Stop Speaking “Radio”
I am writing this article as I have just woken up on a Saturday, a time when I think about a lot of random parts of my job and this was something that just came to mind.
It is really perplexing to me that in 2022 how many Radio Stations fall into the ‘Radio Jargon’ trap.
At the risk of sounding like I’m ranting about certain a parts of Radio, I will try and explain where I am coming from.
I started working in Radio at a young age, having gained experience in some of the biggest Commercial Radio Stations in Dublin. It was a different time – it was just before Social Media become a massive deal and long before streaming become a thing.
Radio back then had to sound ‘larger than life’ and almost a bit cliché to stand out from other mediums.
However; things have changed faster than anyone had predicted and now everything is instant.
With the popularity in Podcasting, TikTok, YouTube Documentaries and Explainers – we got an added dimension of ordinary and everyday people creating content. These people didn’t want to sound like a Radio Presenter, they wanted to sound everyday and conversational.
I strongly believe it’s one of the greatest developments and changes of our generation as we get someone who speaks ‘with us’ as apposed to ‘at us’
However, a lot of time I feel Radio Presenters and Programmers are still living in ‘Radio World’ – a place where, unnatural speaking and terms appear.
We should be speaking with the listener and not at them, and the minute you start using terms they don’t use – you’re not really speaking with them, are you?
Imagine a conversation in real life:
‘Hey what are you doing at the top of the hour’
‘I don’t know, I might play a mix of music’
Sorry that would never happen in real life and it just sounds completely dumb.
It is something that has always bothered me, but I am noticing it more and more on big commercial FM stations in Ireland and abroad.
These are terms that have been used since the dawn of time, that in-fact mean nothing to me or the average listener. They are made up jargon terms that do not resonate with any listener:
‘After this sweep of songs’– I didn’t know what a ‘sweep of songs’ was until I Googled it – it doesn’t make sense to me and I’ve never used a term like that.
‘Top of the hour’– a term I did know, but it’s very OTT. It’s a jargon term used primarily in Imaging to identify a piece of production that airs at the ‘top’ of an hour. No one says it in real life – it just sounds annoying and irrelevant.
‘Another mix of songs’– Mix has always been a word I hated in terms of Radio. To me, ‘mix’ makes it sound like the station is trying to be ‘hip and cool’ by using it. I don’t hear anyone in ordinary life use the term ‘mix’ anymore. It may have been used blasé in the 90s, but now I feel it’s redundant.
I might sound pedantic, but honestly we should be speaking with the listener and engaging them in conversations that are meaningful and not condescending.