Selecting talk radio topics for you live radio event is an essential part of preparing for live shows. Deciding on the right topics can be challenging though. Branding, your audience, and what's popular are all things that you need to think about when picking topics. So, we've broken down these factors below to help you with the process of selecting talk radio topics for your engaging live event.
You may have branded live shows, such as a morning show or an educational hour, which will help direct your selection of topics. In these cases, you would potentially select different news headlines to talk about for a morning show and you may just have one topic picked out for an educational hour. Your branded live shows clearly direct the topics. However, if your live shows are more general, your station's brand will help direct your selection of topics. Even if you have branded live shows, they should be consistent with your station's overall brand as well though.
Ensuring that the talk radio topics that you pick are on-brand with your station is important because if you are a purely country station, choosing hip-hop or rap news to talk about would not make sense. So, consider the music you play and the purpose of your station when selecting topics. Of course, you do not have to only talk about music during your live radio event, you just have to ensure that the topics that you select, whether they be politics, sports, history, science, advice, etc., make sense in correlation with your station's brand. Now, you may be picking a much more specific topic under a larger category, such as the ones previously listed. The biggest thing to remember is that these larger categories may fit perfectly with your station's branding, but you need to be aware of your tone, angle on the topic, and how you are going to discuss it, because your angle on a topic also needs to be on-brand. Overall, if a topic feels interesting and on-brand to you, then it will be. It's your station, so also don't overthink topics because you are the best judge of whether a topic fits into your station.
Knowing your audience is absolutely vital to running a radio station. So, use all the information you know about your audience, including demographics, interests, etc. to direct what topics you select. Your audience needs to also think that the topics are interesting, otherwise your live event won't be engaging. Think about what you know your audience is interested in and pick topics that are related to those interests.
If you are trying to figure out information about your audience in order to select topics related to their interests, use social media to connect with them, collect opinions using Google surveys, and utilize any demographics tools that you have access to.
Using headlines as topics is an incredible way to find relevant things to talk about. You can find current news headlines and even find more niche topic news by searching online. Take a look at what is currently happening and what topics are trending. These can be great topics on their own or they may spark some other topic for you to discuss. Just be careful not to lose sight of your station's branding amidst the constant news and information that you can find online. A topic may be extremely popular when you are selecting topics, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it fits on your station. That being said, you can keep up with the news and different topics on Twitter, Facebook, Google news, and you can even set Google news alerts for specific topics that you are interested in.
Once you have some topics selected, you can then begin to schedule them into your events. You can select some related topics and create a themed event, or you can mix and match topics within an event. If you are a more thematic radio station, maybe consider doing themed events whereas if you cover a lot of ground with your station, mixing and matching might work better for you. Once you schedule your topics into events, you can then create scripts. For information about how to write a script, check out our article here and for general information about being a live broadcaster, take a look at our Top 10 Tips for Being a Great Live Radio Broadcaster.
While you should consider these factors when selecting topics for your live radio event, also remember that you have to be interested in the topics. If you aren't interested, then you won't be engaging when talking about the topics. So, ensure that you are selecting topics that not only make sense for your station, but more importantly, topics that you would enjoy talking about. After all, it is your station, so you should enjoy it too!
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