Don’t Be Classic Rock Guy

Those who use InterPrep PRO know every prep item can be layers deep. Each story can be used as-is, but many are useful conversation starters and phone topics. InterPrep PRO subscribers get dozens of proven suggestions each week for elevating typical rip-and-read stories.

PRO subscribers are not ones to rip and read, but there are still ‘deejays’ who are.

Recently, we shipped out a sample copy of an InterPrep PRO issue to non-subscribers. The issue (from February 2024) included the story of Taylor Swift making homemade pop-tarts for her man, Kansas City Chiefs player Travis Kelce, and some of his teammates.

The day after the sample issue of InterPrep PRO went out, a guy on a Classic Rock station shot back with the following:

“Nobody cares what Taylor Swift did today, just that Keith Richards has lived another day. Whatcha got for us?”

It Wasn’t A Taylor Swift Story

As I informed Classic Rock Guy, Taylor Swift making homemade pop-tarts wasn’t a Taylor Swift story.

Maybe you’re tired of talking about Taylor and Travis, but a story like this was a launcher. It wasn’t about Taylor — it was about someone doing something unique and special for their loved one, an act of kindness that most in your audience can relate to no matter the format.

When our editors found this story, it took us about 90 seconds to come up with a handful of directions the conversation could go…

• Homemade vs. Store-bought: What famous food do you make homemade that your family and coworkers love?

• Hidden Talents: We often know celebrities for their public personas, but this Taylor Swift story reveals a hidden talent. What’s your hidden talent? Which person in your family or circle of friends did you discover to be an amazing cook?

• Food is Love: What food does your significant prepare for you that makes you love them even more? What food do you prepare that makes people love an appreciate you even more?

• Kid Foods Adults Love: Pop-Tarts seem like a food targeted to kids, but just as many adults like them. What kid food is your guilty pleasure?

And, of course, you would also share your own personal stories of food and love, special cooking skills, and more.

The days of rip-and-read show prep are long gone. InterPrep PRO subscribers have known this for over 30 years, but not everyone in our business gets it. Before you crack open the mic, take a minute to ask yourself and your coworkers: “What are the layers and topics underneath this story?”

You can also remind yourself not to be Classic Rock Guy.

I’m Steve Holstein, the Publisher and Chief Content Creator at I’d love to hear from you if you have a comment about this post or a question about what we do. Please get in touch with me here.