Radio Hed Logo 2By Jeffrey Hedquist

The first thought that comes to mind is, “It can’t be done.”

Often your client will give you an assignment and then tell you how to do it. “Okay I want to sell annuities, cranial surgery, or safe daycare services… oh, and I want it to be funny.”

You know from experience, that the client’s suggested approach, structure, content, casting, or technique might not work. And, after all, getting his/her approval should not be the ultimate goal. Getting him/her results is.

But… you can’t have one without the other.

You could argue, try to build a case, position yourself as the expert, and… sometimes this works. When it doesn’t, what do you do?

Sometimes, basking in the satisfaction of being right can get you burned. When the client rejects your brilliant work, or blames you or the station because of a lack of perceived result (mostly because the AE didn’t manage the client’s expectations, but that’s another story), there is a satisfactory solution.

You take the assignment and do exactly what is requested… with a twist - a twist that will get results for the aforementioned client.

Sometimes, the box the client has put you in will yield a good result, because you’re a writer, a marketer, and if you dig deep enough, you can make anything work.

When they ask for a factual argument, you talk about facts, but you make it into a story. When they unadvisedly ask for humor, you do a serious commercial that derides humor.

When they request their child be the spokesperson, have that kid speak, but do a translation of their mumbles. You want your wife to sing the jingle? Hello Auto-Tune!

When they ask that a preposterous argument that they think is persuasive, but you know is ridiculous, be the basis of the commercial, morph it into an argument that will in fact, be persuasive.

In other words, make stone soup.

And you’ll serve up a nutritious commercial that will feed your client, and you.

Want a tasty way to break writer’s block for free? Email me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I’ll send you a way to use an old Saturday Night Live sketch to create a powerful radio campaign. No charge.

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