“Tell the truth, make it matter and never be boring”

By Kayleen Morgan

Valerie Geller shared key points on how to create powerful radio and keep an audience engaged. She indicated that there are three principles which one needs to implement to create powerful radio.

“Tell the truth, make it matter and never be boring, and you’ll make beautiful, powerful radio”, she said. Geller explained that to move radio programming to another level, those who produce radio content should make a movie in the mind of the listener and re-focus radio substance.

Geller advised producers to turn things around from “we have”, to “you’re getting”. “The personal is universal while the private is boring”, she said. Keeping the listener engaged is a major part of powerful radio, according to Geller.

What distinguishes radio from other formats, is intimacy. Furthermore, what radio offers “is the unique human journey through story-telling that people can’t get elsewhere”, she said.

Geller emphasised the importance of being interested in the content that you produces for radio. She advised that if you would not speak about it off-air then it should be left out of content produced for radio. “There are no boring stories, only boring storytellers, and being interested is interesting”, she said.

To keep an audience tuned in, Geller explained that all listeners want, is “to matter; to be needed and to make a difference,” because audiences want their existence to have meaning. Furthermore, part of the magic of radio according to Geller, is to transform a part of the listener’s life after they turn the radio on and give them something to talk about when they turn the radio off.

“The audience want unexpected joy, so overdeliver”, Geller advised. The role of radio, according to Geller is to keep the audience company by informing, inspiring, persuading, connecting, and added to the list by Gareth Cliff, is to empower the audience. These elements together is how one can achieve powerful radio.



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