Prep Your Show WTOP-Style: Content First, Platform Second

Posted on December 15, 2011


Leave it to Jim Farley, Joel Oxley and the team at Hubbard all-news WTOP/Washington D.C.  to be willing to chart a new course in content creation.

If you aren’t familiar with Jim, Joel and their station you should be: they preceded the current talk programming to FM trend by years; have ridiculously high ratings; and are consistently one of the top 10 billing stations in the U.S. despite being in a market with a smaller population than New York or L.A.

So now it comes out that they are taking a new approach to creating content for their station. According to today’s Taylor on Radio-Info, “A story’s execution will be determined at its origin, then optimized for all the distribution platforms WTOP offers – radio, web, Facebook, Twitter and mobile.”

Instead of their reporters focusing on creating stories for radio they are focused on reporting. Then, once they have a story there will be both a radio editor and a digital editor taking the content and maximizing it for their respective platforms.

Imagine prepping your show that way:

  • First, look for stories, issues or anything else that will interest your listener.
  • Second, decide on your unique viewpoint or observation about the story.
  • Third, decide how you will handle it on each platform you create content for.

For example:

  • You may look at a story for your show and decide it’s best hit on as a quick two-line joke because you have something funny to say about it.
  • The same story may make for a good Facebook post that asks for comments from listeners.
  • It may also make a great blog post that gives you the chance to go into more depth and really make a point about the story.
  • Twitter might be best used to promote the blog post.

It’s time to stop thinking about your content as being for the radio first and then trying to adapt what you’ve done to digital platforms.

It’s time to create great content then decide how to maximize it on each platform you use to interact with listeners.