What is radio imaging burn out? Radio imaging burn out happens when a radio station’s imaging is worn out of constant use. Like anything else, the Law of Entropy should always be observed.
The Law of Entropy says that anything that is not well maintained will definitely be reduced to ruin. The same thing should also be for radio stations. Sometimes when the radio program director just loves their imaging, the tendency is, he will not bother changing it. This is relevant for radio jingles, top of hour spots, spot breaks, weekend IDs and program IDs. There are some exceptions though like news imaging including news stingers, news bed and news production element.
An example of radio imaging burn out is the case of a radio station based in The Philippines. DXDD FM was an adult contemporary station then back in the late 1990s. The station used a jingle package and a handful of station ID liners which continually aired until the early 2000s. Their radio jingles sounded good but over time their imaging just worn out. The competing stations had newer and sleeker station IDs, that though DXDD’s jingles were memorable enough in their listener’s recall, their imaging didn’t stand out.
In 2005, DXDD was revamped with the help of Carlo Lasiste, formerly, DJ Breakdown from a competition station – Y96 FM. DXDD is now running under a Modern AC format. Their case was definitely a learning experience for the broadcast station.
Furthermore, here are a few guidelines to prevent radio imaging burn out for your station:
Create a Radio Imaging Time Table
As most major FM and AM networks, radio program directors and imaging directors should map out plans for a specific theme or idea for the whole year’s imaging. For example in January, the station’s imaging should revolve around the New Year theme, Valentine for February, March for summer and so on.
Be Consistent with Station’s Slogan
A radio station must have a universal slogan that really sticks to the station’s brand. This must be mentioned in the top of the hour, corporate IDs, news OBB and CBB, and corporate activities. Few examples of universal slogans are: New York’s Number 1 Hit Music Station for Z100 New York and Easy Listening the Way It Should Be for Heart 103.5 Manila.
Use Catchphrases or Teasers
Catchphrases or teasers should not be confused with slogans. Slogans are permanent as long as the station’s format is not changed. Teasers are just mini-slogans that tie up the present imaging, promos, gigs and events and DJ liners altogether. Teasers can change.
Examples are The Best for Power 99 FM Pagadian, Philippines and Lupig Sila for DYLS 97.1 ABS-CBN Radio Cebu.
Teasers are very prevalent in radio stations in the Philippines. Sometimes teasers to tend to be permanent. In fact, some radio stations even dropped their station logo and went for their teasers as their new station name. Take the case of DWRR 101.9 – their logo used to be WRR 101.9, their catchphrase was For Life. Just recently though they updated their logo and ultimately changed it to 101.9 For Life.
Do Not Overuse Jingles
It is a must for radio stations to get their jingle package. However, station IDs should not only consist of pure jingles, radio jingles must be tagged into station liners, top of hours and must only be used occasionally. Overusing jingles will only produce burn out.
It is a mediocre to integrate originality and creativity in radio station imaging, so it must be maintained. Sometimes the only line that is not blurred between competing stations is their call letters, all the rest – music, jocks, and sometimes imaging all sound the same. Make sure your station stands out, think outside the box and break norms, even if your station manager threatens to fire you.
Nonetheless, the only mirror you can use to see if your imaging works are your station’s listeners. Listen to them; ask them what they want to hear and what they need to hear. Delve into their lifestyle and incorporate that into your imaging – this way you get rid of radio imaging burn out. That’s the best way to bridge the gap between your listener’s recall and your station’s imaging.