Friday, 13 February 2009

Baby Baby

Any radio presenter I come into contact with, I usually (at some point) end up talking about ‘sharing a little bit of their own lives with the listener’. The need for it can vary a little depending on the daypart, but overall “real life” often provides brilliant content. There’s something reassuring about knowing that your favourite radio presenter takes out the bins like you, or goes shopping just like you, or has children... just like you.

Sure, there’s a fine line between doing ‘personal reveals’ and becoming a little ego-centric, but some presenters can get away with more than others. BBC Radio 2 drivetime host, Chris Evans, is a good example of someone who can get away with, perhaps, a lot more than most others... perhaps because he’s very talented?

Chris has shared every moment of his wife’s pregnancy on his blog (that he updates himself daily, other presenters please take note!!) and the culmination of it all this week was the birth of his son Noah. You can read all about it for yourself here and see more photos of the little mite that Chris posted. Now that’s really sharing.

Elisabeth Mahoney, who writes about radio and TV for The Guardian, thought that the level of Chris’s ‘personal reveal’ and the fact he was on the radio the day of the birth to tell all his listeners about it, really worked and she went on to say on her blog...

“It was testimony to the strong connection Evans has with his audience, and further evidence that the show at its best engenders a one-big-happy-family atmosphere. It was also an example of how Evans has matured on radio, with him knowing the pitfalls ("I promise I won't go on about it") and subsequently keeping the conventional shape and features of last night's programme. Finally, it was a tremendously sweet, feelgood couple of radio hours, which unless you are actually allergic to Evans, you couldn't begrudge him as you listened.”

Some presenters are more natural at doing this kind of stuff and more comfortable with allowing listeners into their lives, but I think (especially for ‘personality’ presenters) it’s kinda part of the deal really. ‘Develop a relationship with the audience so they get to know you, and like you... and listen to you more.’ Imagine not sharing anything about your life with your friends? It would be weird wouldn’t it.

Thought: 'Treating your listeners as your friends, (like Chris Evans does), is a pretty shrewd move. '

(Well done Chris and Tash!)

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