Title: One Shining Podcast Episode 34.3
Date: March 18, 2018
Length: 56 minutes
Hosts: Mark Titus, Tate Frazier and producer Kyle Crichton
Extra: You can subscribe on iTunes or follow on The Ringer.
We just witnessed the best sports week of the entire calendar year and, man, it didn’t disappoint. The first No. 1 seed in history went down in the first round, there were too many buzzer beaters to count and the Texas Longhorns, again, found a way to leave the NCAA Tournament without a win (it’s been four years but who’s counting, right?).
You were probably like me, constantly scrolling through Twitter during the first four days of the NCAA Tournament. We all saw our fair share of crazy stats, memes of (Loyola Chicago) fan Sister Jean fist pumping and the absurd amount of tweets sent out by the UMBC account during their epic win. In addition to all of that, I found a tweet from Bill Simmons that promoted the One Shining Podcast. Trusting his judgment as I do, I knew I had to review it. A podcast that not only features college basketball, but also has that brilliant of a name, has to be entertaining. Here’s what I discovered.
Before I even hit play on the latest episode, I found something I really liked from One Shining Podcast. Though I’m a huge college basketball fan and can stay locked in for the entire regular season, I realize most sports fans only care about the sport during March Madness. That being said, Tate, Mark and Kyle were smart enough to understand how to take advantage of the calendar. Without a doubt, it was the biggest week for a college basketball podcast, so they decided to record one episode at the end of each of the first four days of the tournament. Though, it sounds simple, it’s a smart strategic move. By recording right after all of the action ends each day, you get a fresh take that still contains all of the emotions from the day’s events. Covering the entire first and second rounds of the tournament in one single episode, would be a chore and wouldn’t serve the listener as well as the way that One Shining Podcast chose to cover the action.
As I was listening, I appreciated how both Tate and Mark were open who their favorite teams were and how they reacted to them losing. Fans can relate to that. Not every listener is going to be an Ohio State or North Carolina fan (Thank God) like these two, but fans of other schools can relate to how it feels when your team gets bounced or is facing an early exit. In the case of Michigan and Duke fans that listen to the podcast, it probably made their day to hear how a Buckeye and Tar Heel fan suffered through their teams coming up short. If you can match the passion for your team that your listeners have for theirs, you’re going to connect with an audience. I thought Tate, especially, thrived at this.
I got the impression that Tate and Mark really know college hoops, but I enjoyed the fact that they didn’t get too technical with listeners. Giving an opinion that Texas A&M has the best front court in the country, or saying why Syracuse’s zone defense gives everyone fits, can be good enough. I heard a fair share of really good discussions on teams left in the Dance, but I also enjoyed the way the guys could turn on a dime and make fun of Nevada’s head coach in the locker room or Sister Jean’s bracket that has Loyola-Chicago getting beat in the Sweet 16. Making me think and laugh is a sure-fire way to make me subscribe and come back. Now I have to go back and see how much crap they talked on Trae Young and Oklahoma.
Though I was happy with the amount of discussion I got from the weekend’s action, I also valued the discussion I received on the matchups in the Sweet 16. As listeners, we want what’s coming next. Though you have to cover what happened earlier in the day, you also have to discuss what’s to come. One Shining Podcast found the perfect balance for both.
I’ll be locked into this podcast for the rest of the NCAA Tournament, but I might stay after the season is over for Tate and Mark’s personality. These guys are very funny and good at what they do. Guys, please, keep the impersonations coming and keep making fun of head coaches and opposing fan bases. There’s a lot of redeeming qualities about this podcast, but I feel it’s at its best when both Tate and Mark are making fun of someone.
Lastly, and I think this point of a successful podcast gets overlooked, but both guys are really good on Twitter. They present themselves the same way on social media that they do on the podcast. That sits well with the listener and creates a following. These guys have figured that out and execute it well.
All in all, I consider One Shining Podcast a huge success, because they’re excellent on all fronts. My best advice is to not change. This podcast has developed a certain tone and sound that listeners have come to enjoy. That’s what every podcast strives for. If you love college hoops, now is the time to give One Shining Podcast a listen.
Asking The Right Questions Helps Create Interesting Content
Asking questions that can get a subject to talk about their feelings is a much better way to get an interesting answer.
When ESPN’s Mike Greenberg interviewed Paolo Banchero in the lead-up to the NBA lottery on Tuesday, he asked what I’ve concluded is the single most maddening question that can be asked of any athlete preparing for any draft.
“Why do you believe you should be No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft?” Greenberg said.
Before I point out exactly why I have such a visceral reaction to such a harmless question, I want to point out the positives because Greenberg’s question avoids some of the most common pitfalls:
1) It is an actual question. That’s not as automatic as you think given the number of poor souls who are handed a microphone and say to their subject, “Talk about (whatever issue they want a quote or a sound bite on).” This is the mark of an amateur, creating the opening for an uncooperative subject to slam the door by saying, “What do you want me to say?”
2) Greenberg’s question can not be answered with a yes or a no. Questions that start with the word “Can you …” or “Did you …” may sound like they’re tough questions for the subject, but they’re actually fairly easy if the subject wants to offer an answer. Now, most interview subjects won’t take that one-word exit, but some will in a touchy situation.
The problem with Greenberg’s question has to do with the result. Why do we ask questions of the athletes we cover? Seriously. That’s not rhetorical. What’s the goal? It’s to get interesting answers. At least that’s the hope whether it’s for a quote that will be included in a story, a sound bite to be replayed later or — like in this situation — during an interview that is airing live. The question should be engineered to elicit interesting content, and there was very little chance that the question Greenberg asked Banchero was going to produce anything close to that.
I know that because I have heard some version of this question asked hundreds of times. That’s not an exaggeration. I attended the NFL scouting combine annually for a number of years, and if a player wasn’t asked why he should be the first overall pick, he’d get asked why he should be a first-round pick or why he should be one of the first players chosen at his position. Never — in all that time — have I ever heard what would be considered an interesting or informative answer. In my experience, players tend to talk in incredibly general terms about their own abilities and then seek to compliment their peers in an effort to avoid coming off as cocky.
Here’s how Banchero answered Greenberg’s question: “Yeah, thank you all for having me, first off., I feel like I’m the number one pick in the draft because I’m the best overall player. I feel like I check all the boxes whether it’s being a great teammate, being the star player or doing whatever the coach needs. I’ve been a winner my whole life. Won everywhere I’ve went, and when I get to the NBA, that’s going to be the same goal for me. So just combining all those things, and knowing what I have to work on to be better is a formula for me.”
There’s nothing wrong with answer just as there was nothing wrong with the question. It’s just that both are really, really forgettable. ESPN did put a clip on YouTube with the headline “Paolo Banchero: I’m the best overall player in the NBA Draft | NBA Countdown” but I think I’m the only who will remember it and that’s only because I’m flapping my arms and squawking not because there was anything bad per se, but because there was nothing really good, either.
First of all, I’m not sure why it matters if Banchero thinks he should be the number one overall pick. He’s not going to be making that decision. The team that holds the top draft pick — in this case Orlando — is. Here’s a much better question: “How important is it for you to be the number one overall pick?” This would actually give an idea of the stakes for Banchero. What does this actually mean to him? Asking him why he should go number one is asking Banchero to tell us how others should see him. Asking Banchero how important it would be go number one is asking him to tell us about his feelings, something that’s much more likely to produce an interesting answer.
The point here isn’t to question Greenberg’s overall competence because I don’t. He’s as versatile a host as there is in the game, and anyone else in the industry has something to learn from the way he teases ahead to content. What I want to point out not just how we fail to maximize opportunities to generate interesting content, but why. Interviews are a staple of the sports-media industry. We rely on these interviews as both primary content that will be consumed directly, and as the genesis for our own opinions and reaction yet for all that importance we spend very little time thinking about the kind of answer this question is likely to produce.
The Client Just Said YES, Now What?
We should spend as much time on what we will do after the client says YES.
One of the most significant moments in radio sales is when the client agrees to your proposal and says YES. But, when they do say YES, do you know what’s next? We better have an answer!
We spend a lot of time getting ready for clients with research, spec spots (thank you, radio sales trainer Chris Lytle-go to 22:30), proposals, and meetings. All of our focus is on getting the client to say YES. We should spend as much time on what we will do after the client says YES. For example, getting newer sales reps to sell annual advertising contracts would be ideal for building a list. They would have less pressure, more job security, and could spend more time making the advertising work for their clients. But, since most newer reps don’t know the business yet, they don’t bite off more than they can chew and sell a package of the month.
When a client says yes to the weight loss promotion, it’s pretty clear how to write the ads, what the promos will say, etc. BUT, if a newer sales rep starts selling annual contracts to a direct local client who needs a resource, how will that work? Let’s make sure we paint the picture right upfront. More experienced reps know that they need to assume the client will say YES to the weight loss promo and have a plan accordingly.
They have the next steps to building copy and promos, a credit app or credit card payment form, and any other detail the client must provide. But, when we ask a direct local client for an annual advertising contract, watch out! You have just made a partnership. Why not lay out, upfront, what that will look like. And I understand not every local client needs the same level of service.
A car dealer has the factories pushing quarterly promotions, agencies producing ads, and in-house marketing directors pulling it all together sometimes. Other clients need your help in promotions, copywriting, or idea generation. Make a plan upfront with your client about when you will meet to discuss the next quarter’s ad program. Include your station’s promotions or inventory for football and basketball season, a summer NTR event, digital testimonials with on-air talent, etc., in your annual proposal. Go out as far as you can and show what you have to offer to the client and how you can execute it. This exercise is good for you and, once mastered, guides the client on how you will take care of them after the sale. It also opens your eyes to what it takes to have a successful client partnership inside and outside the station.
Media Noise – Episode 74
This week, Demetri is joined by Ian Casselberry and Ryan Brown. Demetri talks about the NBA Draft getting an ABC simulcast, Ian talks about Patrick Beverley’s breakout week on TV, and Ryan reminds us that Tom Brady may be the star, but Kevin Burkhardt is the story we shouldn’t forget.