New Radio Presenting Skills

It’s clear that the radio industry is changing and evolving. It’s not only about how radio groups are altering their structures, but also how consumer behaviour is changing and how that means we need to do things in different ways. This affects everyone, including presenters.

I think sometimes there’s an assumption that formatted radio means all a jock has to do is talk for 20seconds every fifteen minutes. That’s hardly the case – whether it’s keeping social media updated, doing other roles in the radio station or creating different versions of what they do, for different audiences.

In our office we were listening to Capital Scotland (don’t ask…) and I heard this link:

What I thought was interesting is that it demonstrates how a presenter’s role has changed. If you listen to the link, it seems like a paid live read for an event in London. That’s a tough sell if you’re a presenter doing a networked show across the UK. Rich Clarke, the mid morning presenter (and disclosure: an old friend) manages to execute the sell, but with good local references for Capital Scotland.

So, that was the Scottish execution, I was interested to hear how the same link was dealt with elsewhere:

Capital Yorkshire:

Capital South Wales:

Capital Manchester:

Capital South Coast:

and here’s how it went out in London:

I don’t really want to get into the rights and wrongs of networking. What I do think is interesting is how the presenter’s role is changing and evolving. Whilst connecting with an audience has always been important, these changes mean presenters have to evolve their skills to execute those connections in lots of different ways. Keeping up with what’s happening on one station can be difficult enough, working to ensure that you know what’s happening on ten so you can make your show on their station fit in is a new type of skill.

Networking can often be accused of being lazy, this kind of effort doesn’t seem lazy to me.


One thought on “New Radio Presenting Skills”

  1. An interesting debate, Matt. Is the future of local radio simply a presenter based in London (or anywhere in the world) recording multiple links starting with, for example, “remember what it was like when the Olympic Torch went through [insert local place names here]” or are the audience hungry for a talent that *really* knows the local area and can mention street names, local people and businesses? The execution of a London based read to a Scottish audience is a real challenge and it seems Rich carried it off well with a neutral point of view. Perhaps this is all the listener needs to remind them that they’re listening to a radio station with local content?

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