Quick Radio Consulting
A new year should bring you a desire to make yourself a better programmer/talent/employee.
If it doesn't, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you will be the first to join your out-of-work brethren in the radio arts. It's tough out there. Reports on cuts are coming daily. If you resolve to work on you this year, you may just be one of the survivors in 2013.
If you need ideas on where to start, here are some things to work on and make your new year resolutions for:
1) Aircheck Weekly.
Even if your PD doesn't demand it, or you don't have a PD at all, you need to listen to yourself and hone your craft. If you are a 30 year veteran or a newbie, airchecking will make you better. Actors rehearse every scene. Writers proofread. Musicians practice. You are in the entertainment industry. Be professional and aircheck. I've never airchecked a talent and found nothing for them to work on.
2) Work with sales.
The number one way to show your GM that you are a valuable employee is to show them you can add to the bottom line and are not just a salary drawing from it. You'll be surprised how hard the sales folks have to work and how much the client will listen to your ideas because you are a celebrity.
3) Engage with the listener.
Radio was the first social media. Use all the tools in the new media age to your advantage to become a trusted advisor and friend to the listener...a person that you may never meet face-to-face. I tell all my new talent, when they were just starting out, that radio is a job that is 24/7...and it's even more true with the access that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. give you to your audience. Use those engagement tools multiple times a day. But don't abuse your listener's trust, it must be a compelling comment/post/status update or risk being ignored...First in social media and then on-the-air
4) Share promotion ideas.
Sit in on a promotion meeting, or if your station is too small to have them, bring promotion ideas to your Sales Manager. If they take it to the streets and sell it, you will prove your worth to the company.
5) Show prep constantly.
Remember what I said earlier, this job is 24/7. Take notes on your smartphone on things you encounter all day that will be relevant to the listener when you are on the air.
6) Get enough sleep.
A well rested employee is a better performing employee. An employee in a better mood. A healthy employee. A prompt employee...should I go on?
7) Listen more.
As on-air talent we have a need to "fill the silence". You will be surprised on how much better your show would be if you listened more. If you listened more to callers. Listened more during interviews. Listened more to your co-workers in the studio and out.
8) Read more.
Anything and everything. From news websites to self-help books. The more you read, the more relatable you will be to the listener.
9) Edit, edit, and edit again.
Your breaks. Your spots. Your promos. Everything. Go through it three or four times, or more, and make it polished and perfect. Brevity wins.
10) Smile as much as possible.
If you're having fun, so is the listener and your co-worker...and your family. Remember you are getting paid you to do something you love. I know I'd do this job for free if I could. If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.
Good luck with everything and have a GREAT 2013!