Producers must keep presenters better informed than their listeners

Comment from Peter Saxon

When Gutenberg built his first printing press circa 1439, information was a commodity more scarce than gold. The average peasant knew little of the next village, let alone the outside world.

Of course, we don’t call them peasants anymore. They’re listeners and they don’t work for us, we work for them.

Today, through countless media outlets on multiple platforms listeners have access to pretty much all the information in the world. Radio, which until recently was one of only a handful of outlets you could either watch, read or listen to, is now just another choice in a sea of choices.

Breaking news, politics, sport, traffic, fan news, music, relationships, finance, medicine – you name it. Almost everything that you used to rely on radio to deliver, can now be found instantly on the net.

Does that make radio redundant? Of course not. As I have constantly argued, radio still has a firm grip on the magic ingredients of heart, soul and a sense of humour. It’s the personality in the studio and their ability to reflect what’s happening in the local community, that makes all the difference.

Provided my hands and eyes are free, I can choose to search the internet for what I know will interest me. But when I listen to my favourite radio station I’m choosing to let the presenter tell me about what’s happening in my world right now. Which means they have to have better stuff, presented in a more entertaining way if they’re to hold my attention.

To find better, more topical stuff, a radio show needs to be better resourced than its listeners. That’s why most shows on stations in major markets have a producer or two whose job it is to have their finger on the pulse of their city. These hard working individuals, charged with helping the talent sound informative, know what events are coming up, what celebrities are in town and who to contact to set up an interview.

But with so much happening, and their listeners so well informed, producers (not to mention presenters who don’t have one) need access to better resources than ever before.

A good example is a resource called Look Forward that many radio stations as well as scores of other media already use as a way of keeping ahead of the game. And for a limited time, Look Forward is offering a one month free trial.

At its core, Look Forward is a comprehensive content planning directory that puts 4,000 events, news and publicity opportunities at your fingertips. It also provides 10,000 contacts in its PR and Spokesperson Directories.

Most importantly, it will help inspire you with content ideas which you can plan weeks, months or years in advance.

Here’s what Clint Drieberg, Executive Producer of Melbourne’s GOLD 104.3FM had to say, “Look Forward has everything covered. A quick check of it’s calendar is part of my daily routine to ensure I’m on top of all the big events and even the small ones too! It helps me in my roles on and off the air endlessly. From the sublime to the ridiculous it’s all there. For example… it inspired us recently to have a rather amusing chat with Dr Sally Feelgood after being reminded that it was 10 years since Viagra hit the shelves. And for a chat of a completely different kind Look Forward inspired me to track down the Executive director of the National Civil Rights Museum on the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I’d highly recommend Look Forward for anyone needing to come up with constant, good content.”

If this sounds like something you could use on your station, then you really should try it while it’s free.

Not convinced? Here are some more testimonials.

Channel Nine’s Today Show are always on the lookout for engaging talent. And the talent doesn’t always have to be human. Recently, International Guide Dog Day coincided with the news that Guide Dogs Australia had been awarded ‘Most Trusted Charity’ in a local opinion poll. The TODAY team added the event to their content schedule. “Look Forward is part of our daily planning process… it’s great to have a website that adds value to the news cycle.” Jasmine, TODAY team.

“Look Forward is a great tool to keep ahead of events rather than catching up afterwards!”Alex Lollback, Producer – Breakfast with Tom & Alex, triple j

“We have used Look Forward for several years for Sea FM and Mix FM. I have found the service to be one of the best tools we have to work with. The events are accurate, well researched and always have a link to a contact, allowing the end user to chase up possible interviews, etc. A part of our prep, and a tool that I’m very grateful to have access to.” Ryan Khay, Content Director – 92.7 Mix FM/91.9 Sea FM at Sunshine Coast Media.

Click here for your month’s free trial of Look Forward.

Disclosure: Look Forward is a product of IRD Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Information Resource Development Pty Ltd of which Peter Saxon is a Director.


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