Ray Norman

Turnkey

RADIO IMAGING 

A voice that's not on
700 stations nationwide.
Because your branding should be unique.

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Voice Talent & Production

Sweepers | Liners | IDs | Intros
Event & Contest Promos
Affiliate TV Bumpers and Teasers

RAY NORMAN
Branding Radio, TV and more
for 26 years

Evolving




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Need imaging for a one-time event, but don't want to be locked into a retainer?

Sometimes you need something a little different for a special promo or event. Ask about time-limited, no-retainer imaging!

NEUMANN U-87

4 tips for choosing an imaging voice

  • Collect and vet qualified voice talent
  • Bookmark imaging websites in your web browser
  • Record your competition's imaging, listen and compare
  • Choose a unique voice that fits your brand


Radio imaging doesn't have to follow rules. While the format categories here are familiar, there's really no reason to choose a certain voice style according to genres. Think outside the box and surprise yourself - and your audience!


Read full article >>



Daypart Imaging and Personality Branding

Radio Imaging that's actually 

Entertaining!

Because imaging should be more than sonic wallpaper

Radio's competitive difference is

Talent Branding

Because your on-air talent separates you from the rest

Authenticity in Radio Imaging

Today's audience loves to engage with brands they love.  But when audiences feel the pitch is less than authentic, it misses the mark.  Selling your station brand on-air in the age of social media means you should ask: Is our station imaging relatable and real?

Radio has always been the "real" medium, able to achieve the highest level of intimacy with the audience.  Program directors have, since the beginning of time, stressed that on-air talent be the "friend on the radio". In the age of social media and DIY YouTube channels, the audience has come to expect down-to-earth "realness" and authenticity more than ever.


Does your radio station imaging connect with your audience ?

It's easier to engage than to sell

The old school of radio imaging has always been to sell: Sell the sizzle in a way that's bigger than life. But today's audience is more sophisticated.  Will the 90's "Voice of God" imaging style work as well today as it did in 1992?


While there is no clear cut answer, and opinions vary, it's a question worth exploring as you deep dive into finding your next imaging voice and production style.

#1 It's never too late to refresh

Standing out in the "sea of radio sameness" is something I speak of often. Today's audience is more fickle than ever, because they have more choices than ever. And with each passing day, authenticity and realness become more important to today's radio audience.


What worked 6 months ago might be stale now. Remember, you can refresh your imaging approach without changing your format. Success in today's environment is a day-to-day thing. It pays to step back, listen, and evaluate how relatable your programming  and your imaging are.


I know it's a struggle to come up with next month's imaging sweepers. But, a big part of that struggle, I think, comes from feeling like you're walking down the same, endless path. If you feel that's true for you, it means you are simply doing today what you did yesterday. And, as Albert Einstein said: "Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result - is insanity".


Being too afraid to test a new imaging approach or voice-style can can mean failing to evolve - or at the very least - having your radio station becoming a predictable bore, not worthy of your audience's short attention span.

#2 Radio imaging can be informative and entertaining

Simply saying the call sign or slogan is selling short what radio imaging can do. In this golden age of social media, communicating relatable content is important.  A station sponsored event can be folded into a sweeper––explaining it in greater detail can be left in the hands of your on-air personalities. Of course, nothing sells a BIG promotion like a BIG promo. And by big, I don't mean long. Long enough to cover the subject and short enough to be interesting. Makinging sure to credit your station as a bringer of great things in your imaging is informative and useful to your audience. And, done right, it sells without being hard sell.  Engaging your audience should be done at every opportunity on the air, whether "live", or in produced content.

#3 Radio imaging doesn't have to "go hard"

Over-baked "Voice-of God" imaging might sound great in the production room - but how does it score on the "realness meter" with your audience?

 

Take a listen to old radio air checks on Youtube.  The style of imaging in the 80s and 90s is almost comical today. The authoritative Don Lafontaine voice delivery that was the mainstay of radio at that time could mean a death-sentence for your brand  today. Would a laid back approach to station imaging come across more personal and relatable? It's something to consider.


 I often feel like a lot of radio imaging is a misfit when juxtaposed with the programming it represents. For example, if the audience is primarily women in their 30s, should the imaging really sound rough and tough like a 1982 Harley-Davidson? Bottom line: success in radio branding means being perceived as trustworthy, relatable and engaging. It stands to reason that if your personalities are relaxed and friendly, your imaging should be also.  Of course, this might not apply for formats such as classic /active rock, and hard-hitting political talk and sports.  The playoffs is no time for a sports station to hold back with their imaging -- that certainly is the time and place to go hard sell with the imaging. If voice fits, then by all means, go hard! Then again, who says you have to kill it wit hype? Those old enough to remember when FM radio was coming of age know that, at that time, FM radio  was the "cool alternative"  to AM. The delivery was smooth and ever so cool.  And it worked, because it reflected the audience's value system.


It's easy to just be lazy, hack out some liners in a few minutes and email them to your regular imaging voice. But it really does pay to reevaluate the sound of your branding from time to time, and consider whether what WAS working  -- IS working.

No one makes it

TO NUMBER ONE

by sounding like someone else


I've produced radio imaging and affiliate television promos since the 90s on all levels. I'm more than just a voice: I'm a producer who doesn't believe in rules. Because the future already belongs to those willing to take chances. 


In the past, the imaging voice was the only consideration: Sound "effects" for sweepers and liners were an afterthought.


But modern sonic branding theory dictates that all branding elements––voice and sound––should be carefully considered.

 

So instead of randomly slapping zaps, lasers and hits under the voice over, my aim is to create original sound design––starting with creating a "family" of sonic effects that belong uniquely to a single brand.


You may only need an imaging voice, and I'm happy to be considered. But I'm eager to discuss my process for developing a sonic brand for each of my clients. A sound that will make your programming stand out in what is truly an insanely crowded market.

Want to write better imaging?

If you're a programmer, chances are you write the imaging liners and sweepers, and you do it solo.  Here are some tips to improve the quality of your station's imaging:


  • Create a fun, energetic "writing team" to tackle the task of updating your imaging.
  • Schedule a specific time (session) to write station liners and sweepers.
  • Write imaging content that gives the audience a reason to keep listening
  • Make sure each imaging element reinforces your radio station brand.
  • Promote your on-air personalities! Let the audience know what they're about, and what they're up to.
  • Write sweepers and promos for the BIG stuff (trips, big prizes etc), but don't invest in Wendy's lunch coupons. Small ticket items work best when on-air talent spring them on the audience in the moment.
  • Keep radio imaging local. Make a list of specific people, places and things that make your market unique, and fold those into your liners and sweepers.


To get a better idea of why this is important, read more...


What radio industry professionals say...

Whether I want bombastic, timid, goofy, sincere…whatever I ask for, he somehow makes it all work.

Most stuff sounds the same - your stuff doesn't sound like the 200 other people I have listened to in the last two weeks. It was refreshing to be honest.

Since Ray started doing my imaging, our station has been at number one or number two every time.  For years!  Coincidence?  

Hell no, he’s that good! 

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