If it isn’t broken, then it doesn’t need fixing right? Not when it comes to radio imaging!
Beware the pitfalls of radio imaging burn out, common for stations where the radio program director has invested a lot of time and love into a set of radio imaging and is reluctant to let it go and make changes. It is important to stay fresh and update program IDs, top of the hour spots, weekend IDs and spot breaks regularly, or you run the risk of sounding dated and stagnant.
One such station that experienced the problems that arise from burn out hadn’t changed their radio imaging for over five years. When they first launched, their sung jingles and radio imaging IDs were on point and sounded great, but slowly became dated over time in comparison to the slick new imaging their rival stations were putting out. Their radio imaging got lost on new listeners and didn’t inspire recall. Eventually the station enlisted the help of a professional radio imaging company to turn their jingles/imaging around, and they won’t be making the same mistake again.
Preventing radio burnout on your own station is easy if you keep in mind these five key points:
- Schedule it out. Great stations have imaging directors who plan out their radio imaging well in advance. Sit down once a year and map out a schedule for each month or special themes. There is plenty to draw from, ie: December is Christmas, January is Summer (in New Zealand and Australia) etc.
- Make sure your listeners know you are different from the other stations, you don’t want the only difference be just your call letters! Stand out and take a risk and see how your listeners respond. Who are your core listeners? Keep in mind their lifestyles and tastes when developing imaging, this is the key to developing radio imaging that resonates.
- Nail down a great slogan that adheres to the station brand and use it liberally. This should be broadcast at the top of the hour, during news CBB and OBB, also during corporate events.
- Go easy on Sung Jingles. Don’t rely solely on sung jingles to get you through; overuse is the surest way to begin the burnout process, pay attention to your other radio imaging too.
- Use Teasers. Teasers or catchphrases are different to slogans in that they can change frequently to tie in with whatever themed promo or event is currently in action. Teasers are flexible little bites that can help create a sense of unity while keeping it current.
Radio imaging burnout is something that can be avoided, with a little forethought and creativity; your listeners will be enjoying fresh, memorable radio imaging for years to come.