Last week, Jon Chelesnik over at STAA posted a short video (part of his “Fired Up Sportscasting” series) on sports talk. The video promoted the idea of sports talk hosts using teaser statements to retain an audience through a show, or TSL (time spent listening). In principal, this is a fantastic idea and something all broadcasters should be doing. Retaining your audience, particularly as a sports talk show host is crucial to your success on air…however I’d like to offer a different perspective on Jon’s advice to sports talk hosts.
Now for clarity’s sake, I have nothing but respect for Jon and this isn’t an attack piece. I’m a former STAA client and love the work and resources he provides. The purpose of this is to offer a different take on Jon’s advice.
In the video, Jon used examples like “you won’t believe what this person has said” and “coming up next, this person has said something really crazy, I’ll tell you what it is”. For me, that’s verbal click-baiting.
Click bait is typically centred around headlines. You see it all the time on YouTube or just about any news website on the internet. The purpose is to get you to click on the article so that website can sell more ads. For broadcasters however, it can be a cheezy and “cheap” way to get listeners to stick around and more often that not leaves your audience disappointed on the other side of a break.
Over promoting “scandalous” comments to get listeners to stick with you through the break, only to deliver some underwhelming statement can anger your audience and wind up having the opposite impact to what you want…TSL and listenership.
So if you’re not comfortable with the style of teases that Jon suggested, here’s a few ways to engage your audience and encourage retention:
It doesn’t matter if you have the world’s best clip…if you’re not interesting on air then listeners won’t stick with you. Have opinion, deliver opinion and do it in an engaging and entertaining way. People will stick with you if they’re entertained and informed, regardless of what you tease.
Tease Genuine Contest
By all means promote upcoming segments, but don’t go for the low hanging fruit. Instead of “you won’t believe what just happened”, say “Joe Smith talked with media after the game and was pretty blunt on his teams performance. More on Wildcats vs Eagles after the break”. Encouraging your audience to stick around for content, rather than the promise of some exposè.
Use the Content to Tease
Lets say you have a great clip, a fantastic piece of audio to play and you want to use it as a tease. Why not let the audio do the talking and play a lead up clip before the break. If it’s good enough you’ll encourage listeners to hear the rest without having to say a word.
What are you thoughts on teasing in sports talk radio? Is “click-baiting” the way to go? Or do you take a different approach?