Content (for all the non-radio people) is the thing the presenter says or does that has a bit of meat to it.
It’s the thing that can turn radio into the best medium in the world, but the problem is it’s bloody hard to get right, and you usually don’t know if it really works until its gone out on air (defeating the point in worrying!). I’m not pretending to be a creative content genius, and if you ever heard the dearly departed feature ‘What’s in my socks’. then you’ll know i’m not. But we do give it a go at free radio and try and create some good pieces of audio.
Lets take Fridays show as an example, there were three main bits of content. The first being ‘The free radio mailbag’ making its re-appearance after last weeks debut. This is where I answer listener questions usually resulting in a sketch or call. This week we had a question from someone asking what I do in the week whist not working. This prompted a spoof audio diary of my week:
What I really like about this feature is that it uses the everyday mundane questions we get in and creates something out of them, the issue is making something interesting out of every question every week, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. But as a single bit of content it hopefully made the station stand out a little more and raised a smile.
Next up was a story. When told correctly this is where radio comes into it’s own for me, Moyles used to do this brilliantly as did the excellent Danny Wallace on XFM. Mine was about my Nan who accidentally stole a pair of eatings whilst shopping in Tesco this week! (Golden material). At first I thought about getting her on the air but thought that might become a bit convoluted and I certainly didn’t want to turn her into the joke, I also wanted to avoid it becoming a tedious text in EG: ‘When have you stolen something accidentally blah blah blah’ ( I mean why does everything have to turn into a text in anyway?). So I opted for a straight story.
Listening back it would appear I wasn’t on top story telling form, I feel it got a little lost in the middle. However, it was a relatable situation and can be improved upon next time.
Finally, there was the new music review. This is a different spin on the usual ‘tell us what you think of this new song’ type feature. Here listeners are asked to text in their reviews of a new song but in a specific way. In the past it’s been in the style of Jedward or Towie, and my all time favourite ‘a noise’ (4 callers just made noises as their reviews – highbrow!).
This week it was in the style of an Australian:
I do enjoy this feature, The response is always good, and while it still has some merit as people can actually air their thoughts on new music, it’s also a bit of fun at the same time.
Each bit of content on this particular show got a decent reception, none of them were home runs, but they all served a purpose. While some may disagree I think a good bit of content is better than just playing another song, hopefully somewhere during those bits a smile was raised, a radio was turned up or a conversation was started.
If that did happen, then it’s job done, if not…well there’s always next week.