Radio Hed: Lose the Formula

radio-hed-logo1By Jeffrey Hedquist

Stop writing radio commercials.

Forget everything you’ve been taught, heard, or learned about writing radio commercials. Start with nothing. Don’t write a commercial. Write a letter, start a conversation with a friend, explain a complex subject simply. Tell a story to someone you really care about.

What would you say to someone barricaded inside a house if you could only talk to the person using a bullhorn? How about someone on a ledge, ready to jump? Sitting across from you at the Laundromat? Next to you in bed? On the phone from the office at 3 a.m.?

Put the listener in a dramatic or emotional situation.

What kind of persuasion would you use on your child on the other side of a locked bathroom door? How would you talk to someone stuck in an elevator? Tethered to you on a sheer rock cliff? Sharing a two-person kayak with you in raging rapids?

Write someone’s last will and testament. Eavesdrop on a confession. Draft a final letter from a desert island as you wait for a rescue team. Write a poem of adoration for a product. Write an angry letter of complaint.

The less you approach this communication as a radio commercial, the less it’ll sound like one. The less it sounds like one, the more attention it’ll get. The more attention it gets.

© 2000 Hedquist Productions, Inc.

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