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Phone Topics

The use of listeners (not texts) and great phone topics can make an enormous difference to a breakfast show. Listeners add comment and controversy and guess what, it's all absolutely free!

Of course it's important that the callers are "good talent" but, it's equally important the phone topics are relatable, entertaining and informative for your listeners.

Phone Topics can come from anywhere - newspapers, on-line, the gossip mags, from your own past experience or from a story you've been told.

For example, there was a news story recently about a 17 year old rookie builder, his first day on the job included soldering - the insulation caught fire and he burnt down a $12M mansion. The phone topic - "What have you broken while working at someone's house?"

Great calls can come out of this.an apprentice panel beater working on a cold day with a kerosene heater on - boss tells him to remove the vehicle's petrol tank - he forgets to drain the fuel - it's heavy - he drops it - the vapors catch fire and 6 cars and his house go up in smoke!

From school holidays to Mothers Day there's always an opportunity.

Make it funny or serious to tailor to your format whether you are Hot AC or News Talk.

Following are some Phone Topics that can work well on radio so long as they are delivered or 'sold' to the listener. For instance, when setting the scene, give an example and relate it to yourself on the air. Again, constantly ask yourself the topic is relatable, entertaining and informative for your audience?

"Have you dumped someone famous and what were the circumstances?"...
a topic done following news that Kate Middleton dumped Prince William

"Have you been back to a celebrity's hotel room?"...
done following a story that Justin Timberlake is scared about returning to his hotel room after a gig - women have been known to hide in his closet and jump out! (It doesn't need to be rude or sexual but some people might have some great stories that shock and surprise you)

"Are your parent's struggling with technology?"...
When this was done by a radio station in Australia, they had callers who's Grandma calls it an E-pod and a Grandfather who wanted to make sure the DVD's were rewound before he returned them to the rental shop!

"What does your boss do make his/her importance well known?"...
for instance - he/she names a day after him/herself and gives everyone the day off. He was a former titled body builder and has photos of himself pumping iron - in his underwear - in full view of everyone!

With the pending holidays - do your parents over-prepare and how? I heard a caller on the air say that her best friend's dad makes a tape recording of the way the car is packed - the position in the trunk for all the equipment, (eg: the tent is in the top right hand corner etc) so when they repack to return home, he listens to the recording to make sure it all fits in perfectly again!

Some of the best Phone Topics are Right or Wrong/ Curly ones or Moral Dilemmas e.g. Is it wrong to dump someone because of their weight? Is it okay to have a cesarean to avoid pain? Ask listeners not only their opinion but also why?

And remember if each member of the breakfast/morning team cannot tell a story, it probably won't work.

Here are some more topics you can adapt:

  • Things You did for Money as a kid
  • Your Most Embarrassing Public Moment
  • When Animals Attack
  • Strange things your dog has eaten
  • What's in your 3rd kitchen draw?
  • Things from your past that you miss
  • I would have got away with it but...
  • I thought I was going to die when...
  • With Friends like you who needs enemies?
  • When Romance went wrong

Want or need any more info on any of the above? email us and we will be happy to assist.

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