The CAS model © by Chris Jordan

The CAS model © by Chris Jordan

For all aspects
in the radio medium format – three all-encompassing fundamentals (if applied)
will ensure more than just “benchmark broadcasting”.  Collectively, I call this applying the CAS
model:  Consistency, Authenticity, and
Simplicity.  Let’s have a look at these
more closely.



Consistency

As a broadcaster
starting out in the radio industry, one must avoid a number of novice pitfalls
that can halt your growth as a professional. 
One main misconception is that radio presenting is like television
presenting to some large extent. 

What young
broadcasters often make the mistake of, is that like in television – one
“presents” a show as a caricature of themselves.  Whereas in television, most presenters are
always scripted and pre-produced to one dimensional narrators of a
teleprompter, radio doesn’t allow for this. 

Where does being
consistent fit into this discussion? 

In radio, one
can and should only be a cleanly orchestrated
version of who you are in any other real aspect of your life.  Radio is a real time medium.  Its success lies in a broadcaster’s ability
to relate to his/her audience from the get go. 
One’s presentation style must be both real and consistent from
the beginning.  It is a guarantee that if
you begin broadcasting as someone you are not, it will catch up to you.  Inconsistent presenter personalities hit the
ceiling of their broadcasting careers very quickly, and if they fall from grace
earlier – their thin listener base is a clear indicator of why this happens.

Consistency
doesn’t only apply to one’s personality and presenting style, but across the
format. 

·      
The music format needs to be
consistent. 

·      
Station imaging across promotions
and stings needs to be consistent. 

·      
Even the sound and feel of inserts,
interviews and pre-produced edits run with consistency.

Consistency is
one of the fundamental broadcasting philosophies that will ensure a strong on
air end product.

 

Authenticity

Making
believable radio is making good radio.  Being an authentic presenter executing an
authentic product on air is mandatory in any broadcaster’s rulebook.  

To coin a famous
phrase – an article I read once had referred to this as the opposite to
“Me-too-ism”: All things to nobody or nothing to everybody.  It is important to note that all 3
fundamentals of the CAS model go hand-in-hand. 
As mentioned before, being a consistently authentic presenter is where one
finds his/her feet in the industry. 

When I was
starting out in the radio industry at a community station called Tuks FM, I was
introduced very aggressively to the concept of “staying alive” and more so
staying afloat amongst your peers. 
Realizing that as a professional broadcaster, only you and your
authentic personality, presentation style and creative approach to radio can
ensure longevity in the business.

That meant not
concerning yourself on being a carbon-copy of those you admire or admired growing
up within the radio industry – but rather sharpening your craft around that
”x-factor” you already possess when you do what you do behind a mic, with a
passion for what you’re doing. 

The best radio
ads flow from an authentic connection to a product or service’s uniqueness,
passion, and identity.  Authenticity is
influential, believable and enhances credibility.

Simplicity

 
Ever heard the phrase “KISS” – “Keep It Simple
Stupid”?  Yes, as harsh as the statement
comes across, applying this fundamental to your broadcasting style will
essentially safeguard you for the most part in, well, making a mess of things –
and ultimately confusing your listener. 

This applies to producing an ad, writing copy,
planning and executing a link, conducting an interview or even segueing a music sweep.  Keeping it simple is keeping it good. 

As opposed to television, where one can sit and
watch something for hours on end because our sensory organs are being
stimulated by moving pictures constantly, radio doesn’t enjoy such
comforts.  We keep links, edits, and interviews
short and to the point so as to not lose both passive and active audiences in
the midst of a show. 

Creating “theatre
of the mind”
does not require a presenter to paint a complex, intricate
picture – in the hope of painting a necessarily great picture.  Packing too much into any said link
overwhelms the listener triggering the natural cognitive processes that
minimize sensory overload.  Leave the
kitchen sink in the kitchen. If the kitchen sink is what’s so impressive about
your product or service, then at least test a focused approach next to it so
you can learn which performs better.

 

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