So our background presenting a breakfast radio show in one of the most competitive markets has undoubtedly informed and shaped our philosophy of communication, when applying it to audio content on emerging AI and digital technology platforms. It’s the simplest principle to apply and so powerful in its effect…yet so often overlooked. The power of YOU.
Audio-based communication is always a 1-2-1 experience. Whether in a packed cinema theatre or to a literal audience of one, audio is a uniquely personal. We saw first hand the depth of engagement that audio medium can deliver. When the only pictures conjured are the ones in your mind from the words we say and the sounds we create. If I say “imagine a black cat”, you will all have a slightly different image in your mind’s eye than anybody else. Audio engages the senses in a profound way.
A prime-time television show can reference “everybody watching” or “one lucky winner from the millions out there” without reducing that intimacy. The visual element changes that dynamic. Television feeds off a sense of shared experience. Just look at the trend for ‘double screening’ with TV and social media, which has blossomed in recent years. How often have you watched a film because it’s on television, but haven’t picked up the DVD you’ve had gathering dust on the shelf for years? That’s not to say that intimacy can’t be achieved, or the word ‘you’ isn’t powerful in television. Rather, visual mediums are more forgiving of acknowledging ‘the masses’. As ever, it’s about understanding your audience and the context in which you’re connecting with them.
Part of our radio success was understanding and utilising this core principle and realising the power of “YOU”. You wouldn’t hear us saying “you lot out there”, “hello to everyone listening”, or whichever variation you choose. They are, regrettably, phrases you will hear all too often though. In our radio show some of the most entertaining and powerful moments were when our audience brought their experiences to air. In a busy morning, with travel, work, kids and these days all manner of competing media outlets and technology, getting someone to pick up there phone and call (when you’re not offering anything physical like a prize as an incentive) is a significant challenge. The power of YOU came into its own here. Let me give you an example:
“This morning, we want people to tell us about something embarrassing that happened to them, has anyone listening got a story?” versus “Have you ever been so embarrassed you wanted the world to swallow you up. What happened to you? Call now with your story”.
Even when you do have something of value to offer, you can still create a greater intensity of reaction in your audience:
“I’ve got a pair of tickets to see Foo Fighters in LA”, versus “Imagine telling your best mate that you’re both jetting off to the sunshine of LA to see Foo Fighters…keep listening, your dream trip is a phone call away”.
However exciting a pair of tickets is, they are nonetheless 2 pieces of paper. Placing the audience in the middle of the experience. The word YOU comes into its own here.
When this thought is in the back of your mind, you’ll be surprised how often you see opportunities to create moments of personal connection are missed, not just on radio, and how simply it could have been made more effective. Artificial intelligence is making content more personalised and tailored than ever before, and at Hive Content it’s something we’re as excited about as anybody. But we should always be mindful of this, timeless principle, wherever we engage with our audience.