Viral Radio

How to make it happen consistently

The internet — Youtube, Google search, Twitter, Facebook — has the ability to take any random creation uploaded by any random person and turn it into a sensation that tens of millions of people see and hear almost instantly.

Going viral.

Creating something so remarkable people feel compelled to share it with everyone they know.

The JK Wedding Entrance Dance, seen by 65 MILLION people, reveals the sheer joy one couple’s wedding party is determined to share in a totally unorthodox way.

Susan Boyle, dismissed by almost every viewer because of her appearance, sings the story of her life, and is seen by 65 MILLION people.  Paul Potts, cell phone salesman, who dreamed of being an opera singer, seen by 77 MILLION. Two lives, redeemed, transformed to the purpose for which they were born.

Who can forget Connie Talbot, 6 years old, with the voice of an angel, proving dreams really do come true, watched by 98 MILLION viewers.

The Evolution of Dance, pure fun from an unlikely source, seen by 170 MILLION people.

Charlie Bit Me, cute kids, brothers, relateable to every parent, seen by 309 MILLION

Amazing, huh?

So, what will you talk about today that has the potential, the power, to go viral?

What will you say that will be so remarkable, so relateable, so emotionally charged, that you will grab your listeners hearts and compel them to talk about the experience with their family and friends at work?

Each of the examples above reveals something about essential ingredients.

First: Authenticity. These people weren’t trying to create something that would be viewed by hundreds of millions of people. They were revealing a part of themselves.

Second: Surprise. Each has a twist we don’t expect. We’re not used to seeing a bride dance her way down the aisle to a Chris Brown song, alone, and with joy beaming from every pore.

Third: Emotion. Each of these viral videos make us feel. Sometimes we feel joy. Sometimes we feel like crying at the sheer courage it takes to tell the world your dream, to leave yourself open and vulnerable to rejection and ridicule.

Fourth: Story-telling. Each of these is really a narrative; many have become on-going narratives. These are stories of lives that we can relate to, stories that are dripping with joy, emotion and hope.


what have you brought into the studio today that has the potential to go viral?

If you can’t express it in a headline, it’s probably not ready to air.

It is your job to make me notice you.
It is your job to make me FEEL something when I hear you.
It is your job to create one thing today that I feel compelled to share with everyone I know.

It’s hard work, but you know the ingredients, so either you have the talent, and will, to do this, or you don’t.

And if you don’t, you’re in the wrong business — because this ability is becoming more vital every day.

Can you name 5 “bits” you’ve done that’ve gone viral?

How about the best viral radio bits by anyone? Who’s doing great radio consistently these days? Nominate your favorites so we can shine a spotlight on them.

And if you’d prefer to “discuss” this privately, email me.

Let me leave you with this…

If a 6 year-old girl and a 60 year-old woman can bring tears to my eyes in 3 minutes, you should be able to as well.

They’re amateurs, and you’re a professional.

Be a professional.

Create something today that is so unexpected, so wonderful, that it goes viral.