Best Practices

Executing The Feature

Ask Alexa is designed to fit into your station’s format and interact with air talent. There are many ways to deliver the feature.

Here’s a typical structure of the feature (all of the production pieces can be downloaded from your resources page):

Station voice/over: “Got a problem? Ask Alexa. (I’m so sorry you can’t handle the truth). It’s Ask Alexa on (station).”

Personality: Using the provided script, ask the question. Best to assign the question as coming from a listener in your local area. The more you set up the question with a short story, the better. For example, instead of just saying, “Scott in Springfield asks…”, set it up. “Scott in Springfield is going to Vegas with his buddies this weekend, and wants to know if it’s really true that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

Option: Record a listener asking question via phone.

Play a short sound effect between the question and Alexa’s response.

Play recorded response

Option: (If playing a second question, which is recommended), go to it quickly and get to the second response.

Personality: Outro, inviting listener participation (submit a question by phone, text, Facebook or via form on website).

Option: Tease the next Ask Alexa episode (“Coming up, we ask ______. Ask Alexa, this morning at _______”)

Recorded outro: “Ask Alexa, (times) on ________.”

Note: Download work parts for production on our resources page.

Scheduling Ask Alexa

  • The feature is most effective when programmed daily. Every day. Seriously. Every day. In fact, most stations air it multiple times per day. Once it’s established, some stations air it every hour of every morning.
  • When launching the feature, schedule new episodes at a key appointment tune in time. For example: 7:10am. As your library of episodes builds, pair it with a previous question (from yesterday or an archived episode).
  • Repeat the new question the following day at a different time. For example, 6:10am, along with a second question.
  • Some affiliates repeat a new episode later in their show. Example: 9:10am. That’s fine, but since you have nine new episodes per week, there are plenty of new episodes to choose from.

For Best Results

  • Involve personalities, but don’t upstage the responses. This is about the clever and funny response, not a topic starter. Most every time talent tries to add to the break, it falls flat. End on a high note. A good way to finish is inviting questions and promoting the next episode.
  • Leave the microphone on. Laugh in the background, as if you’re the studio audience. Short responses adds a lot to Alexa’s comments.
  • Invite listeners to ask questions. Let them submit by text, phone, email, online form, etc. It sounds great to introduce a question as, “(Name) from (location) is asking Alexa… _______”.
  • Listeners can, but don’t need, to ask the questions. Some stations put listeners on the air asking the question. That’s fine, but isn’t necessary. In fact, it can get confusing with the additional voice, and it’s often hard to hear the question clearly. Listeners don’t really care about whether or not it was a person leaving the message or you reading the question They just want to get to her ripping on the air as fast as possible. That being said, if you find your listeners love hearing people ask the question, there’s nothing wrong with it either.
  • Introduce it quickly and get to Alexa’s answer quickly. Keep the questions short and get to the payoff-the answer.

Promoting Ask Alexa

  • Promote the next episode by teasing the question you’ll be asking, or playing a portion of the answer (but not along with the question) as a tease.
  • Tease it! Each episode comes with a special tease that can be used a few minutes before the feature airs. You can use it with your personalities or produced as a stand-alone promotion.
  • Promos: We’re happy to provide promos for you (you supply copy). We also supply some clever teases to subscribers in your subscriber welcome kit.
  • Create a Ask Alexa page on your website, with the most recent episodes available on demand. Be sure to make sharing easy. This allows fans to spread the word about the feature. Try to promote the exact times to listen on the air every chance you get.
  • Include an invitation to submit a question they’d like answered. Create a form on your Ask Alexa page.