-got-your-back, without risking the inference that “you need to be smarter.”
Holland Cooke is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page). He is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. And HC hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America. Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke