I'm a big fan of RSS feeds. RSS feeds are essentially digital pipes, used to push content from one place to another with ease. One of my favorite tricks for radio stations, where the staffs are notoriously stretched thin, is to use RSS feeds to send email blasts containing website content. I've written a tutorial for this RSS-to-Email feature here.
Another great way radio stations can utilize RSS feeds is to have on-air personalities build their own free, customized show prep services. An RSS reader allows you to pull content from different sources into one place, making it easy to quickly find the best stuff to talk about on your radio show.
This process not only makes if easy to find content for on-air breaks; it also works for content that can be shared online. As DJs and other radio staffers are increasingly being asked to engage station listeners through social media channels or by writing blogposts, RSS feeds can help jocks quickly find content that's worth sharing. Here's how:
1. Create your own show customized prep service.
Following this tutorial, create your own customized show prep service that pulls content into an RSS reader from a combination of both local and national content. Get in the habit of checking your RSS reader every time you prepare for your radio show.
2. Think of your radio show in three dimensions.
Back in the day, I received radio show prep services by fax. I would take this fax, along with a printout of my show's music log, and assign content to different breaks by scribbling on the log. For example, I might talk about what happened on Conan last night in the 3:15 break, and use the latest Florida gator encounter in my “Weird News” segment at 6:30.
Today, you can use the RSS reader you've customized as a show prep service the same way, but you've got more content slots than just the breaks in the music. Today, think of social media updates, blogposts, and podcast episodes as additional slots for content. Now, the Conan bit might be a break and a tweet, while the gator encounter is a “Weird News” segment along with a blogpost featuring an embedded video. The extra content slots allow your radio show to become three-dimensional.
The Process in More Detail
Last year, I hosted a webinar that dives into this process in more detail. It will walk you through how you can quickly and easily find content and share it on social media, on the air, or in any other online capacity. It's useful not only for radio DJs, but anybody in the station tasked with finding online content to share on social media.
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