guide to choosing radio topics

A Complete Guide to Choosing Topics for your Radio Station

Ironing out the topics that you plan to discuss on-air is an essential part of preparing for your radio broadcast. Radio scripts are there to guide the basic audio elements of the show.  One element that you need to plan for when outlining your script is the content you would like to broadcast on your station. Content is king, and it can make or break a station. Whilst it sounds easy to produce topics for different segments of your station, this is where most broadcasters fail if not carefully planned. The following guide will provide you with tips on how to choose content for your radio station that can win audiences over.  

Collect Ideas For Later  

There are topics that are timeless which can be planned ahead. As a radio broadcaster, you need to get into the habit of capturing your thoughts on paper. You can create a file for yourself where you write down notes or ideas every time inspiration strikes. This collection of ideas can then be streamlined and prioritized as topics to be discussed during your live segments or converted to podcasts. Moreso, your content should appeal to your target audience, so be sure to keep your demo and their interests in mind when choosing your content and themes.  

Trending Topics  

Trending topics typically appeal to a wide range of audience segments. Online newspapers are a good starting point to find trending news. Other sources for trending topic research include:  

  • Google News Alerts  
  • Social Media (Twitter and Facebook)  
  • RSS Feeds – popular RSS feeds such as BuzzFeed, Mashable and TechCrunch  

Not all trending topics will be relevant to your target audience, so be sure to choose trending topics that will keep them engaged. 

For news segments, you can sign up to receive radio bulletins that can send you up to date news at the frequency of your choosing (every hour, every 15 mins, 1 per day, etc.). Examples of such news sources include Sky and Feature Story News. Alternatively, you can use news aggregator websites to view all the latest news and updates in one place, i.e. NewsyFeedlyGoogle News and AllTop

Hosting Shows  

Inviting guests to participate in your broadcast is a straightforward way to generate content for your station. Discussion topics can include current affairs, politics, or even live performances. For example, you can host a comedy show, with the invited comedian providing all of the content for the segment.  Before inviting guest to a show, be sure that you provide the guest with an outline of acceptable (and not acceptable) content.   

Create Online Polls  

Online polls are an effortless way to figure out the type of content that your audience wants to hear. Tools such as survey monkey, google forms, or poll maker can be used to create the polls. You can either suggest topics and ask listeners to vote for their favorites, or request suggestions from the listeners.  

Themes According to Holidays  

Rich and captivating content can be created around holidays. For example, you can theme a whole segment around Christmas, Women’s Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, and more. In addition, content can also be produced around important dates such as radio station anniversaries, Radio Days celebrations, and more.  

Local Music  

Featuring local artists on your station is another great source of content. Local artists can be invited to the studio or can call in to talk about their music and about themselves, providing listeners with an introduction to who they are and their work. Moreso, you can ask your listeners to vote for their favorite songs or artists which can be based on diverse categories, specific genres, or trending music. This is a clever way of generating interactive content for your station. 

Scheduling Content into Different Segments  

Once you have chosen your topics and streamlined them, you will need to schedule your content into segments to match your show timings. The topics you choose should relate to the overall tone of the station. Timing of the content is also particularly important. They are some topics that are best suited for afternoon shows versus evening shows.  Be sure that your content is relevant to the segment. You should also have a back-up plan in case there is a breaking news story or event which may make your chosen subject appear insensitive. 

It is never too late to work on your content strategy for your station.  If you don’t yet have a station but are interested in starting one, sign up for the 7 Day Free Trial of SAM Broadcaster Cloud and get started today.