Producing Results

Dear Christian Radio,

Our listeners come to us for the music they love and on-air personalities they laugh with, but production is what keeps them listening.  Now that may be a bold statement, but there is some truth here.  Every piece of audio that isn’t a song or a talk break goes through the hands of the production crew at your station or through some of the great third party production groups out there.  This is why it is so important that we pay attention to those production pieces, so they don’t become tune out factors.

Good production starts with creative writing that connects with “her.”  Before the golden pipes of your voiceover talent ever warm up, you must first put something on the page that will connect with her.  She is busy…so make your message count.  Make her feel something, remind her that she matters, that she’s loved, and that she’s worthy.  Our music connects with her in these ways; therefore, the writing of our production pieces should, as well.  If you don’t have a strong writer on your team reach out to your volunteers, interns or friends.  What’s important is that you find someone who can help you connect.

From creative writing, we transition to the next step…having a plan.  For example, have you started thinking about your holiday imaging and production?  If not, don’t panic, there’s still time…not much, but a little.  However, planning is more than scheduling your seasons, it’s also important to make sure the message is clear.  This was something that recently challenged me, as well.  While evaluating my station’s daily broadcast, I heard imaging about “God is Greater,” “Pumpkin Spice Lattes,” and our “Drive Thru Difference.” All three ran in the course of 30 minutes.

Now…unless she’s leaving a note for the person in the car behind her at the fast food drive thru that says, “God is greater…”, and because of this, “I have already paid for your pumpkin spice latte”, then she heard a lot of random messaging in a very short period of time.  Because of this revelation, my station has revisited how we schedule our messaging.  Doing so has helped us stay focused on a planned, central message moving forward.

Both commercials and underwritten spots are another place we can lose her attention. This is also a place where creative writing is important. So, how fresh do you keep your spots?  Within PAR, we have what’s called the “90Day Rule.”  At least every 90 days we update the spots of our continuous business partners.  The reason is simple…after 90 days of air play those spots turn into white noise.  Conseqently, every 90 days we refresh the copy, bed music, and/or voiceover talent.  This allows us to serve our business partners well and gives our listeners something fresh to focus on.

Dear Christian Radio…

  1. Good production starts with creative writing that connects.
  2. Have a plan, not only for the season, but to keep the message clear.
  3. Update your ongoing underwriting spots and commercials every 90 days.  Remember, keep it fresh!



Adam McCain
Director of Audio Production
Positive Alternative Radio
General Manager

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