As I have earlier noted in this piece where I explained the characteristics of an ideal Radio Producer, this tutorial is to explain the Stages involved in creating amazing broadcast content for Radio.
Of course, for every medium of information and communication, we all have come to agree unanimously that content is king. From traditional platforms like Television and Radio, to modern media including blogs, YouTube channels, Web Series etc; creating amazing content is the most important box to check.
Why Is Content Creation Important?
This is because right now than ever, there is an ever-increasing surge of content consumption and the consumer out there wants to get something new, anytime they tune to your Radio and Television station or log on to your blog, channel or just social media accounts.
In a Radio setting, the importance of producing interesting and engaging broadcast content which will keep the listener tuned to your dial and also encourage them to keep coming back cannot be over-emphasized.
However, many do not pay enough attention to the details of producing broadcast content for Radio and that is why most Radio shows these days sucks. You find out that after several minutes of listening to the beautiful voices of the anchors and their characteristic foreign intonation; there’s really nothing to hold on to at the end of the show.
Meanwhile, scrap the ‘the show is unscripted; they needed to be spontaneous’ line. Every show, be it informative, educative or entertaining need to go through the production process and that is what makes it profound. From the closely-scripted News bulletin to the extremely loosely-scripted Phone-In shows (which should always be auxiliary anyway, but now regarded as an independent format of Radio shows); the same production process applies.
Stages of Production
Pre-production is the most important part of producing a Radio show that will stand the test of time. This is where a lot of hard work goes into to make amazing program. The extent of the attention paid to the pre-production stage of your production tells on the resultant production piece eventually.
The major activities of the stage of production include;
This is the very first step in the pre-production. It is you coming up with the program idea which often than not is characteristically crude at this time. This is when you picture how the program will turn out to be. You draw the focus and spell out the aim of the program.
Same goes for when a station program is being assigned to you. More often than not, you won’t be given a perfect picture of the program idea because your guts were trusted.
TV Host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu once confessed that he wasn’t given any description for Rubbin’ Minds – a YNaija Production running on Channel Television – they just asked him to do ‘him’.
However, during your ideation stage, it is important to ask yourself these questions, the helps in you getting the proper structure of the program together.
- What is the format of the program?
- Who is the target audience?
- What time is it suited for?
- Does it conform to in-house styles?
- Who is the presenter of the program?
Program Documentation involves the process of translating your ideas into scripted documents. This is where you prepare your program proposal which includes your synopsis, outlines and program layout. Having determined what you are set out to achieve with your program; you have to choose the format best fitting for it. Outline the program structure, topics, segments and resource persons needed at least for the immediate quarter. You also have to prepare your program billings.
Program Planning Conference
The program planning conference is an important part of production process which many Radio shows do not go through today. As a matter of fact, many radio stations have dumped it. Meanwhile, it is very essential.
This is a conference that involves all the active players in the production process of the programs running on the radio station. It comes up towards the end and before the beginning of a broadcast quarter.
The major activities at the program planning conference are the review of existing shows running on the station and addressing feedback. Also, a preview and possible adoption of new shows is done. The program proposal and billings which you have prepared earlier should be tabled at the program planning for possible adoption.
And upon adoption, you move on to the actual production process.
The process of adoption might be a slightly different for independent producers as they are subjected to more scrutiny. This happens in order to avoid absolute commercialization of the show or defaulting on NBC rules.
Upon approval of your Radio show; you can now proceed to actual production of the program. Amazingly, the production stage does not really require the exertion of much energy but only in cases where the pre-production stage was well taken care of.
It involves the interpretation of the documented materials prepared during the pre-production stage into action. This is where you prepare your script which is an offshoot of your program outline. You mechanize the script and get a befitting presenter and as the case may be you as a producer/presenter.
Rehearsals are very important procedure during production. Even your favorite OAPs do it. It makes you get familiar with the conceptual image of the script and perhaps you might have to check up on some strange words and get the correct pronunciation according to Daniel Jones.
Don’t Forget Dry Run
Dry Run are the kind of rehearsals where you don’t have the microphone on but you just read to yourself to perfect your speed, flow, pitch, tone and genuflections.
Having perfected this, then you can go on air!
Ideally, production of the programs is done for the immediate episode/edition but in cases where the program is more technical, then bulk production is adopted. This happens majorly in Radio Dramas. The BBC Media Action crew does their complete production before they start broadcast at all.
After signing off, the post-production is also very important. It involves a critical analysis of the program. While pointing at what could have been done better; it also involves previewing the next episode/edition of the program.
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