Whether you are doing live programs or producing documentaries, the new media environment means that you need to re-think how to get a workflow happening that will save you time and get you more engagement online.
Your current workflow for a live radio program probably looks something like this:
1. Plan the next episode of your program identifying potential stories, guests and music.
2. Contact guests to arrange a time for them to come in.
3. Research for interviews.
4. Develop playlists, running sheets.
5. Publicise the program on social media.
6. Go to air with live guest.
7. Upload program or program content for online replay to your website.
8. Share links to online content on social media.
While it has probably worked for you up until now, the above workflow limits opportunities for publicity, audience engagement and extended online content.
If you really want to make the most of all of your content, there are a few things you might want to think about changing in your workflow:
Planning week-to-week or day-to-day is not going to work so well in the new media environment. It really helps if you know what is coming up on your show over the next week or month.
If you plan ahead - say a month at a time for a weekly program - you are able to create opportunities for audience engagement, promotion and multimedia content. Planning will help you to gather the related media content you need such as articles, photos and micro videos for promotion.
Pre-Record Your Guest Interviews
While the live-in-the-studio sound is great, prerecording interviews does bring some advantages. For example, you are much more likely to think about taking photographs and shooting short videos for social media promotion.
How many times has a guest left the station and you realise you forgot to take a photo?
With a pre-record it means that you don't need to do any editing after the show to be able to post your interview online - basically it's ready to go for both on air and online. Pre-recording also allows you to post longer versions online if you don't have time to broadcast the whole interview.
Audience Engagement Starts Well Before the Show
One of the emerging trends in the new media environment is that audiences want to be more engaged with the media they are consuming. If your audience doesn't know what is coming up on your show until the last minute, the chances of getting them engaged before the show goes to air are pretty slim.
Audience engagement before your program might include asking them to suggest questions to ask a guest or finding out if they have any experience of the subject/issue you are dealing with in your next program. Audience engagement often results in great content for your show.
Here is a different workflow that really maximises the opportunities for promotion and audience engagement:
1. Plan the next four or five episode of your program, identifying potential stories, guests and music.
2. Contact guests to arrange a time for them to come in for pre-records.
3. Research for interviews.
4. Do a call-out through Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat asking if anyone has questions for your guest(s).
5. Pre-record interviews, take photos and shoot a microvideo for promo.
6. Cut a short audio piece promo for on air/edit micro video if required.
7. Publicise the program on social media using photo or microvideo.
8. Develop playlist, running sheet.
9. Go to air with edited pre-record.
10. Upload interview (either edited or longer version) with related articles and photos.
11. Share links to your online content on social media using photos or video.
Okay, so we have added a few steps in but really with a slight change in the way you put your radio program together you get maximum effect when it comes to promoting your show and engaging with your audience.