I had an email from an on-air host and copywriter from another country yesterday, asking me if it was okay to have their own imaging produced and played during their show? I will call him Paul for ease of this post, and he was new to the station and being on-air.
Paul had written some pretty solid pieces of station imaging, that I really liked, and was planning on spending their own money to get them produced up to play – but how should he approach the topic with their PD?
Straight away I remembered one of the previous jocks I had worked with in my AM days – he continually changed his show imaging almost every day to keep it topical – and I don’t think management were EVER approached about him doing it, and it was a part of his regular show prep.
Then I remembered another Jock on an FM station, who did exactly what Paul did – but he had professionally produced spots made. They were NOT allowed to be played after the PD heard them the first time on air.
Why such a discrepancy? Well there were a couple of reasons why…
- The AM and FM had 2 very different managements – the AM station was old school – do what you can to sound good; at the FM we had a branding and style guide to work from that we couldn’t deviate from.
- The station voice wasn’t used in the FM imaging, but it was (because he was on station) in the AM station so it made imaging easy and was done so at no cost.
- The styles matched the show on the AM, the FM one had a very AC image, but the imaging that was produced was VERY URBAN in style. It was a definite clash.
- In the AM case, management didn’t mind a jock doing something they hadn’t approved because they had a history of it…
- In the FM case – it was a new Jock who just threw the rule book out the window and had the PD annoyed within the first 5 minutes of the first show.
So my advice to Paul was, ask these 4 questions:
- Approach management (or the PD at least) about what you want to do, show them the scripts and maybe a rough mock up of the audio to show what you want to produce up.
- Have a list of reasons why you want your own imaging, is it to introduce yourself on air in each segment? Give a bit of padding between tracks and your voice? Or is it for vanity? Have a list of at least 5 reasons why more if you can.
- Ask about the voice you can use… if you can use the station voice – or an outside one, or your own, or your producers – they may have strict guidelines that you need to follow, and as Paul was new, he didn’t know what they were – ask!
- Ask if you can keep updating it to reflect current affairs, topics, etc and do you have to check with them every time you do so.
I am waiting to hear back about how Paul went, but feel confident that the imaging he had written matched his new station, the voice issue may be something he needed to check. And finally his reasons – I can’t wait to see what he came up with and what the results were.
Good luck Paul – and any one else in this situation.
Tell me – do you think we covered all the points about show imaging here – was there something else I missed with my advice? Let us know below and I will keep you in the loop with Paul’s story – if it’s ok with you Paul?