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Ron Robinson

Who Are You Really Talking To Out There?

by Ronald Robinson

First, a couple of (rhetorical) questions: 1.) When did Radio become a One-to-One medium? And, 2.) Why was I not informed? That the delivery of Radio has always been accepted as a One-to-One exercise has never, ever, never been challenged! This, because, like other areas of life, the premise was presented with the authority of, uhhh Authority, and forthwith became: Dogma. As such, Dogma cannot be challenged. Heretics and infidels do pay dearly.

There is no evidence whatsoever to support the proposition that one person is talking directly to another person in the process of speaking on or listening to the radio. To accept the premise is to also exclude everybody else in the audience! As a Jock, I havent got a clue which individual is listening (other than my addled, medicated, schizophrenic and sociopathic PD). As a listener, I know the Jock isnt really talking to me exclusively. And, as a listener, I can deal with that.

Now, I have had the experience where I have met a listener who has said something along the lines of: I feel youre talking right to me. When that happens, I check for exit routes and dangling boogers. And, sure enough.

Here, then, is a more accurate and more useful premise one which I have taken the liberty of carving in soap: Radio is a One-on-Unspecified Medium.Yet, practitioners of this noble, Radio trade absolutely insist on continuously and as often as possible dropping the, what I have come to affectionately and reverently refer to as: The Y-Bomb.

With the utter confidence and certainty that can only come from having accepted Dogma, do they say YOU! And every time they say it, they participate in helping to destroy any chances of gaining any real and ongoing credibility with their audience. Of course a listener hears you and makes an only momentary assumption of: that means Me! but is immediately blown off when they realize the body or content of what is being spoken has nothing to do with them as an exclusivity.

Now, a listener may not articulate their lack of amusement at being taken in by a linguistic trick, but, I submit, the cumulative affect has been devastating on broadcasters. For someone to be addressed exclusively and as an individual, somebody on-the-air is going to have to say their name. As in: Melvin Cosvnoski! Since you have gone to the Schlock-107 web page and entered for a chance to ring our Cash Cow-bell over 700 times, you now have 107 seconds to call in and either Claim Your Cash or pick up a can of high quality, Glidden paint in any shade of brown you desire! (Yes, I know. Sometimes these things get ugly.)

Meanwhile, its true. Dropping the Y-Bomb does momentarily get everybody. For a listener, though, its like getting a massage with a garden rake. Its painful. It leaves marks, there are no happy endings and theres also the dreadful realization that the therapist doesnt really care after all. Dropping the Y-Bomb is like using flash/bang grenades to clear a kindergarten classroom. Nobodys amused. Everybody freaks out and lawyers from all over the county get summoned.

Dropping the Y-Bomb is like using a Daisy Cutter (a BLU 82B bomb that is dropped by parachute and detonated some hundreds of feet above a target) to take out a chicken coop. Yes, the chickens are disappeared, but what remains are a smoking 100-foot crater, acres of destroyed buildings and a small number of surviving inhabitants who are now bent on revenge. The term that leaps to my mind is: Overkill!

Solution: Communicators can deliver any message they want by swapping out usage of the Second Person (You) and applying Third Person elements of which there is an unlimited library. Individual, listener, person, someone who is etc. and my own, fave-rave example: anyone who can out-maneuver a tomato plant can call and win a wonderfully chintzy prize. The uppity, downtown term for an audiences internal, processing experience in this matter is: Vicarious Association. They do get it. Every time.

Ronald T. Robinson has been involved in Canadian Radio since the '60s as a performer, writer and coach and has trained and certified as a personal counsellor. Ron makes the assertion that the most important communicative aspects of broadcasting, as they relate to Talent and Creative, have yet to be addressed. Visit Ron's website

(10/31/2013 7:11:57 AM)
P8N8KG Major thankies for the article. Really Great.

- NY
(10/26/2013 12:35:52 AM)
lf6Jpr Very good blog article.Much thanks again. Cool.

- NY
(9/13/2013 1:58:42 PM)
DUG1Gn Thanks for the blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

- NY
(9/13/2013 11:55:33 AM)
Rx9oW6 Very informative article.Really thank you! Keep writing.

- NY
(9/5/2013 1:19:46 PM)
CozoTj Say, you got a nice post. Will read on...

- NY

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