Radio Hed: Monroe’s Motivated “Radio” Sequence

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By Jeffrey Hedquist

More than 70 years ago, Alan H Monroe, a professor at Purdue University, developed a template for persuasive speeches, which is still taught today – Monroe’s Motivated Sequence.

Is a radio commercial a persuasive speech? It may not be a speech, but it had better be persuasive. Here’s how we can adapt Monroe’s 5-step sequence to break writers’ block and create radio commercials that work.

1.AttentionGet the attention of your audience using a detailed story, shocking example, dramatic statistic, quotations, etc.

This is your audio headline. You are telling a story about your target audience. What can you say about your client’s benefits that will capture the attention of an over-communicated listener?

2. Need  – Show that the problem about which you are speaking exists, that it is significant, and that it won’t go away by itself. Use statistics, examples, etc. Convince your audience that there is a need for action to be taken.

What’s the pain, the unfulfilled desire, the emotional dilemma the potential buyer is experiencing? What are the unpleasant consequences of not taking action?

3.Satisfaction – You need to offer solutions for the problem. Provide specific and viable solutions to satisfy the need.

How does the advertiser prevent, remove or eliminate the pain? Use stories, testimonials or examples. Tell the story with drama, using the magic of sound effects and music to amplify the examples.

4.Visualization – Tell the audience what will happen if the solution is implemented or does not take place. Be visual and detailed.

What will life be like for the listener if he does or doesn’t take action?

5.Action – Tell the audience what action they can take personally to solve the problem.

What should the listener do?  Call, visit, go to a web site or text. Why now? Limited time, limited discount, limited inventory, problem will only get greater with delay.

Yes, this sequence will work for speeches, blogs, articles, in fact, any communication – especially radio.

When you do the steps with emotion they’ll work much better. Alan H. Monroe would agree.

© 1997-2010 Hedquist Productions, Inc.  All rights reserved.

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