All this week I will be taking a look at the different types of tools a radio copywriter can use, and what you should have in your toolkit for each of the different job titles you may have. Today I look at one of the single most important things – recording your voice at your desk.
When you write a radio script – do you just write it – say it in your head, then send it off to a client?
I hope not.
Every radio copywriter should read their script out loud. That’s every script. Why? Because it is only then that you will discover the little traps that you have laid in the copy for your voice talent.
My best purchase to help me with this was a desktop microphone, stand and shield. I got a cheap one for only $39 Australian at K-Mart – HERE – the microphone cable is a bit dodgy – but the rest is good enough to give a decent recording. Of course you can just use your smart phone and record the audio the email it to yourself, and edit it.
I record my script into Audacity and time it out – is it too long or short? Are there any tricky traps? Too many alliterations?
Then, I will sometimes send that audio to the client instead of a script. Why?
Because some clients just don’t understand scripts! They don’t get the written word.
I have tried to say to them “get someone to read it out loud to you so you get an idea of how it might sound on-air” but it doesn’t happen, and they add another 27 words!
Or I send them the audio and the script and they say “that’s a bit short isn’t it?” Nope that’s 30 seconds – that’s what the spot runs so we can’t add any more in there!
Some consultants have recommended to send the audio only, or do a live read to them over the phone of the script – but I prefer to record my voice and send it through, and since I have started to do so – the number of changes I have had, have decreased and the number of approvals has increased (especially for demo spec scripts).
Finally I then will then send that audio file to one of the voice production house’s I use with the script – so they get the rhythm and style of delivery I am after, as well as any tricky pronunciations. I have been told by them that this really helps the voice talent to get the delivery right.
So – that’s 3 types of uses for one piece of equipment – now you can see why I recommend to any and all copywriters, get yourself a microphone and stand, and start using it for your radio scripts – you’ll discover that your writing will get better, your approvals will increase and the results for your clients will bring them back! Not bad for a $39 investment!