28 Mar Good Content Takes Preparation
One of the first lessons I learned working in media, was that before you record something or turn on a live microphone, be prepared! Unfortunately, I had to learn that lesson the hard way.
In Brownwood, Texas, high school football is king. I was asked to host The Texas High School Scoreboard Show following the broadcast of the Brownwood Lions game. To understand the importance of this request, you have to know that in the mid-1990s there was internet, but it was not mobile. Thousands of fans would travel to watch their local team play in person. In West Central Texas the average road game was about two hours away. That meant that listenership was high on Friday nights from 10:30pm until Saturday at 1:00am.
The job was easy, or so I thought. I was told to read scores from around Texas and mix in audio highlights from the Brownwood broadcast and the Goldthwaite broadcast we aired on our sister station. I was assigned a co-host and given a list of sponsors to read.
That night would be the last time I ever opened a mic without any show prep. It was a disaster.
That night would be the last time I ever opened a mic without any show prep. It was a disaster. Being that it was the first week of the football season, the Associated Press was slow to push out scores. We had a total of about 15 scores we could read and nothing else prepared. I was in the control room and my co-host was in the newsroom. He was not much help. Every time I threw it over to him, he said the same thing. “Scott, I want to thank our sponsor today…” and he would read the sponsor and throw it back to me. That gave me all of 20-seconds to try to collect my thoughts.
One of the listeners to the broadcast was the legendary retired Brownwood football coach Gordon Wood. This man was well respected in the community, having won seven state championships. He made an appearance at the radio station on Monday, and my days of hosting the scoreboard show were over. I got the rest of Friday nights off that season.
Thankfully, I did not lose my job, but I am still embarrassed when I think about that night.
The next year I had my shot at redemption. I insisted that I pick my co-host and selected a friend who served as the Sports Information Director for the local college I attended, Howard Payne University.
We both took the time to plan out the show and we had a ton of talking points and highlights ready to go when we signed on the air. The show was a great success. Some of our sponsors even commented that it was the best they had heard in years. The difference was preparation.
The same is true today. Before I host the Create, Build and Manage Daily Show I take time to study each guest and write out questions I think the viewer would want answered. Before I record a social media video, I will take the time to write an outline, or I will re-record a video if I know it can be better.
So the next time you are looking to create content for your business, do a little preparation beforehand. Trust me, you will be glad you did.
Scott Miller is the CEO of Centerpost Media, host of the Create. Build. Manage. show (seen on BizTV, heard on BizTalkRadio, and available wherever you listen to podcasts,) and a member of the Forbes Agency Council, Entrepreneur Leadership Network, and Dallas Business Journal Leadership Trust. You can find Scott on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via “@scottmillerceo” or on LinkedIn via “@scottmillermedia.” Centerpost Media is a content marketing agency with a vision to help every business they encounter with their media needs by providing outstanding quality, service and value. Centerpost Media is the parent company to BizTV, BizTalkRadio, BizTalkPodcasts and Bizvod.