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Thoughts From The 2016 NAB Radio Show

Jason Barrett

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The 2016 NAB Radio Show is in the books and as usual, I’m feeling energized after a few days of learning. This year’s event took place in Nashville, Tennessee, a city with rich history, and a strong commitment to country music, which made it feel like the right place to spend a few days analyzing the state of the radio industry.

The music scene on Broadway was vibrant. You couldn’t walk thirty feet without reaching another bar or restaurant and hearing a local artist perform. The County Music Hall of Fame and Johnny Cash Museum were both within walking distance of the conference, as was the Bridgestone Arena, which featured concerts by Carrie Underwood, and Avenged Sevenfold, and left passionate music fans enjoying the Nashville nightlife all throughout the week.

As I’ve learned over the past few years, these conferences provide many positives, but there are always one or two areas where things can be better. It takes the effort of many to organize, speak, perform, and attend, and the reason people travel for this event is to get a deeper education on where our business is, and where it needs to go. That is very important and wouldn’t be made possible without the contributions of the NAB, our broadcasting industry, and the thousands of people who work in it.

This year more than 2,200 showed up, and there was a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy. The Marconi and Radio Wayne Awards were especially top notch, and included a classic line from New York radio icon Scott Shannon who said “I’m happier than a Kardashian walking into an NBA locker room”. It was a great few days of celebrating our industry and educating ourselves and for those who couldn’t make it, I’ve highlighted some of the positives I gained from this year’s event, along with a few areas where improvements can still be made. I enjoyed attending and speaking on a panel, and am looking forward to next year’s show in Austin, Texas.

What Was Good

Performers: The NAB did an excellent job of including some great musical acts into this year’s show. Whether they were performing live and talking about the way radio factored into the success of their songs, or just sitting on a panel and talking about the business of music and the challenge of growing a brand, there were a bunch of artists providing insight into their careers and how important radio has been to what they do.

In the span of three or four days, Big & Rich, Kellie Pickler, Danielle Bradberry, Jennifer Nettles, Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra, and Jesse James Dupree of Jackyl were all involved either speaking or performing, adding a nice energy to the event. In the case of Dupree, his candid opinions and insights on brand building during a conversation with Mike McVay and Michael Brandvold were especially interesting and helpful.

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Social Media: Few would disagree that social media plays a large role in our daily lives, and when Lori Lewis is involved in a session talking about the do’s and dont’s in the social space, few are more informative or enjoyable. Lori’s line “the essence of social media is reminding people that they matter” was perfectly stated, and a good reminder to brands to further engage with their audience on social media platforms.

She shared a few examples of why radio needs to abandon its ‘prize wheel’ approach and look at social from a fan’s point of view. Gaining a deeper understanding of the business we’re in and how it appears to be glamorous to the audience was another part of her focus. During the discussion she urged the room to let the listener capture their experience when they stop by a radio station event or studio because “it’ll be on Facebook before they leave the parking lot”. She was right on target.

Networking: As great as the NAB is for learning new information about the radio business, many in executive positions attend to further their relationships, speak on panels and keep the profiles of their companies strong. That helps open the doors to new business opportunities. The turnout this year from the majority of broadcasters was strong, and that’s important because for radio conferences to work it requires support and involvement from our industry’s leaders.

I saw high ranking members of CBS, iHeart, Entercom, Cumulus, Alpha, Emmis, Beasley, Townsquare, Hubbard and Cox in attendance, plus a few smaller groups had a presence too. While many of these broadcasters concentrated on business inside of each conference room, they allowed themselves to unwind and enjoy time together outside of them. We may compete against one another on a daily basis, but we all face the same challenges. Besides, competition is more fun when you’re battling people you like, respect, and enjoy spending time with.

If you’re in the radio business and trying to take larger steps in your career, or if you’re trying to break into the industry for the first time and this event is happening in your town, I recommend being present. Not only will you get a chance to learn from these folks, but you can get valuable face time with them in the lobby too. With radio being a business built on relationships, it never hurts to expand your friends list.

Programming Panel: I had the pleasure of being included in a panel discussing what makes sports radio powerful. The session included perspectives on what makes other passion formats such as Religious, Spanish, and Urban successful, and what stood out was how invested each person was in their respective format. It reminded me that regardless of the format we work in, everything about radio starts with love, passion and creativity.

I tried to educate the room on what lends itself to success from the on-air person’s position, and from the programmer’s office. It was great seeing a few familiar faces in the crowd, including my new cameraman Dennis Glasgow, PD of 99.9 The Fan. Thanks buddy! I utilized one audio clip during the session, a powerful two minutes from Mike Valenti of 97.1 The Ticket talking about the loss of the Detroit Lions play by play rights last November. To see the presentation and hear the clip click here.

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Podcasting: The smaller panels that I noticed drew the largest crowds were ones which focused on podcasting. This is a space that continues to surge and the NAB did a nice job of utilizing a variety of people with strong experience in the field including Seth Resler, Traug Keller, and Steve Goldstein. Goldstein’s session in particular was very insightful and focused on the growing audience in podcasting and how it’s a different experience compared to radio. I was surprised to learn that only 1% of podcasting comes from commercial radio. That speaks to a huge opportunity for the radio industry to increase its productivity. It also has the radio airwaves to promote it further. If done right, it could produce significant audience, revenue and loyalty.

One part that continues to baffle me is how many radio people continue looking at podcasting as a fad or niche business. They also fail to see that original programming is what’s become popular, not repeated 3-4 hour shows that were broadcast over the radio station’s airwaves earlier in the day. Offering the over the air content may be one part of your online strategy but it shouldn’t be the only representation of your brand’s podcasts. If it is you’ll be disappointed by the results.

It’s scary because one of radio’s biggest past problems has been waiting too long to react. This feels like another one of those times. During one session with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a woman stood up and said supporting AM radio was important because it gives people a chance to be on the radio, and if it isn’t saved, children won’t be able to dream of being on the radio. The only problem with her logic is that kids don’t dream of being on the radio now like they did 20-30 years ago, and there’s this thing called podcasting which has taken off and given them the ability to broadcast. It’s also a lot easier to put together. It’s no different than previously dreaming of writing for a newspaper and now having the ability to create your own website and launch your own brand. Times change, interests change, and radio traditionalists need to follow suit or risk being left out in the cold.

What Was Missing

On-Air Talent: I’m often perplexed when I attend a conference and don’t see many on-air talents in attendance. Is it not helpful to learn? To network? To speak about your craft and educate others who work in the same business or hope to in the future? I recognize that companies don’t often pay for their on-air people to attend these functions and I’m not advocating that they should, but I wonder if some groups should be developing a system to make sure some of their key on-air people do get a chance to be involved. I noticed that Hubbard is doing this and I think that’s smart. If you’re an on-air talent and a future radio conference takes place in your city, spend a day before or after your show picking up some knowledge. You’ll take something away from it.

Programmers and corporate executives can discuss subjects at length at conferences and many are very informative. Some of these folks may one day be your future bosses. But if the information they share doesn’t travel to an on-air host’s ears, it’ll never get passed through the speakers. Therein lies the issue.

Is there a perfect solution? Probably not. I’m hopeful that others who perform on the air will want to invest in their career and continue learning. Unfortunately during the past five years I’ve seen little involvement from on-air talent (specifically sports talk talent) at these events and it’s something that I believe can be much better.

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Programming Focus: Most conferences these days put an emphasis on digital growth, revenue generation, statistical analysis, and other parts of the business which matter to executives. I am fascinated by those topics myself. But you know what gets the least amount of attention? The on-air programming.

I’m a firm believer that you need both programming and sales hitting their marks to create a dominant business. The reason though that an audience tunes into a radio station or podcast is for the content experience. We need to be aware of trends and recognize that there’s more to a brand’s success story than what gets broadcast over the airwaves, but the reason we have fans and loyal supporters is because of our on-air product. When it gets less attention at conferences when the entire industry is present, I wonder if that’s a missed opportunity.

Closing

These conferences are valuable. Not every session will satisfy your desires but overall they’re worth your time. That said, we need to remind ourselves of what it was that drew us to the industry in the first place. It wasn’t a spreadsheet, sales training course, or radio commercial. When people hear others in this industry talk about their passion and creativity to make great radio and deliver success, it inspires them. It makes others want to do it, and it shows our business to be a fun and cool place to make a living in. We need more of that.

Or I guess we can choose the other path. We can just stand in a room, complain to the FCC, hope to be bailed out, and trust that our future will be in good hands because of it. You decide which path makes more sense.

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Barrett Sports Media To Launch Podcast Network

“We will start with a few new titles later this month, and add a few more in July.”

Jason Barrett

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To run a successful digital content and consulting company in 2022 it’s vital to explore new ways to grow business. There are certain paths that produce a higher return on investment than others, but by being active in multiple spaces, a brand has a stronger chance of staying strong and overcoming challenges when the unexpected occurs. Case in point, the pandemic in 2020.

As much as I love programming and consulting stations to assist with growing their over the air and digital impact, I consider myself first a business owner and strategist. Some have even called me an entrepreneur, and that works too. Just don’t call me a consultant because that’s only half of what I do. I’ve spent a lot of my time building relationships, listening to content, and studying brands and markets to help folks grow their business. Included in my education has been studying website content selection, Google and social media analytics, newsletter data, the event business, and the needs of partners and how to best serve them. As the world of media continues to evolve, I consider it my responsibility to stay informed and ready to pivot whenever it’s deemed necessary. That’s how brands and individuals survive and thrive.

If you look at the world of media today compared to just a decade ago, a lot has changed. It’s no secret during that period that podcasting has enjoyed a surge. Whether you review Edison Research, Jacobs Media, Amplifi Media, Spotify or another group’s results, the story is always the same – digital audio is growing and it’s expected to continue doing so. And that isn’t just related to content. It applies to advertising too. Gordon Borrell, IAB and eMarketer all have done the research to show you where future dollars are expected to move. I still believe it’s smart, valuable and effective for advertisers to market their products on a radio station’s airwaves, but digital is a key piece of the brand buy these days, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.

Which brings me to today’s announcement.

If you were in New York City in March for our 2022 BSM Summit, you received a program at the show. Inside of one of the pages was a small ad (same image used atop this article) which said “Coming This Summer…The BSM Podcast Network…Stay Tuned For Details.” I had a few people ask ‘when is that happening, and what shows are you planning to create?’ and I kept the answers vague because I didn’t want to box ourselves in. I’ve spent a few months talking to people about joining us to help continue producing quality written content and improve our social media. Included in that process has been talking to members of our team and others on the outside about future opportunities creating podcasts for the Barrett Sports Media brand.

After examining the pluses and minuses, and listening and talking to a number of people, I’m excited to share that we are launching the BSM Podcast Network. We will start with a few new titles later this month, and add a few more in July. Demetri Ravanos will provide oversight of content execution, and assist with production and guest booking needs for selected pods. This is why we’ve been frequently promoting Editor and Social Media jobs with the brand. It’s hard to pursue new opportunities if you don’t have the right support.

The titles that will make up our initial offerings are each different in terms of content, host and presentation. First, we have Media Noise with Demetri Ravanos, which has produced over 75 episodes over the past year and a half. That show will continue in its current form, being released each Friday. Next will be the arrival of The Sports Talkers Podcast with Stephen Strom which will debut on Thursday June 23rd, the day of the NBA Draft. After that, The Producer’s Podcast with Brady Farkas will premiere on Wednesday June 29th. Then as we move into July, two more titles will be added, starting with a new sales focused podcast Seller to Seller with Jeff Caves. The final title to be added to the rotation will be The Jason Barrett Podcast which yours truly will host. The goal is to have five weekly programs distributed through our website and across all podcasting platforms by mid to late July.

I am excited about the creation of each of these podcasts but this won’t be the last of what we do. We’re already working on additional titles for late summer or early fall to ramp up our production to ten weekly shows. Once a few ideas and discussions get flushed out, I’ll have more news to share with you. I may consider adding even more to the mix too at some point. If you have an idea that you think would resonate with media professionals and aspiring broadcasters, email me by clicking here.

One thing I want to point out, this network will focuses exclusively on various areas of the sports media industry. We’ll leave mainstream sports conversations to the rest of the media universe. That’s not a space I’m interested in pursuing. We’ve focused on a niche since arriving on the scene in 2015 and have no plans to waver from it now.

Additionally, you may have noticed that we now refer to our company as ‘Barrett Media’. That’s because we are now involved in both sports and news media. That said, we are branding this as the BSM Podcast Network because the titles and content are sports media related. Maybe there will be a day when we introduce a BNM version of this, but right now, we’ve got to make sure the first one works right before exploring new territory.

Our commitment to delivering original industry news, features and opinions in print form remains unchanged. This is simply an opportunity to grow in an area where we’ve been less active. I know education for industry folks and those interested in entering the business is important. It’s why young people all across the country absorb mountains of debt to receive a college education. As valuable as those campus experiences might be, it’s a different world once you enter the broadcasting business.

What I’d like to remind folks is that we continue to make investments in the way we cover, consult, and discuss the media industry because others invest in us. It’d be easy to stockpile funds and enjoy a few more vacations but I’m not worried about personal wealth. I’m focused on building a brand that does meaningful work by benefitting those who earn a living in the media industry or are interested in one day doing so. As part of that process I’m trying to connect our audience to partners who provide products, services or programs that can benefit them.

Since starting this brand, we’ve written more than 18,000 articles. We now cover two formats and produce more than twenty five pieces of content per day. The opportunity to play a small role in keeping media members and future broadcasters informed is rewarding but we could not pay people to edit, write, and host podcasts here if others didn’t support us. For that I’m extremely grateful to those who do business with us either as a consulting client, website advertiser, Summit partner or through a monthly or annual membership. The only way to get better is to learn from others, and if our access to information, knowledge, relationships and professional opinions helps others and their brands, then that makes what we do worthwhile.

Thanks as always for the continued support. We appreciate that you read our content each day, and hope to be able to earn some of your listenership in the future too.

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5 Mistakes To Avoid When Pursuing Media Jobs

“Demetri Ravanos and I have easily done 50-60 calls, and it’s been eye opening to see how many mistakes get made during the hiring process.”

Jason Barrett

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I recently appeared on a podcast, Monetize Media, to discuss the growth of Barrett Media. The conversation covered a lot of ground on business topics including finding your niche, knowing your audience and serving them the right content in the right locations, the evolution of the BSM Summit, and why consulting is a big part of our mix but can’t be the only thing we do.

Having spent nearly seven years growing this brand, I don’t claim to have all the answers. I just know what’s worked for us, and it starts with vision, hard work, consistency, and a willingness to adapt quickly. There are many areas we can be better in whether it’s social media, editing, SEO, sales, finding news, producing creative original content or adding more staff. Though there’s always work to be done and challenges to overcome, when you’re doing something you love and you’re motivated to wake up each day doing it, that to me is success.

But lately there’s one part of the job that I haven’t enjoyed – the hiring process. Fortunately in going through it, I was able to get to know Arky Shea. He’s a good guy, talented writer, and fan of the industry, and I’m thrilled to share that he’s joining us as BSM’s new night time editor. I’ll have a few other announcements to make later this month, but in the meantime, if you’re qualified to be an editor or social media manager, I’m still going through the process to add those two positions to our brand. You can learn more about both jobs by clicking here.

Working for an independent digital brand like ours is different from working for a corporation. You communicate directly with yours truly, and you work remotely on a personal computer, relying on your eyes, ears and the radio, television, and internet to find content. Because our work appears online, you have to enjoy writing, and understand and have a passion for the media industry, the brands who produce daily content, and the people who bring those brands to life. We receive a lot of interest from folks who see the words ‘sports’ and ‘news’ in our brand names and assume they’re going to cover games or political beats. They quickly discover that that’s not what we do nor are we interested in doing it.

If you follow us on social media, have visited our website or receive our newsletters, you’ve likely seen us promoting openings with the brand. I’ve even bought ads on Indeed, and been lucky enough to have a few industry folks share the posts on social. We’re in a good place and trying to make our product better, so to do that, we need more help. But over the past two months, Demetri Ravanos and I have easily done 50-60 calls, and it’s been eye opening to see how many mistakes get made during the hiring process.

Receiving applications from folks who don’t have a firm grasp of what we do is fine. That happens everywhere. Most of the time we weed those out. It’s no different than when a PD gets an application for a top 5 market hosting gig from a retail employee who’s never spoken on a microphone. The likelihood of that person being the right fit for a role without any experience of how to do the job is very slim. What’s been puzzling though is seeing how many folks reach out to express interest in opportunities, only to discover they’re not prepared, not informed or not even interested in the role they’ve applied for.

For instance, one applicant told me on a call ‘I’m not interested in your job but I knew getting you on the phone would be hard, and I figured this would help me introduce myself because I know I’m a great host, and I’d like you to put me on the radar with programmers for future jobs.’ I had another send a cover letter that was addressed to a different company and person, and a few more applied for FT work only to share that they can’t work FT, weren’t interested in the work that was described in the position, didn’t know anything about our brand but needed a gig, were looking for a confidence boost after losing a job or they didn’t have a computer and place to operate.

At first I thought this might be an exclusive issue only we were dealing with. After all, our brand and the work we do is different from what happens inside of a radio or TV station. In some cases, folks may have meant well and intended something differently than what came out. But after talking to a few programmers about some of these things during the past few weeks, I’ve been stunned to hear how many similar horror stories exist. One top programmer told me hiring now is much harder than it was just five years ago.

I was told stories of folks applying for a producer role at a station and declining an offer unless the PD added air time to the position. One person told a hiring manager they couldn’t afford not to hire them because their ratings were tanking. One PD was threatened for not hiring an interested candidate, and another received a resume intended for the competing radio station and boss. I even saw one social example last week of a guy telling a PD to call him because his brand was thin on supporting talent.

Those examples I just shared are bad ideas if you’re looking to work for someone who manages a respected brand. I realize everyone is different, and what clicks with one hiring manager may not with another, but if you have the skills to do a job, I think you’ll put yourself in a better position by avoiding these 5 mistakes below. If you’re looking for other ways to enhance your chances of landing an opportunity, I recommend you click here.

Educate Yourself Before Applying – take some time to read the job description, and make sure it aligns with your skillset and what you’re looking to do professionally before you apply. Review the company’s body of work and the people who work there. Do you think this is a place you’d enjoy being at? Does it look like a job that you’d gain personal and professional fulfillment from? Are you capable of satisfying the job requirements? Could it potentially put you on the path to greater opportunities? If most of those produce a yes, it’s likely a situation to consider.

Proofread Your Email or Cover Letter and Resume – If the first impression you give a hiring manager is that you can’t spell properly, and you address them and their brand by the wrong names, you’re telling them to expect more mistakes if they hire you. Being detail oriented is important in the media business. If this is your introduction to someone and they have a job you’re interested in, you owe it to yourself to go through your materials thoroughly before you press send. If you can have someone else put an extra set of eyes on your introduction to protect you from committing a major blunder even better.

Don’t Waste People’s Time – You’d be annoyed if a company put you through a 3-4 week process only to tell you they didn’t see you as a viable candidate right? Well, it works the other way too. If you’re not seriously interested in the job or you’re going into the process hoping to change the job description later, don’t apply. If the fit isn’t right or the financials don’t work, that’s OK. Express that. People appreciate transparency. Sometimes they may even call you back in the future when other openings become available. But if you think someone is going to help you after you wasted their time or lied to them, trust me, they won’t.

Don’t Talk Like An Expert About Things You Don’t Know – Do you know why a station’s ratings or revenue is down? Are you aware of the company’s goals and if folks on the inside are satisfied or upset? Is the hiring manager someone you know well enough to have a candid professional conversation with? If the answers are no, you’re not helping your case by talking about things you don’t have full knowledge of. You have no idea how the manager you’re talking to has been dealing with the challenges he or she is faced with so don’t pretend you do. Just because someone wrote an article about it and you read it doesn’t mean you’re informed.

Use Social Wisely – Being frustrated that you didn’t get a job is fine. Everyone goes through it. Asking your friends and followers for advice on social of how you could’ve made a better case for yourself is good. That shows you’re trying to learn from the process to be better at it next time. But taking to social to write a book report blasting the hiring manager, their brand, and/or their company over a move that didn’t benefit you just tells them they made the right move by not bringing you in. Chances are, they won’t be calling you in the future either.

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Would Local Radio Benefit From Hosting An Annual Upfront?

Jason Barrett

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How many times have you heard this sentence uttered at conferences or in one of the trades; radio has to do a better job of telling its story. Sounds reasonable enough right? After all, your brands and companies stand a better chance of being more consumed and invested in the more that others know about them.

But what specifically about your brand’s story matters to those listening or spending money on it? Which outlets are you supposed to share that news with to grow your listenership and advertising? And who is telling the story? Is it someone who works for your company and has a motive to advance a professional agenda, or someone who’s independent and may point out a few holes in your strategy, execution, and results?

As professionals working in the media business, we’re supposed to be experts in the field of communications. But are we? We’re good at relaying news when it makes us look good or highlights a competitor coming up short. How do we respond though when the story isn’t told the we want it to? Better yet, how many times do sports/news talk brands relay information that isn’t tied to quarterly ratings, revenue or a new contract being signed? We like to celebrate the numbers that matter to us and our teams, but we don’t spend much time thinking about if those numbers matter to the right groups – the audience and the advertisers.

Having covered the sports and news media business for the past seven years, and published nearly eighteen thousand pieces of content, you’d be stunned if you saw how many nuggets of information get sent to us from industry folks looking for publicity vs. having to chase people down for details or read things on social media or listen to or watch shows to promote relevant material. Spoiler alert, most of what we produce comes from digging. There are a handful of outlets and PR folks who are great, and five or six PD’s who do an excellent job consistently promoting news or cool things associated with their brands and people. Some talent are good too at sharing content or tips that our website may have an interest in.

Whether I give the green light to publish the material or not, I appreciate that folks look for ways to keep their brands and shows on everyone’s radar. Brand leaders and marketing directors should be battling daily in my opinion for recognition anywhere and everywhere it’s available. If nobody is talking about your brand then you have to give them a reason to.

I’m writing this column today because I just spent a day in New York City at the Disney Upfront, which was attended by a few thousand advertising professionals. Though I’d have preferred a greater focus on ESPN than what was offered, I understand that a company the size of Disney with so many rich content offerings is going to have to condense things or they’d literally need a full week of Upfronts to cover it all. They’re also trying to reach buyers and advertising professionals who have interests in more than just sports.

What stood out to me while I was in attendance was how much detail went into putting on a show to inform, entertain, and engage advertising professionals. Disney understands the value of telling its story to the right crowd, and they rolled out the heavy hitters for it. There was a strong mix of stars, executives, promotion of upcoming shows, breaking news about network deals, access to the people responsible for bringing advertising to life, and of course, free drinks. It was easy for everyone in the room to gain an understanding of the company’s culture, vision, success, and plans to capture more market share.

As I sat in my seat, I wondered ‘why doesn’t radio do this on a local level‘? I’m not talking about entertaining clients in a suite, having a business dinner for a small group of clients or inviting business owners and agency reps to the office for a rollout of forthcoming plans. I’m talking about creating an annual event that showcases the power of a cluster, the stars who are connected to the company’s various brands, unveiling new shows, promotions and deals, and using the event as a driver to attract more business.

Too often I see our industry rely on things that have worked in the past. We assume that if it worked before there’s no need to reinvent the wheel for the client. Sometimes that’s even true. Maybe the advertiser likes to keep things simple and communicate by phone, email or in-person lunch meetings. Maybe a creative powerpoint presentation is all you need to get them to say yes. If it’s working and you feel that’s the best way forward to close business, continue with that approach. There’s more than one way to reach the finish line.

But I believe that most people like being exposed to fresh ideas, and given a peak behind the curtain. The word ‘new’ excites people. Why do you think Apple introduces a new iPhone each year or two. We lose sight sometimes of how important our brands and people are to those not inside the walls of our offices. We forget that whether a client spends ten thousand or ten million dollars per year with our company, they still like to be entertained. When you allow business people to feel the excitement associated with your brand’s upcoming events, see the presentations on a screen, and hear from and interact with the stars involved in it, you make them feel more special. I think you stand a better chance of closing deals and building stronger relationships that way.

Given that many local clusters have relationships with hotels, theaters, teams, restaurants, etc. there’s no reason you can’t find a central location, and put together an advertiser appreciation day that makes partners feel valued. You don’t have to rent out Pier 36 like Disney or secure the field at a baseball stadium to make a strong impression. We show listeners they’re valued regularly by giving away tickets, cash, fan appreciation parties, etc. and guess what, it works! Yes there are expenses involved putting on events, and no manager wants to hear about spending money without feeling confident they’ll generate a return on investment. That said, taking calculated risks is essential to growing a business. Every day that goes by where you operate with a ‘relying on the past’ mindset, and refuse to invest in growth opportunities, is one that leaves open the door for others to make sure your future is less promising.

There are likely a few examples of groups doing a smaller scaled version of what I’m suggesting. If you’re doing this already, I’d love to hear about it. Hit me up through email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com. By and large though, I don’t see a lot of must-see, must-discuss events like this created that lead to a surplus of press, increased relationships, and most importantly, increased sales. Yet it can be done. Judging from some of the feedback I received yesterday talking to people in the room, it makes an impression, and it matters.

I don’t claim to know how many ad agency executives and buyers returned to the office from the Disney Upfront and reached out to sign new advertising deals with the company. What I am confident in is that Disney wouldn’t invest resources in creating this event nor would other national groups like NBC, FOX, CBS, WarnerMedia, etc. if they didn’t feel it was beneficial to their business. Rather than relying on ratings and revenue stories that serve our own interests, maybe we’d help ourselves more by allowing our partners and potential clients to experience what makes our brands special. It works with our listeners, and can work with advertisers too.

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