WHY I SECOND-GUESS MYSELF FOUR TIMES

I recently calculated that I’ve written over 3,000 radio commercials over the course my career in radio advertising.
So why do I hire four writers – in addition to myself – to write for every one of our agency clients?
Because as well as I think I can write in the voice of others, I’m still just me; broadened by my collective experience, but limited by a singular life journey that doesn’t always make me the best voice of a brand.
In fact, there are few things I enjoy more than writing a radio script that I’m excited about – and then ranking that favored script sixth from a pile of 15 submitted by five different writers. Each writer pens three creative treatments, assuring us that we’ll be able to review a collection of approaches that runs the gamut from straight to silly, monolog to dialog, puffery to powerful.
Even the weakest script may contain the best single line of copy. And we’ll need that, when the client’s favorite script needs a boost or that awesome WOW of memorable branding.
Using multiple writers also makes sense to facilitate an A/B test of creative approaches. Will the authoritarian expert approach generate the best response? Or is it the relatable guy/gal next door who’ll resonate and generate the best ROI? It’s rare that a client picks two scripts penned by the same author. And that’s good. Because on any given day, any given radio listener might be prone to respond to one voice over another. Testing multiple variations allows one to measure, manage and optimize results going forward.
And despite the chorus of voices vying for a client’s favor, all scripts respect the sacred rules of effective radio copywriting:
Grab the listener’s attention in the opening 3-5 seconds
Resist the urge to recite a laundry list of benefits and focus on the one that WOWS
Present the strongest, most irresistible offer that you’re able to proffer, and
Rally the listener with a call to action that contains an element of urgency
Ask five people how they greet people on a street and you’re likely to get five different answers. And until you test, you won’t know if the “Hey!” guy will get less reaction than the lady who says “Hi there!” Assigning five writers to a radio copywriting assignment may be overkill, but it’s smart business, erring on the side of having too many great scripts to choose from, rather than agonizing over having too few.
Hey! Can we write 15 scripts for you?

MLJune2014bMark Lipsky is the President and CEO of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above.Visit our website TheRadioAgency.com