Posted by: Andrea Day | April 19, 2012

How to make a great travel news demo

Student Radio Conference LogoAfter losing my  Student Radio Conference virginity in Bradford this year I have been inundated with students asking how they can get a broadcasting job with INRIX media.

As I seem to have been answering the same question time and time again about what makes a good demo to be a travel news broadcaster it is about time I put my answer to “paper” and share the love:

  • Your demo should be a travel bulletin –  A documentary on how much you love radio or a generic presenter demo can be a great listen, but it really doesn’t tell me if you understand the difference between the M1 and the M42.
  • If you are applying for INRIX, send something dry.  If you are successful in your application you will be working on BBC, commercial and other audio services that we provide.  Adding a bed will only taint your demo to make it feel a certain style which means is it one step further away from helping us imagine what you would sound like on our client stations.
  • Don’t edit it – or at least don’t have audible edits in it!  Every edit tells me that you can’t do live radio.
  • 60 seconds is enough.  Really, truly and honestly.
  • Map of the Midlands

    The order of the incidents in your bulletin needs to make sense

    Structure your bulletin – What’s your headline story? What order should you put the incidents in?  No point in starting off with an incident in Shrewsbury, then going to Stoke, then Wolverhampton, then back to Telford – it makes no sense.  Try going from North to South, or East to West.  And yes, this does mean that you have to do some research.  Google map is your best friend.

  • Pronounce things correctly – this is one of the biggest tells that you don’t know your patch and also creates the most frequent listener complaints.
  • Human Language – do you know what a rolling road block is? The difference between a lane closure and a lane blockage? No? Well that’s because you’re normal and not a travel news geek.  The listeners are normal too (mostly).  Never forget that.  Paint the picture with words that an eight year old would understand instantly.  You aren’t being patronising, you are speaking in human, everyday language.
  • Present it well – normalise your bulletin, top and tail it, title it up with your name and not “Travel demo V3” (what happened to V1 and V2?!) , add in live examples if you have delivered travel on air before and if you haven’t, listen around for genuine out cues and style.

INRIX logo

After working in travel news at INRIX (formerly Trafficlink) for eight years (!) I have heard some awesome and not so awesome travel news demos in my time.  One thing I have always tried to do is give positive and constructive feedback on every demo that falls into my inbox; I hope that those who have got a critique from me would agree….

If you are looking to work for INRIX, all our Broadcaster and Editor roles are advertised on Media UK and a nicely worded email to me asking for a critique on an application before submission usually gets a response within a few days. I’ll leave you to work out my email address, you are all intelligent enough.

Best of luck!

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