I know I bang the drum about emotional connection to the point of headaches for both of us.
I do so because I know it works, and I keep hoping I can persuade you and your supervisor to try it and find out for yourselves.
Radio actually has an advantage over every other medium when it comes to generating emotional connection precisely because listeners use their imagination as they listen — if we only encourage it a bit.
We cannot choose the emotions we feel. (When a bomb goes off in the building, we feel fear. When our airplane drops 500 feet in one second of turbulence, we feel anxiety.)
But we, meaning all of us in Radio, can choose the stimuli we offer to our listeners. We can help shape an environment — through our programming content — that generates the emotional responses we want.
That’s just one of the reasons that a really funny Morning Show works so well. Laughing relieves stress. It releases endorphins. It gives listeners an opportunity to share and relive the effects of the stimulus later.
Before we burned Adele to a crisp, Someone Like You, was a really effective stimulus because our emotional response to her — our — pain was predictable. Lots of people enjoy a good cry now and then. We’ve all suffered rejection and loss. Nostalgia produces endorphins too.
If none of what I’m saying makes any sense to you, let’s talk. I’ll give you some stations and air talent that get this and do it every day. If you listen to them doing it, you’ll instantly understand why it’s worth your concentration.
One of the biggest advantages we have over streamed music services is this very thing: emotional connection.
The more we stimulate it, the more we value it within our own stations, the stronger all of broadcast Radio will be.