How do you promote your best content?

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I just saw this on Twitter from @dannywallace and think it needs sharing.

http://soundcloud.com/the-xfm-breakfast-show/behind-the-scenes-documentary

http://soundcloud.com/the-xfm-breakfast-show/behind-the-scenes-documentary

There’s a tendency, particularly in commercial radio, to run a breakfast show promo that contains a quick clip from the show. The normal reason for this is that the show is sponsored, and as part of the deal, the Sponsorship team have added in promo trails. The real reason it’s there is to get across a sponsor message. And the breakfast show clip is essentially the filling in the sponsorship sandwich.

Often, the promo is pretty rubbish. The reason; it’s pretty hard to distill the essence of a great breakfast show into a single, punchy clip.

So why do shows insist on doing it? Would it not be as effective to use the trail to give a tease of some great audio that’s actually worth listening to, and maybe direct listeners online to hear the whole section? And now that a significant number of your consumers are online, maybe there are new ways to promote the show too.

I like this “behind the scenes” “documentary” because:
It’s funny.
It’s irreverent.
It’s probably something extra that wouldn’t necessarily appear on air.
It’s really shareable too.

I’m constantly amazed why more stations don’t use clips of content from interviews in on air promos and imaging to drive the listeners online to hear more. If you’ve spent the time recording and editing a great interview with a guest, don’t assume your listeners were actually listening when you broadcast it. Why not use it to promote your show and then reward the listeners with more content online.

Getting Naked at Breakfast

Photo (C) Global Radio

This morning, Global Radio’s XFM did their Naked Breakfast

They took the Danny Wallace show and broadcast live from the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire. But what made this different is that they did everything live. This wasn’t simply a normal outside broadcast with some live links and special guests. Everything was be live – the music, the jingles, even the adverts.

There was a pretty impressive lineup too:

The Stereophonics were the House Band. Plus comedians Tim Minchin and Ross Noble and Paul Weller also featured.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of anything being done in quite this way in the UK. It would have been fairly common back in the early days of Commercial Radio in the US in the 1940s and 50s when it was common for the announcers to voice live ads within live shows. But doing something like this on a very formatted station like XFM is quite a challenge.

I’m guessing they’ve had to carefully plan what airtime was sold within the show. Because they had to perform the ads live – they had to sell some brave creative to the advertisers too – so that  the ads became part of the performance.

Whilst it’s not something you’d want to hear every day – this is a great example of creative programming that gives the listener something to really interact with. You can listen again to it here:

The Best TV Theme Show Mashup ever?

I’ve been listening to BBC 6 Music a lot recently to purge my system of years of Commercial radio overload. Not that I’ve given up on commercial radio – particularly stations like Absolute Radio and XFM. But after years of working in it, it’s good to feel free to try out new things – and not get a guilty feeling that I should be checking out “my station”.

I heard this the other week whilst doing the ironing (just to put it into context – not that it’s particularly relevant…). Just a great example of a funny, well written and really nicely produced parody.

Maybe we’ll see it on updated titles on BBC 1 sometime soon?

Listen here…