Guidelines for Talk Show Callers
Callers can play a very important role in WPR's talk programs. That is why call screeners are so careful about deciding which comments and questions to put on-air.
- Be on topic. Before you call, listen to the host's introduction or recap of the show topic and guest. Note the questions posed. Make sure what you want to say is directly related to the topic and ask yourself, "Can the guest address this?"
- Be prepared. Know what you want to say, and how you want to say it, before you call.
- Be understanding. When you phone in, the first person you will talk to is the call screener. It is his or her job to understand what you are going to say on the air and decide whether or not to put your call through. If your point is off topic, or something the guest cannot address, or if it was covered earlier in the show, the call screener will ask you to call another time. Calls are not taken in order, but based on where your comment fits into the program.
- Be brief. When your call is taken, please get right to your comment and make your most important point first. There may not be time for you to make multiple points or have a follow-up with the guest.
- Stay on point. The host takes your call based on what you told the screener. Don't change your comment while you're on hold.
- Add to the discussion. As a caller you become part of the show, and it is your role to further the discussion. Your comment should add to the content of the show. Ask a question, tell a story or let us know your opinion on the issue.
- Be polite. It is fine to disagree with a guest's point of view, but personal attacks are not allowed. Keep your focus on the argument, not the person.
- Phone quality. Use the phone handset, not the speakerphone option or a headset. They both reduce the audio quality of your call when you are on the air. If you are calling on a cell phone please be sure you have a strong signal. If you are in your car, for your own safety and the quality of your signal, please pull over.
- Turn off your radio. We have a slight broadcast delay and having your radio on can cause you to miss your turn. Please turn our radio off before you call in. You can listen to the program live on your telephone while you are on hold.
- Get to your point. Don't say, "Can you hear me?" or "Good morning/Afternoon," (we may repeat the show) "First time caller," "Thanks for taking my call," "Hi this is [name] in [city],"
Just say hello and start talking.
Thank you for being part of the show