Gary Berkowitz

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By: Gary Berkowitz
Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting

Nothing is stronger than a testimonial from a listener. We can say anything we want about the station, but in the end, when it comes from a real sounding listener, it always has more credibility. There are a few tricks to gathering, producing and making these sound good. Use these powerful ideas and ramp it up today!

Live testimonials sound more effective than those recorded on the phone. They are warmer, and have a more credible sound.

Always have a digital recorder at station events/remotes. Assign one person to do nothing but gather testimonials. Preferably one who is not shy and has an outgoing personality. Make sure you use a good mic and recorder. An old fashioned cassette machine can handle this well if you do not have a digital recorder.

Stay away from “stroke” testimonials. By “strokes,” I refer to listeners saying generic statements such as:

  • We love you.
  • You’re the best.
  • Anything that has listeners “screaming.”

Go for authenticity. Whether they are locally done or from a production package, they must sound authentic and describe the experience the listener gets when listening to your station.

When gathering, ask specific questions (see below). Once the question is asked, make sure to:

  • Allow the listener to finish the thought. Do not interrupt.
  • Keep the mic close to them.

Good questions to ask:

  • What do you think of the music played on WXXX?
  • Where do you listen to WXXX?
  • What’s your favorite part of WXXX?
  • What do you like most about the WXXX morning show?

These types of questions will get you answers that will playback as good benefits.

The key here is get comments where listeners describe the “positive experience” they get from listening to your station.

Good places to run testimonials:

  • On the top hour ID. String a few together for a powerful top hour presence.
  • On jingle sweeps. Use a jingle bed with listeners over it, and tag with sung calls.
  • In a promo starting with a line something like: “There are many great reasons to listen to WXXX, but nobody says it better than our listeners!”

Listener testimonials are powerful. Keep them real and they will work for you today.

Gary Berkowitz is President of Detroit based Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting, specializing in ratings improvement for AC radio stations.

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