After a riveting Q&A panel session on modern cultural identity, artist and broadcaster Camilla Hannan conducted a workshop on how to make a great promo for a radio program. A promo is a piece of publicity or advertising, especially in the form of a short film or video, however they are used frequently in radio.
Camilla has had over 20 years’ experience in producing radio contents for stations such as 3PBS, 3RRR and ABC Local Radio, and her insight into developing promos was vast and she provided very valuable advice on the subject.
She stated that the key to a great promo is your audience and you need to think about them and what they want. Camilla emphasised that you only have a maximum of 30 seconds to convey your message about what your station, program or community are about. Other tips for a great promo included:
The question of ‘are we talking about the station as a whole?’ needs to be answered in order to convey your short but potentially influential message. Camilla stated that you need to create a point of difference for your promo, especially promoting the things which your station do differently, e.g. second languages. Questioning who your listener is can have a massive impact on the way in which your promo can be received well.
The way for people to hear your program is to promote it. Camilla said that it is important to focus on the need to sell your programming whilst retaining your promotion integrity.
You need to understand the needs and wants of stakeholders such as promotions managers, sales and the broadcaster. It is best to use these relationships so that you can create a great promo.
What is your idea? Also having less in terms of words in your promo is more, and as Camilla stated, ‘there are so many ways to skin a cat’.
Using poor voice overs can really bring down a promo. Camilla advised that it is best to use a voice over (or more) which reflect your audience. According to Camilla, she sometimes uses voice over artists with distinct features such as an accent or lisp to distinguish her promos. It is also about the delivery and tone of the voice, and the energy in the voice needs to be there.
Beds and SFX
The voice, music and sound effect need to all fit together.
Camilla also referenced different online resources to obtain royalty free music and sounds effects and promos, including freesound.org and unippm.com.au.
It was a fantabolous workshop, and thank you to Camilla for her time!
Ivan C Puggioni