By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies
Many radio stations that blog regularly enlist multiple writers. Sometimes they are jocks, sometimes they are off-air personnel, and sometimes they are a mixture of the two. If your radio station uses different writers, you’ll want to take steps to ensure that there’s a certain level of consistency across the different blogposts.
However, this does not mean that all the writers should sound the same. While the tone of the blog should fit the station’s overall voice, there can also be different personalities within that voice. If your on-air talent is writing, their writing styles should match their on-air personalities.
For example, perhaps you decide that the voice of the station is “cool and in the know.” The midday jock can be perky and sassy, while the afternoon jock can be sarcastic and self-deprecating, and yet, both of these styles can fit into the station’s overall voice. This can be true both on the air and in the station’s blog.
However, even though different writers can have different personalities, there should still be formatting elements that are consistent across the entire blog. To ensure that your station is putting out a quality product, consider writing a style guide to provide direction to your writing team.
Here are some formatting considerations to include in that guide:
Are you going to spell everything correctly? Or is it more in keeping with the spirit of your radio station to purposefully misspell words? Perhaps you want to drop the “g” from words ending in “-ing” to give your blogposts a country twang, or use creative misspellings to give your blog more street cred.
Punctuation can also have a big impact on the tone of a blogpost. Some of your guidance can be pretty obvious (What’s the maximum number of exclamation points allowed at the end of a headline?), while other rules may be more nuanced (When do you use an emdash instead of a hyphen?).
Do you want to use emojis in your blogposts or not? Do you want to confine them to the body of the blogpost or allow them in the headline? Is there a limit to the number of emojis you want to allow? Are there any emojis that are inappropriate?
Which titles get italicized and which are surrounded by quotation marks? Album titles? Song titles? TV show titles? TV episode titles? Movie titles? Tour names? Etc.
How do you want to format addresses included in your blogposts? Will they be italicized or indented? Will you abbreviate words like “Street” and “Road”?
When will you link to other websites, and which sites will you link to? For example, when an album title is included in a blogpost, will you link to the album on the artist’s website, or on Amazon, or somewhere else? Along the same lines, do you want to set up any guidelines when embedding videos or social media posts?
Reputable media outlets that specialize in written content have style guides that offer direction when it comes to formatting. Your station should, too.
For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-968-7622.
Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.