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THE EFFECTIVE RADIO CAMPAIGN Drew Stewart World Bank Institute


“If you have the need to develop a radio campaign, then you need to know how a radio program is produced. This course module will detail what is involved in the process… and introduce you to the role of the “Radio Producer”. Understanding the role of the Producer will give you the insight to successfully oversee your next radio campaign.”


COURSE OUTLINE Who’s Involved? Role of the Producer Initial Research Preparing Program Outline Program Formats In Depth: The Radio Drama Production Process Scheduling/AirPlay Evaluation The TOR


WHO’S INVOLVED? Subject Specialist/Researcher Scriptwriter Director Presenter Actor Musician Studio Technician Radio Station Management Producer Executive Producer


ROLE OF THE PRODUCER     So what does the Producer actually do?   First and foremost he or she has IDEAS: Ideas for programs Ideas for people to interview Ideas for pieces of music Ideas for subjects for discussion Ideas for new ways of treating old ideas Ideas for creating a fresh approach to the use of radio.


ROLE OF THE PRODUCER     Ideas for programs must be rooted firmly in the needs and language of the audience they serve. The producer’s job is to assess, reflect and to anticipate those needs through a close contact with his potential listeners. The IDEA has to be seen as relevant to its target audience, and it must be practicable in terms of resources.


ROLE OF THE PRODUCER     The Producer’s role is to combine, coordinate and direct the team’s activities to develop and produce effective audio materials. The Producer’s task is in four parts: - Technical and operational - Editorial - Administrative - Managerial


ROLE OF THE PRODUCER     Technical part is to do with the proper use of the tools of his trade, knowing when and how to use program making equipment.   The Editorial function is about ideas and decisions, It has to do with making judgments about what is and is not appropriate for a particular program. It is about backing hunches and taking risks, about choosing and commissioning material.


ROLE OF THE PRODUCER     Administrative part is procedural: contracts, running orders and scripts, expenses and payments, overtime, leave applications, studio bookings, copyright items….   Producer is also a Manager, managing projects called “programs”. He sets the objectives for other people, monitors their progress, controlling, organizing and motivating them in their work.


ROLE OF THE PRODUCER   New program ideas have to be thought through in relation to the four basic resources– - People - Money - Technical equipment - Time    


ROLE OF THE PRODUCER   Critical Questions: Is there talent available to support the idea? Is it going to be too expensive in people’s time? Does it need additional equipment? What will it cost? Is there sufficient time to plan it properly?    


ROLE OF THE PRODUCER   Producer’s Reality: It may be depressing to have to modify a really good idea in order to make it work with the resources available, but one of the producer’s most important tasks is to reconcile the desirable with the possible.    




DEVELOPMENT STAGES in the PRODUCTION PROCESS: 1. Initial Research: Researching Content and Contributors 2. Preparing Program Outline 3. Commissioning and Collecting Material 4. Drafting Program Scripts


DEVELOPMENT STAGES in the PRODUCTION PROCESS: 5. Assembling Cast and Crew 6. Rehearsal and Recording in the Studio 7. Post-production Editing 8. Review and Formal Approval


DEVELOPMENT STAGES in the PRODUCTION PROCESS: 9. Broadcast Scheduling 10. Broadcast Event(s) 11. Evaluation 12. Promotion/Tie-Ins


INITIAL RESEARCH   Initial research for radio programming means gathering, organizing, and analyzing information of different kinds before you start planning and producing your program.   1st Task: Define your target audience by: - Age - Gender - Culture - Religion


INITIAL RESEARCH   Determine listenership and broadcasting: who listens to what and when   Determine target audience’s preference’s for programming style and treatment. (this can vary substantially between women, men, youth, and will often reflect where they live (town or country) and their level of education.


INITIAL RESEARCH   Collect material on past and current local campaigns (what works & doesn’t work) Make sure that government or donor policy does not conflict with messages promoted by your campaign. Make sure that all relevant agencies are aware of your campaign and its objectives.


INITIAL RESEARCH   RE: HIV/AIDS Find out what the target audience currently knows & believes about (HIV/AIDS). Health professionals and social scientists have developed numerous approaches and tools for collecting information on people’s ideas, beliefs, knowledge and actions concerning health issues….draw on this previous research.  


INITIAL RESEARCH    Try to collect information that will guide content and construction of the drama, spot, or other program format. Build on what is familiar and acceptable. This is particularly important for drama programming because you want listeners to identify with the situation and empathize with characters if they are to absorb and act on the messages or issues raised.


INITIAL RESEARCH    Find out:     People in the community who are role models or opinion formers and are liked and trusted. This might include religious leaders, traditional birth attendants, chiefs, community leaders (male & female), traders, teachers, sports players, musicians. KEY: Keeping all Informed!


INITIAL RESEARCH      Find out: Who Target Audiences dislike and mistrust     Sources of information commonly used at community meetings, marketplaces, mosques churches, etc.     The target audiences opinion of radio as a source of health information.   -        


INITIAL RESEARCH      Find out: Local views on the subject to be broadcast as well as vocabulary and idiom used to describe/talk about it, and appropriate anecdotes for inclusion in the program. Popular recreation activities, meeting places, events and opportunities that could be included or replicated in the programming.           


INITIAL RESEARCH      Find out:   Music listening preferences to guide choice of signature or theme tune and incidental music     Non-local figures (footballers, film stars, musicians) who are popular with the target audience; either for reference within the program to make characters’ conversations topical or to enlist in support of the HIV/AIDS campaign.   -        


INITIAL RESEARCH    - Vox Populi Research Vox Populi or “Voice of the People” (tape recorded man-in-the-street inter- views) gathers information about feelings and impressions from a sample of randomly selected respondents. Vox Populi material can also be used as on-air program content.




Preparing Program Outline    DECISION ONE: WHAT PROGRAM STYLE or FORMAT? or “How do you want to tell your story?”


Preparing Program Outline What is the best way to spread your message so it is heard above the “noise”? Song Recorded Message from a “Celebrity” PSA (Public Service Announcement) Vox Populi (Voice of the People) Interview(s) Phone-Ins Soap Opera


Preparing Program Outline PROGRAM FORMATS:   The most common program formats are the cheapest to produce:          - straight reads          - interviews          - music programs          - chat programs  


Preparing Program Outline NOTE about working with Broadcasters/Radio Stations: Broadcasters with few resources and a huge program workload are hard pressed to fill their allotted airtime with even the most mundane programming. Many are poorly paid and have no incentive to be creative. Fortunately, some are keen to use their imaginations to produce the kind of programs which make people listen and remember. It is your job as the Producer to bring this out.    


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SPOTS: 30 seconds to 2 minutes    One simple message only, clearly stated     Scripted dialogue, or interview clip, tightly packaged with a music jingle     An announcer reinforces the message at the end  MINI-DIALOGUES: 1 minute to 3 minutes More lively way of conveying information than reading from a script     Usually two voices are good for repeating key information    


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: MINI-DRAMAS: 1 minute to 3 minutes   - One main message, one secondary one   - Scripted sketch, maybe comedy, for 2 or 3 characters   - Different from mini-dialogues in that it tells a story in addition to conveying information   -  Has to be well written and acted   - Be careful not to include too much information- remember, this is meant to be broadcast a number of times, like a radio advertisement, and it relies on entertainment to remain interesting and make an impact.    


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SONGS: 2 minutes to 5 minutes - Main message and one or two secondary ones         - Catchy tune and lyrics in popular idiom essential         - Commission popular songwriter, musicians, singers          - Give the singers a detailed brief of key messages and stress that they should be repeated          - Listen to the final version carefully for unintended distortion of the key messages, this can easily happen         - Know your market- what will sell or be played frequently on the local radio    


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: INTERVIEWS: 2 minutes to 5 minutes    - Chose a good speaker who knows the subject and who is credible    - Go through the questions with the interviewee in advance    - Be clear in both your minds what the key messages are you want to convey…a maximum of 2 or 3   - Repeat the key messages at the end of the interview to remind listeners what is important they remember   - Don’t try and catch the interviewee “in a spot”….the idea is to convey information clearly, not to make a fool of him/her    


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: MAGAZINE: 10 minutes to 20 minutes    A varied factual program including interviews and features      Could also include spots and songs/music       Can work well if the magazine reinforces a sister program, maybe a health based soap opera, so that it can refer to recent storylines and explain key messages further      Often works best if different health subjects, not just one, are featured       Try to make the programs topical by featuring health issues which have been recently in the news, or immunization campaigns which are about to begin    


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: STORIES: 5 minutes to 10 minutes    Very effective on radio if well written and professionally read         Writer needs to be well briefed, and to be told that the story is what matters: if it is well written, the message will be clear to listeners          Avoid obvious propaganda stories: listeners can generally spot them easily and will lose interest        Use existing local myths and lore as source material    


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: ORAL TESTIMONY: 2 minutes to 4 minutes Someone’s real life experience can make powerful broadcasting. For instance : - Someone living with AIDS, a sex worker telling of her dilemma in negotiating for safe sex, etc. - A mother whose child’s life was saved by oral dehydration salts, etc. Sensitive interviewing and editing is paramount. This can be recorded in or near the subject’s home. Also effective if edited and packaged into spots and repeatedly broadcast.     


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: VOX POPULI: 2 minutes to 4 minutes “Vox Pop”is the voice of the people, or ‘man in the street’ interview.   The use of the opinions of ‘ordinary’ members of the public adds a useful dimension to the coverage of a topic which might otherwise be limited to a straight bulletin report or a studio discussion among officials or experts.   The principle is for the broadcaster using a portable recorder to put one, possibly two, specific questions on a matter of public interest to people selected by chance, and to edit together their replies to form a distillation of the overall response.     


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: VOX POPULI: 2 minutes to 4 minutes - Phrasing the question   Having decided to include VoxPop in the program, the producer must decide carefully the exact form of the words to be used. The question is going to be addressed to someone with little preparation or ‘warm-up’ and so must be relatively simple. It is important that the question is phrased so that it contains the point to which reaction is required.   Characteristic of the ‘vox pop’ is that in the final result, the interviewer’s voice does not appear.     


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: VOX POPULI: 2 minutes to 4 minutes - Choosing the site   If the questioning is to be carried out among a specific group, this may itself dictate the place – on the docks, children leaving school, at the airport, etc.   The listener expects to hear some background actuality and it would be undesirable to exclude it altogether.         


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SOAP OPERA: 5 minutes to 30 minutes   Soap Opera is a drama with no beginning and no end.          A Radio soap opera is a long running drama serial in which a number of plots develop simultaneously.          A soap opera is probably the most effective means of bringing about social change, particularly if it is backed up with targeted publications and interpersonal communications       


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: QUESTIONS ? .       


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SOAP OPERA: 5 minutes to 30 minutes Advantages:         The audience learns to identify with characters          It can carry a number of separate educational themes involving health or other relevant issues       It can repeat key messages over a long period of time without boring the audience           more… .       


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SOAP OPERA: 5 minutes to 30 minutes Advantages:          As it reflects the everyday lives of the target audience, the listeners are more likely to identify with the soaps educational messages, discuss them, and perhaps act on them.         A radio opera can depict virtually any situation and stimulates the imagination of the listener.          Soap operas can be culturally sensitive, are entertaining and can have long term appeal to a mass audience over a wide age range .       


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SOAP OPERA: 5 minutes to 30 minutes DisAdvantages:          COST ! Expensive by radio production standards, particularly if top actors and writers are used          TIME needed for development and implementation means it is unsuitable for messages requiring immediate dissemination          Effectiveness usually depends on the talents of script writers and actors       


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SOAP OPERA: 5 minutes to 30 minutes But….. Soap Operas, based around local scenarios and cultures, are accepted as the most effective method for communicating complex social issues. Use of local lore and oral traditions can decrease the need of highly trained actors and writers…as well as lower production costs and time of development       


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SOAP OPERA: CASE STUDY: “Soul City” Soul City – a multimedia health project from South Africa     Soul City is a South African health promotion project that avails itself of the power of mass media. Founded in 1991 by Garth Japhet, a doctor and part-time journalist, Soul City tries to prevent the spread of HIV and to promote healthier lifestyles through television drama, radio programs, booklets and news- papers, song, live theatre, comedy and puppetry.


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SOAP OPERA: Case Study: “Soul City” The programs are “edutainment” (education plus entertainment), an approach that tries to foster social change by highlighting and discussing important health and social issues in the context of a highly entertaining and near-to-everyday-life TV and radio drama. While HIV/AIDS figures prominently among the recurring themes, these also include other health issues like smoking, alcohol abuse, tuberculosis or larger social issues like violence against women and children, unemployment and drug abuse, disability, etc.     .       


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SOAP OPERA: “Soul City” Soul City was successful in providing knowledge and changing attitudes regarding sensitive health and social issues and has proven to be a stimulant for discussions on these topics, especially among younger audiences. Funding for Soul City is provided by the South African Ministry of Health, the international donor community, UNICEF and a number of corporate sponsors.    I (Roll video tape: “Soul City”) .       


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SOAP OPERA: INGREDIENTS of a successful Education Soap Opera:          Know who your target audience is and be clear what you want to say to them          A realistic budget for research/development and operating costs          Substantial long-term funding commitments from donors or commercial sponsorship          Talented staff required, script writers, producers, actors, sound technicians (more….)                


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SOAP OPERA: To Mount a successful Soap Opera you need to create:          A group of believable characters with whom the audience can identify     A fictional but realistic meeting place—an office, hospital, school, market-place, shop---somewhere where all types of people and situations can occur.     Entertaining storylines which must not be overwhelmed by educational messages            A cliffhanger end to each episode to keep the audience in suspense until the next episode . -               


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: SOAP OPERA: When Creating a radio Soap Opera:          Choose a name for the soap opera that captures the mood you are trying to communicate and is short and easy to remember      Choose a signature tune: the mood of the music should be in keeping with the topic and setting of the soap opera and should appeal to the target audience. A catchy signature tune will also signal that the program is starting to the casual listener, or when listeners are tuning into correct frequency             -           . -               


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: RADIO DRAMA:Low Cost Alternative Ideas   DO AWAY WITH THE STUDIO. If the play is suitable, the recording can be made out of doors among the parks, streets, markets, businesses UNCONVENTIONAL SCRIPT. Simple format uses a Narrator as the main storyteller with only the important action dialogue spoken by other Voices/characters. NO SCRIPT. Given the right people: improvise! Give “actors” the basic idea and let them ad-lib.                                 


Preparing Program Outline FORMATS: RADIO DRAMA:Low Cost Alternative Ideas   USE of MONOLOGUE. Enable a single character to unravel a riveting stream of internal thinking, motivation, musings, and real or imagined behavior…spoken in the idiom of the listener… creating immediate identification. With music and effects added, radio monologue creates an intense world of two: the Character and the Listener.                                 


Effective Radio Campaign Soap Opera QUESTIONS ?           -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Production Schedule Chronology of Events: (Note: Keep in mind how long each step will take!)     1. Research   2. Define your Project   3. Collaborate with Partners, Broadcasters   4. Define Overall Budgets, Time Lines   5. Conduct hiring search for the PRODUCER             -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Production Schedule Chronology of Events:    6. Collaborate with Producer on Line-Item Production Budgets & Production Schedules   7. Producer hires Scriptwriter (or performs scriptwriting duties)   8. 1st Draft of script(s) delivered for Review Process   9. Producer commissions: Legal Clearances, Music search, etc.                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Production Schedule Chronology of Events:    10. Producer hires Director (or performs Director duties)   11. 2nd Draft of script(s) delivered for Review Process   12. Producer/Director contracts with Production Facility (radio station, audio studio, other)   13. Producer/Director hires Production Crew (if not supplied by Production Facility)                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Production Schedule Chronology of Events:    14. Producer/Director hires Actors, Presenters, Musician, other Negotiates contracts. 15. Final Draft of Script(s) delivered 16. Rehearsal 17. Broadcast times negotiated,determined Promotional TIE-Ins considered                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Production Schedule Chronology of Events:    18. Production of 1st episode(s) 19. Post Production (Editing) 20. 1st BROADCAST (s) (see AirPlay Scheduling) 21. Evaluation 22. Repeat steps 15 thru 20                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign DISCUSSION ASSIGNMENT: 1. Pick a program format that best suits your needs and resources. 2. Explain your Choice (s) 3. Describe your Project 4. Draw up a list of what “Skill List” you will need from your Producer           -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign END of MODULE ONE           -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign MODULE TWO           -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign Review of Module One DISCUSSION ASSIGNMENT: 1. Pick a program format that best suits your needs and resources. 2. Explain your Choice (s) 3. Describe your Project 4. Draw up a list of what “Skill List” you will need from your Producer           -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: AirPlay Schedule Getting Heard: SCHEDULING   In allocating a transmission slot, the time of day selected and the material preceding it can be crucial to the success of the program. Know what the target audience is doing at different times of the day-and night –and at the weekend Know what time the intended audience wakes up and goes to bed Know when the home of the intended audience is busy – typically at meal times-so as to keep items short Know when the home is quiet and the listener is available for more extended listening Know when the time is right for news or relaxation.                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: AirPlay Schedule Getting Heard: SCHEDULING   Well-produced radio spots can be repeated a number of times without boring listeners, but vary time of day and days of the week to reach maximum number of listeners. When developing special programs, be sure to run short promotional announcements during high listener times, such as daily news reports. Due to high cost for airplay, short snappy spots makes best use of budget. It is likely more people will hear oft-repeated short spots than one longer presentation….but short spots usually don’t convey the same amount of information or impact.                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: AirPlay Schedule Getting Heard: SCHEDULING   It is of little use broadcasting health information at free or discounted rates if scheduling is erratic or at times of low listening. Depend on an agreement- or formal contract – between program sponsors and radio stations to assure Spots/Programs are broadcast at prime times for maximum impact. Monitor radio output and challenge the radio station if broadcast agreement is failing Due to high costs (sponsors) and low return (broadcasters) consider equipment/training packages to offset costs and induce incentives.                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Evaluation   AUDIENCE EVALUATION Assessing the Effectiveness of your Radio Program Has the Potential to identify both positive and negative outcomes, and both expected and unexpected impact INTERNAL EVALUATION Learning about the Radio Production process Identify problems and their solutions which will ultimately contribute to better program making. Review: Technical, Personnel, Managerial, Financial                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Evaluation   AUDIENCE EVALUATION Find Out Target Audience’s: Recall of a specific program Recall of message, jingle, slogan Greater knowledge of specific messages Change of Attitude, Behavior Desire for further Information                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Evaluation   INTERNAL EVALUATION Program Quality Criteria: Appropriateness: Did program correctly meet audience needs? Creativity: Did the program create a “spark”? Accuracy: Was it truthful, honest, factual, fair? Holistic: Did program communicate on different levels, different senses?                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Evaluation   INTERNAL EVALUATION Program Technical Criteria: Are there sufficient equipment and facilities? What additional resources would be useful? Are budgets adequate? How efficiently are production resources used? How could production resources be improved? Are the personnel involved in production adequately trained and experienced?                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Evaluation   INTERNAL EVALUATION Program Technical Criteria: Is additional technical training necessary? Is the Producer’s workload reasonable? Is Producer’s level of productivity satisfactory? How could Producer’s efficiency & effectiveness be increased/ Is audio production well managed? Is recording suitably scheduled and organized?                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Evaluation   INTERNAL EVALUATION Program Technical Criteria: Is Program produced on schedule and within budget? Are programs produced to high professional and technical standards? How does program compare with programs produced by comparable institutions? Has scheduling of Airplay been effective? In general: How might the production process be made more efficient and effective?                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: TOR  Expected Skills of the Producer: Demonstrated sensitivity to cultural differences, nuances Ability to distill research into coherent program outline.   Collaborate with Partners, Broadcasters   Establish & Manage Budgets, Time Lines   Conduct hiring search for Production personnel                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: TOR   Ability to write scripts or hire & collaborate with Scriptwriter. Provide direction.   Business Management: - purchase of special materials, - obtains Legal Clearances, - acquires music rights - oversees payments to vendors - selects and contracts w/ audio facility - contracts production technicians - selects and contracts actors                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: TOR   Producer performs as Director in studio.   (or hires/supervises Director)   As Producer/Director, oversees rehearsal and studio production. Producer oversees editing of program. Producer responsible for music selection, and music purchase and clearances                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: TOR *   In collaboration with the Executive Producer, Producer negotiates Broadcast times with radio station(s) * In collaboration with the Executive Producer, Producer negotiates promotional tie-ins. * In collaboration with the Executive Producer, Producer assists with Evaluation phase. Note: These skills not usually the responsibility of the Producer                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Recommended Info Sources: The Communication Initiative web site Radio and HIV/AIDS: Making a Difference Practical Guide published by UNAIDS                 -           . -               


Effective Radio Campaign: Drew Stewart WBI Distance Learning Producer World Bank, Washington D.C.                 -           . -               

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