TID: Writing Radio Imaging

The Imaging Desk
The Imaging Desk

Writing is arguably one of the most important processes in creating Radio Imaging and Creative Audio. Can you imagine your favourite Movie or TV Show with a bad script? You are more than likely not going to stick around and it get a negative reaction from the viewer and they won’t watch it again.

It’s the very same for your Radio Station, if you have poor content and scripts, the listener will just switch stations with the risk of never coming back. You really need to hit the listener each time with gold material to hook them in and keep them where you want them.

What not to do?

It’s very easy to leave scripting on the backburner or just copying another Radio Station – but that won’t win, it’s been done, it’s not original and might not resonate with your listener as well as you may have thought.

What to do?

Set scripting time every week before the session with your Station Voiceover – you could get ideas while you are walking your dog on a hot summer’s day, watching a movie or TV Show or even a pub chat – some of the best conversations begin in the pub!

Be topical and stay current (particularly if you are a CHR/Hot AC Radio Station) and use the stuff your listener is interested in. One of my favourite pieces of work was a promo for our JNLR Ratings back in February.

The promo was based around Donald Trump and fake news – Donald Trump was everywhere in the news and literally everywhere you turned – so I turned it on it’s head and related it to the Listenership figures and used references to the locality (being Dublin)

Hear the promo at 0:34 below…

Using references to big topical stories is the best way to stay relevant with a bit of humour on the side.

Keep it short

Listener’s attention spans are getting shorter (particularly the younger people) so writing shorter and more to the point scripts are better. Make that 30 second promo, 20 seconds or even 10 seconds if you can!

It’s also important to keep those S&P Tags to a minimum too – yeah the client is paying for the mention but would they rather the promo be heard or the listener to tune out? I think you will find they want them to stay listening if they are paying – so meeting clients and informing Sales Reps about this is also key.

Below is an example of how you can change your scripting by changing the order and filter out the rubbish.

Original: We have your chance to see The Chainsmokers in New York. We will fly you and your mate, business class for seven nights to see them live in Madison Square Garden

Revised: Get qualified all week….. And you’ll fly to New York with your mate…. To see The Chainsmokers!

Remove Stop Words

Stop words are words like “a, about, above, across, after, afterwards, again, all, also, always etc..”

Stop words are described as “words which do not contain important significance to be used in Search Queries. Usually these words are filtered out from search queries because they return vast amount of unnecessary information.”

I am a firm believer in leaving out stop words and words that do not add any value to a script – they just take up air time. Imagine how much airtime you could get back by removing stop words in all scripts?

Get Inspired

Finally, my buddy Staxx Williams at Z100 is nailing the creative writing at the moment. His stuff is killer and works very well! Check his stuff out!

Denzil Lacey is the Production Director at Dublin’s Hit Music Station – FM104. He has worked in Radio Imaging for a number of years having previously worked for: RTE 2fm, SPIN South West and Classic Hits 4FM. He shares his insight, tips and tricks to help others speed up their workflow. Check out his latest Imaging Highlights for Dublin’s FM104.

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