I was recently chatting to a jock in Texas – she was bemoaning the fact that many people thought her show – and herself, wasn’t local enough.
Some listeners in the latest survey had said that her show was from another city!
Was it because she was too polished? Too generic with what she talked about?
We went back through some of her airchecks and I suggested that she needed to do a couple of tiny things to make her show more local.
This is what we came up with and she was very happy to share them with you – if you are in the same boat as her.
1. Talk about Local Events: Okay, so we all do this in some form – but really drill down on upcoming local events, such as concerts, festivals, and community gatherings. By sharing information about these events, and the people involved, you can create a sense of connection with the local community and show that they are in touch with what’s happening in the area.
2. Local News: Discussing local news stories, such as traffic updates, weather alerts, are expected – but it is the local community issues that people hold close to their heart that can make a real connection with your listeners. Demonstrating that you are informed about the area and care about the community means that you don’t just read about the local news – but are involved in them – and if that means attending council meetings and demonstrations – then do it.
3. Local Culture: One of mine, and her favourites – talking about the unique aspects of local culture, such as the variety of regional foods, music, or traditions shows that you not only are a part of the community – but that you know something of it’s heart, it’s local culture and the values that the community holds dear.
4. Local Sports: Sports are always a great way to connect with your listeners, and discussing local teams, athletes and personalities can demonstrate a strong connection to your community. This should not be restricted to your town’s team, but also include high school sports teams or local sports leagues – sometimes the weirder the better.
5. Local Businesses: By promoting local businesses, you can help support the local economy and demonstrate a strong connection to the community. This can include interviews with business owners or highlighting local products or services. Of course this would have to be run past the sales department for conflict of interest, and to see if the business has a history with the station – but if you genuinely had the best coffee from a local business – tell people!
6. Local History: Take some time to investigate local history, by sharing some interesting facts or stories that you have learnt about the history of the area can show that you have either: a – taken the time to learn, or b – have a deep understanding and appreciation of the community that you are broadcasting to.
7. Local Charities: Promoting local charities or community service organizations can help you to demonstrate a commitment to the community and show that you care about making a positive impact on the local area.
I can’t wait to see how her new survey book goes – and how the station does, she has already taken the time to do some of these things, and the local history one for her has been a major pay-off.
Callers saying that even they didn’t know some of the things she was talking about on her show – and then others calling in saying that they remember when this or that happened.
Already I can see that her show is no longer an outsider looking in, but an insider enjoying the view.
I hope that helps you to be more local on-air too.