Tuesday, February 15, 2011
MAKE REMOTES WORK
I listen to a lot of radio on the weekends. All different formats. One thing is consistent, most remotes sound terrible. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with remotes. I think they are a great way to billboard your station, (as long as there are tons of banners and the vehicle is parked in a highly visible place) meet listeners and welcome new ones. Most PD’s despise remotes and consider them a tune out. I don’t agree. It’s the client’s :60 commercial. If you weren’t doing the remote break (where you have total control over what goes into that break) traffic would fill the :60 with something else. Most likely something you don’t have control over. Look at remotes as another :60 seconds that you can control. With proper guidance and coaching they don’t have to be a tune out. Here are some tips:
Keep the breaks at :60. Many jocks end up going 1:30 or longer. Unacceptable. If the client is paying for a :60, then that’s what they get. Get a timer for the jock.
Try not to do the breaks via cell phone. Take a laptop and do them in Audition then FTP them back to the station.
Edit the break down before it goes on the air. If you have to interview the client, edit them down and make sure it’s the best :60 seconds. Not only does this benefit the station, it also benefits the client.
Have the talent get there early and walk around the store. They should talk to the owner and get a feel for the business. Just like prepping for their show, they need to prep for the remote breaks. You can always tell when a jock doesn’t know much about the business. That’s when the rambling and clichés hit.
Speaking of clichés, avoid them at all costs. While there are many, here’s a few:
Come by and say hi (this is awful)
You can’t miss us (I recently heard this three times in the same break)
The deals are amazing/unbelievable (avoid hype, while the deals may be good, I’m sure they are not amazing or unbelievable)
We’ll be here until 2 (nobody cares)
Run a pre-produced open for the break voiced by your voice guy. Don’t let the in studio jock talk to the jock doing the remote on the air. That will only make the break longer (and only be entertaining to the two jocks).
Treat the remote break like a commercial. Run it first in the stop set. After all, you want listeners to show up. There’s a better chance of that happening if the break runs first in the stop set and not last. Remotes are a premium and should be treated as one.
If you have a street team/interns with you on location, don’t talk about them being there or put them on the air. Nobody cares.
Focus on the benefits for the listener. Keep the message focused and brief. Your job is to get people to stop by. You don’t do that with a laundry list of things going on. A long list doesn’t make it sound any more exciting. Things the listener cares about will make it more exciting. Find the biggest benefits and promote those.
Every remote should have a special that’s only available while the station is there. This will make the remote even more of a big deal. Work with the AE and the client to find something to promote or win.
Remotes don’t have to be a tune out. If you eliminate the negatives and focus on what makes them great, they can be a win-win for everyone. Put some time into improving your remotes and embrace them. Work with your AE and promotions department to make them special. Who knows, maybe your cume will increase AND you’ll help the bottom line.
Posted by John Paul