Contracting me to conduct an aircheck critique usually begins with an email inquiry.
In my experience, on air people are either nearly unfamiliar with the process because they’re being left to flounder by overworked managers, or they’re a little tentative about whether my approach will rip them to shreds and pummel their already fragile self esteem!
First and foremost, I’m a fan of radio and those who are involved with it. But that goes neck and neck with honesty. I try to be direct and matter-of-fact and that can mean coming right out and saying, that was not good, and here is why, and here’s how you fix it. Telling someone they’re not hitting the mark is just mean unless you give them the tools to make sure they hit the target next time. That’s my goal and my purpose.
My clients are overwhelmingly happy with my critiques, even when those reports have been somewhat negative, because it gives them something to work toward. There is nothing more satisfying for me than hearing the improvement in an announcer’s delivery after they’ve spent a few weeks working on the objectives I’ve set out for them. Less experienced on air types especially want to get major-market ready in a big hurry so they’re hungry for help.
A couple of clients have told me outright that they disagree with my assessment, and that’s fine. I’m not trying to make friends, but better broadcasters. However, without exception, those clients have returned with improved performances as well.
And there have been a couple of clients who expected to be told that they were the second coming of Rick Dees and found themselves flabbergasted by my suggestions to improve on their performances. Perhaps their family and friends have been showering them with compliments and they bought into the hype. It has come as a shock to them to find that there are things they could be doing better.
I give out compliments as easily as I serve up criticism. But the point of the whole service is for me to be a little bit picky and help you break through the psychological wall that separates the real you from the person you become when you turn on the mic or sit at the keyboard. Some savvy radio managers have hired me to coach their talent and individuals have come to me on their own. Everyone’s welcome! And I thank you.