Category Archives: Management

Is Life Keeping You from Getting What You Want?

Tim Moore

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Tim Moore,
Managing Partner
Audience Development Group

Tim Moore will be speaking at the Great Lakes Media Show, March 5-6, 2019 in Lansing.  For more information and to register, click here.

Someone said, when 99 percent of your life is work, you’re either really lousy at your profession, or you’re totally unbalanced with the rest of your life; and neither is something to be proud of.

A couple of questions: first, early-on did you experience a professional failure? If so, what did that contribute to success later in your life? While no one should dwell on disappointment, if you think back to a “favorite failure,” what can you take from it? There is a prevailing misconception that a failure can define us. Well, there are “failures” and then there are failures. There’s a big difference between flunking out of business school and failing in a parental relationship. In radio, sometimes a market manager falls short when up against a rival with superior resources. Yet what we take away from a disappointment is as valuable as having won on our first toss, though too few among us are programmed to think that way.

There are only two types of human beings engaged in any professional environment; Work Processors and Work Creators. They approach life very differently and neither should be criticized. A Work Processor is necessary; important to an organization, and defines their effectiveness through daily tasks and their ability to complete them. The Processor sees their day or week in measured units, viewing their job as a means to an end: “If I do this well for the next fifteen years, I’ll earn enough to retire and live in Myrtle Beach.” 75% of the Processor’s emotional satisfaction comes from off-the-job experiences. This doesn’t suggest a lack of motivation or dedication; it’s simply a different set of focus. Without consistent performers who fit the “processor” definition, there is no company.

Work Creators flip the criteria. It’s important to stop action, take inventory, and try to be introspective. Do the following describe your place in the organization? Work Creators are equally important to their company, defining their role as an incubator for concepts and plans. “Creators” often spark flames of aggressive growth and change; “good enough” is never good enough. They don’t view their position as a means-to-an-end; instead they see what they contribute as an end in itself. 75% of the Creator’s satisfaction comes from the job itself. When asked, a Creator usually has his or her short-list of favorite failures, though they seldom attach regret or dwell on disappointment; instead saying something like, “So I learned to turn it inside-out and the next version exceeded my wildest expectation!”

Processor or Creator, it matters not. The entire spectrum of life is within us. We have a lot of power to change something through processing or by creating. We don’t need a million dollars, or a zillion Facebook followers!

A great organization knows its rhythm, knows its balance, while collecting inspired people who recognize that an exceptional company believes people are the future for processing and creating.

In broadcasting like any other strategically charged field, turnover is the enemy of success. And sometimes, it takes just one catastrophic failure to redirect us to a life-change that will make all the difference.

Tim Moore is Managing Partner of Audience Development Group, based in Grand Rapids, MI and Naples, FL.  Moore thrives on innovating, and the road not taken. At 29, he became Vice President for the TM Companies (Dallas), and shortly thereafter, was awarded executive VP stripes, overseeing both TM Productions and TM Programming for Roy Disney’s parent ownership, Shamrock Broadcasting.

From there Moore began buying radio stations at age 33. Building formats from the ground-up, each station became ratings and revenue success stories. In the mid 90’s he formally established Audience Development Group with colleague Alan Mason, resurrecting a name he and Jon Coleman had intended for a research company, while colleagues at TM.

With consolidation, Audience Development Group’s business plan calling for a “Mayo Clinic” cluster-approach with expertise in multiple formats resulted in a highly successful national reputation, strategically positioned to provide cluster guidance for multiple formats in markets of all sizes.

In 2004, Moore’s book The Motivator, a collection of leadership essays was widely read and endorsed by the Radio Advertising Bureau. He also authors the firm’s weekly E-Column Midweek Motivator, distributed to thousands of media readers each week.

Tim lives in Naples, Florida, travels coast to coast, and has addressed the NAB, RAB, Canadian Broadcasters, Conclave and countless state associations. He holds a degree in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts from CMU, and is a U.S. Navy veteran.

Something in the Air

Tim Moore

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Tim Moore,
Managing Partner
Audience Development Group

“The radio business is a cruel and shallow trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Reading with interest a late week e-mail criticizing a national media company, there was that sense again. Our business has forged ever deeper into a winding tunnel of change; the kind those visionary entrepreneurs like Storz, McLendon, Fairbanks or Mays who came before us could not have imagined. What began as escapist entertainment for generations of Americans has ultimately become an asset (or liability) on the books of some national companies that might have become huge successes had their grand blueprint succeeded. Rumors fly, innuendo abounds, sell-offs are in play.

Segments of radio grope in the darkness; a business for sale, praying it doesn’t find a buyer. Yet a new sun is waiting, just beyond the dawn. Highly capable ownerships are re-tooling while others are forming-up to take their place in the emerging void brought about by bad directions and poor designs. As we turn into the final lap of the year about to melt into the next, here for your review, Audience Development Group’s “Best Practices Inventory.”

ADG’s Salient Seven: rate your group’s alignment with the following, scale of 1 to 5:

____High Values Awareness

Company vision and standards are regularly communicated and graded to build awareness throughout your group, regardless of its size and scope.

____High Values Accountability

Results are the name of the game, but they’re not achieved in a vacuum. Evaluate your people on standards in parallel with results; show little-tolerance for intentional violations.

____Leadership By Example

The only way you can expect management to work is through being skillfully equipped to instill West Point’s brilliant definition of leadership… simply stated, “Follow me.”

____Continuity Of Words & Deeds

Radio has become famous for its contradictory cluster-communication of mixed messages and conflicting objectives. No organization can eclipse competitors if its people are inherently confused about the plan they’re following. Worse, some don’t have a plan.

_____Attention to Perception-Management

Only highly evolved companies and their leadership are aware of the impact of the company’s attitude and sense-of-self. This is not about manipulating the truth, instead unceasing awareness of the values within which your people either succeed or fail.

_____Positive Change by Increments

No negative situation was ever completely reversed in 24 hours or 24 months. In current times our attentions should be mono-focused on tangible improvements every day, as opposed to Hail Mary passes based on quick-fix voodoo or the promotion-of-the-month.

_____Radio is supposed to be all about belief in advertising… except in its own case. How’s yours?

It’s time to change who we are and what we believe we deserve. The future belongs to better leaders and more motivated teammates with stronger belief. Some are acting on it. Others never will.

Tim Moore will be speaking at the Great Lakes Media Show, March 5-6, 2019 in Lansing.  For more information and to register, click here.

Tim Moore is Managing Partner of Audience Development Group, based in Grand Rapids, MI and Naples, FL.  Moore thrives on innovating, and the road not taken. At 29, he became Vice President for the TM Companies (Dallas), and shortly thereafter, was awarded executive VP stripes, overseeing both TM Productions and TM Programming for Roy Disney’s parent ownership, Shamrock Broadcasting.

From there Moore began buying radio stations at age 33. Building formats from the ground-up, each station became ratings and revenue success stories. In the mid 90’s he formally established Audience Development Group with colleague Alan Mason, resurrecting a name he and Jon Coleman had intended for a research company, while colleagues at TM.

With consolidation, Audience Development Group’s business plan calling for a “Mayo Clinic” cluster-approach with expertise in multiple formats resulted in a highly successful national reputation, strategically positioned to provide cluster guidance for multiple formats in markets of all sizes.

In 2004, Moore’s book The Motivator, a collection of leadership essays was widely read and endorsed by the Radio Advertising Bureau. He also authors the firm’s weekly E-Column Midweek Motivator, distributed to thousands of media readers each week.

Tim lives in Naples, Florida, travels coast to coast, and has addressed the NAB, RAB, Canadian Broadcasters, Conclave and countless state associations. He holds a degree in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts from CMU, and is a U.S. Navy veteran.

 

 

Repeat Customers Are Key to Profitability

Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

The radio advertising business is all about repeat customers. Radio’s power is its ability to deliver both reach (the number of people who will hear your advertisement) as well as frequency (the number of times a listener will hear the same advertisement). Radio, for all of my life has been the medium for delivering the best frequency for an advertiser, but in today’s world, it now is also the best for delivering reach too.

Relationships

It all starts with building relationships with your advertisers. People do business with people they know and like.

When I started out in radio sales, my first goal was to start making friends with each business person I called on. I used to say to myself, “If you can’t make a sale, make a friend.”

Advertising is an Investment

The problem in today’s fast-paced world is everyone wants things to happen immediately. Patience is at an all-time low.

When you’re dealing with people and human nature, things move at their own pace.

Farmers know when they plant a crop, they won’t be going out the next day to harvest it. Likewise, when you put an advertiser’s message on the radio, it will take time to grow in the mind of the consumer. Done correctly, a business can be harvesting sales 52-weeks a year.

Great Radio Ads

Great radio advertising can benefit the listeners of your radio station in addition to growing the business of your advertisers. Great ads speak about the customer’s wants, needs and desires.

Getting Referrals

Make money for your advertisers and they will be happy to refer you to other local business people who could benefit from your radio station’s audience. And unlike cold-calling (knocking on doors of people you don’t know), a referral is like getting a foot-in-the-door. It’s golden.

Fair Prices & Excellent Service

Studies have shown you don’t have to have the lowest price to attract repeat business, fair prices will do.

Combine fair prices with excellent service and you have a winning combination.

Your goal as a radio sales person should be to become a sustaining resource for your customers. A person who they call first when they need help with their advertising or promotions. A person they trust.

You Can’t Do It Alone

Everyone in your radio station that comes in contact with your listeners and advertisers impacts the future relationship your station will have with each of them. Everyone needs to be engaged in delighting your listeners and your advertisers.

It takes a team effort to be successful.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.

What to Do When What You’ve Always Done Doesn’t Work Anymore

Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

There’s no doubt about it. We live in challenging times.

The big word of the day is “disruption.”

We read every day about how some new shiny toy is the latest radio “disruptor.”

But is that really what’s happening?

Dematurity

The radio broadcasting industry may be dealing with something bigger; dematurity. “Dematurity is what happens to an established industry when multiple companies adopt a host of small innovations in a relatively short period of time,” says John Sviokla. The term was coined back in the 1980s by Harvard Business School professors William Abernathy and Kim Clark.

Radio’s Dematurity

Think about this phenomenon as it applies to radio.

The internet introduced the concept of streaming radio. Two companies introduced nationwide radio coverage from satellites above America. The smartphone provided an opportunity for Pandora to stream to cellphones. Podcasters followed. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and others would compete for a smartphone owner’s attention on these same devices. Meanwhile, on the home front, Amazon developed its Echo voice activated device, as Google, Microsoft, and Apple followed with their own smart speakers. Facebook, not to be left out, says it will introduce its own smart speaker this coming July.

Each move by these technology companies might have seemed trivial when announced, but when looked at in total, they represent a crescendo of mini-disruptions.

The Currency of People’s Time

While most will focus on the shiny new innovation, what we’re really seeing is how people spend the most valuable currency in their lives, their time.

For broadcasters, the challenge is providing people with a listening experience worth a person giving us their time.

Government Regulations

Another factor that impacts business is government regulations. While radio broadcasting has been heavily regulated since the birth of commercial radio in the 1920s, we compete against online and satellite audio providers that are not.

Government regulations have enormous impact on the type of competition and the intensity it brings in your market.

Death & Taxes

Benjamin Franklin wrote in a 1789 letter that “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be certain, except death and taxes.” In business, you probably can add dematurity. There is not a business that won’t be impacted by it, if it’s not already.

Ask the Right Questions

John Sviokla poses these questions for trying to get a handle on how to build value and sustain value:

  • What makes for efficient scale?
  • Who is the competition?
  • Who are the customers?
  • What do the customers want?
  • Who owns what?
  • Where is the risk?

Sviokla, in his book, The Self-Made Billionaire Effect, says more than 80 percent of the self-made billionaires he’s profiled made their money by reinvigorating a mature industry. “They either introduced a product tuned to new consumer habits, changed the technologies of production, adopted new ideas from another industry, adapted to new regulation, changed the distribution system, or made some combination of those moves,” says Sviokla.

While dematurity is inevitable for all businesses, brainstorming what change is happening, and making changes to take advantage of it, is the difference between crisis and opportunity.

“Change will lead to insight far more often than insight will lead to change.”  -Milton H. Erickson

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.

What’s Changed in 98 Years?

Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

In the year 2020, commercial radio will celebrate its 100th birthday. Hopefully, by then, America’s two largest broadcasters will be out of bankruptcy. But before we light the candles and begin the celebration we need to face reality. Global ad spending, according to Zenith (see graph here) will see newspapers, magazines, radio, cinema and outdoor all fighting to be the tallest ad-supported midget. TV will be marginally growing, but the internet will be the big winner; raking in more advertising revenue than, print, radio, cinema and outdoor combined. That’s sobering news.

It’s a Digital Future

Last week, I shared with you a “Readers Digest” version of a webinar I attended hosted by Kepios’ Simon Kemp. If you missed it, you can read it HERE.

The essence of where things are headed will be influenced by the “next billion” people coming online. The “FLAAG” companies, Facebook-LinkedIn-Amazon-Apple-Google, are already in the process of having all of their interfaces, working on all devices, in the same way on a global basis. With a million new users a day joining the internet, mostly from underdeveloped countries, everything will be designed for the lowest common denominator.

Radio, Then vs. Now

Bob Shannon’s book “Turn It Up! – American Radio Tales 1946-1996” is a fascinating read. The legends of the radio industry share their own personal radio adventure as well as give their view on how radio is today. (Note: “today” being the mid-nineties when the book was being written.)

Chuck Dunaway said, “The formats haven’t changed in all these years – it’s just the music that changes.” “I still hear the stop sets falling in the same places and we’re still playing and programming to Arbitron (now Nielsen Audio), and not to the listener.”

Bill Figenshu noted that “when Wall Street started to pay attention to radio, it became more of a financial play and the corporations were turned over to the financial folks, who didn’t understand the value of local content. As a consequence, many radio stations, particularly those owned by large groups, sought to cut costs and localism, and being part of a community became a luxury; it didn’t happen everywhere, but it happened in lots of town and cities. It hasn’t been a good thing for radio or its listeners.”

That pretty much sums it up. Even after another decade since the book was written.

Radio hasn’t really changed but the world it operates in, has.

Time Spent with Ad-Supported Media

On Tom Taylor’s NOW, Jerry Lee is sharing his new book called “How to Grow Your Revenue More Than 20% by 2020.” In a recent headline, Jerry wrote:

“In Radio, we have two major problems. First, we are running far too many commercials for today’s audiences. Second, the commercials are awful. Our listeners can’t skip through the commercials. If they want to listen to their favorite station, they have to endure the seemingly endless commercial break or switch to another station that isn’t playing commercials at that moment.”

Sadly, the reality may be worse.  PQ Media released a graph (here) showing the time spent with media that is ad-supported is going down while the time spent with consumer supported media is going up. This is even more worrisome when you realize that total time spent with media has been steadily increasing every year since 2011 and is projected to continue increasing through 2021.

Joe Mandese says that “advertising is falling to the lowest share of time spent with media ever.”

The Speed of Adoption of New Technology

This graph shows how our world of technology adoption has picked up speed with each new innovation. But maybe even more important are the words Marshall McLuhan said about “the medium is the message.” McLuhan meant “that the form of a medium embeds itself in any message it would transmit or covey, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.” McLuhan was prophetic in realizing how the very medium itself can impact society, by not only the content it delivers but also by the characteristics of the medium itself.

You probably can come up with lots of examples yourself that demonstrate this observation by just comparing how newspapers, radio, TV, Facebook and Twitter, delivering the same content, influence how it’s received.

Radio’s Future

The radio I grew up in was not what’s commonly referred to as “The Golden Age of Radio.” That was the period of time before TV. I grew up in radio’s “2nd Golden Age,” one of a music based, youth-oriented radio. Radio that appealed to my emotions.

Radio that’s winning today, like Public Radio/NPR and Christian Radio, are touching people emotionally and appealing to things their listeners are passionate about.

Ignore people’s passion and emotion, and your radio station will die on the growing pile of media clutter.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.

Sales Motivators

Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

This week, I thought it might be fun to share some of the sales motivators I’ve used over the years. I hope you enjoy them and find some inspiration from reading them.

      • Eighty percent of success in life is showing up. -Woody Allen
      • Fail your way to success…

        • Deal with rejection: You’re not judged by the number of times you fail, but by the number of times you succeed. However, the number of times you succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times you can fail and keep on trying!
      • SW, SW, SW. Next!
        • Some people get hung up on rejection, while others are fueled by it. Some Will, Some Won’t, So What? Now move on!
      • Life is made up of small pleasures.
        • Happiness is made up of those tiny successes, the big ones come too infrequently. If you don’t have all of those zillions of tiny successes, the big ones don’t mean anything. -Norman Lear
    • Babe Ruth hit 714 Home Runs. He also struck out 1,330 times.
    • What Is Hustle?
      • Hustle is doing something that everyone is absolutely certain can’t be done
      • Hustle is getting the order because you got their first, or stayed with it after everyone else gave up
      • Hustle is shoe leather and elbow grease and sweat and missing lunch
      • Hustle is getting prospects to say “yes” after they’ve said “no” twenty times
      • Hustle is doing more unto a customer than the other guy is doing unto him
      • Hustle is believing in yourself and the business you’re in
      • Hustle is the sheer joy of winning
      • Hustle is being the sorest loser in town
      • Hustle is hating to take a vacation because you might miss a piece of the action
      • Hustle is heaven if you’re a hustler
      • Hustle is hell if you’re not
    • Listen More and Sell More

      • As a salesperson, you probably spend as much as half your time listening. But scientific tests show that most people listen at an efficiency level of only about 25%. Here are five guidelines for effective listening that should help you get more out of what your customer is saying:
        1. Find areas of interest, even in dry subjects. Listen to every subject for useful information.
        2. Listen for ideas, not just facts.
        3. Hold your fire. Don’t judge what a person has said until you completely understand it.
        4. Fight distractions. Concentrate. Learn to tolerate a speaker’s bad habits.
        5. Listen to difficult, heavy material as an exercise for your mind.
  • Don’t Quit

Is that what you want to do?

Quit?

Anybody can do that.

Takes no talent.

Takes no guts.

It’s exactly what your adversaries hope you will do.

Get your facts straight.

Know what you’re talking about.

And keep going.

In the 1948 Presidential election, the nation’s leading political reporters all predicted that Harry Truman would lose.

He won.

Winston Churchill said, “Never give in. Never. Never.”

Sir Winston stuck his chin out and wouldn’t quit.

Try sticking out your chin.

Don’t give up.

Ever.

  • NOTICE: If you ever want to sell your product to our company, be sure your product is accompanied by a plan, which will so help our business that we will be more anxious to buy than you are to sell. -D.W.Beverage, Jr. and Associates

Just some of the thoughts that inspired me when I started out in radio sales.

Thoughts that I also shared as I moved up to sales manager, station manager, general manager and market manager.

Thoughts I would share with my students in my broadcast sales classes too.

Got a quote or story that has inspired you?

Please share it in the comments section.

Thank You for helping me to pay-it-forward to the next generation.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.

Management & Sales Sessions at 2018 GLMS

Here’s a quick summary of the Management and Sales Sessions at this year’s Great Lakes Media Show, March 6-7 in Lansing.  Full descriptions can be found on the schedule here.

Next Generation Selling: Keys to Positioning a Brand or Service with the Millennial Buyer
Wednesday, March 7 10:10 – 11:00 a.m.
Presented by Ryan Jenkins, Next Generation Speaker

Next Generation Leadership: Proven Strategies to Engage Millennials and a Multi-Generational Workforce
Wednesday, March 7 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Presented by Ryan Jenkins, Next Generation Speaker

2 Weekly Meetings & 3 Magical Questions
Wednesday, March 7 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Presented by Matt Burgoyne, Rumple

Generation Z: Recruit, Lead and Sell to Today’s Youngest Generation
Wednesday, March 7 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Presented by Ryan Jenkins, Next Generation Speaker

Enhancing Digital Sales
Wednesday, March 7 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Presented by Speed Marriott, P1 Learning

Elevate the POWER of Broadcast AND Digital
Wednesday, March 7 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Presented by Kelly Abcarian, Nielsen

Radio Broadcasters and the Digital Dashboard
Wednesday, March 7 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Presented by David Layer, National Association of Broadcasters

And don’t forget the Exhibit Hall is open for a preview on Tuesday from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. and again all day Wednesday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m!

My First Sale

Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

I began my broadcasting career as a disc jockey when I entered the 10th grade in high school. Broadcasting would pay for my college undergraduate and graduate degrees. Anyone who knew me from the outset would have told you I was a real radio guy. I thought I knew it all.

That is, until I decided that if I were to ever to be promoted to the position of general manager, I would need to have proven myself in the area of sales.

Account Executive

The way I would become an account executive happened when I was approached by a general manager, at one of our competitors, who wanted to hire me to come work for him as his program director/operations manager; the same position I currently held. I thanked him for the offer but said my goal was to become a general manager and I wanted my next move to be in sales.

“Seriously?” he asked astonishingly. “Let me get back to you on that,” and the phone call ended.

Two weeks later, he called back and said, “I’ve got your sales job. Let’s talk.”

The offer to become a radio account executive would pay me the same money I was currently paid as a program director/operations manager as a salary with 10% more for each sale I made. I was stunned and wondered why I had not made this move sooner. I took the job.

Front & Back of the Building

From my earliest days in radio, I learned there were two parts to a radio station building. The front half and the back half.

The front had all the executives and sales people. The back had the DJs, production people and engineering. Both ends seemed to always get a rug burn when they met in the middle.

My First Week in Sales

When I was hired for my new sales position, I was told I would be given an active list of advertisers. That might have been the case, but my current employer wanted me to give them two weeks’ notice before leaving – unusual in broadcasting when a person is crossing the street to a competitor – and I did, which meant by the time I arrived at my new station, the active advertisers had now fallen in love with other account executives who had been asked to babysit those accounts until my arrival.

So, my first day in sales would see my list of active advertisers whittled down to three and on my first morning all three of those called in to cancel their advertising. But I was still excited to be in advertising and could not wait to hit the streets.

My boss told me at the outset, that since I would be using a lot of gas for my car driving around to prospect for new advertisers, I could sell a gas trade to off-set this expense. It didn’t take a lot of math skills to realize that such a sale would result in 100% commission to me.

All that first week, the only businesses I called on were gas stations.

I heard a lot of “NOs.”

Until Friday around noontime, I called on a gas station owner who was eating his lunch. He said if I would come back after he finished eating he’d listen to me. I did. He liked the plan I proposed and I signed my first sale, a gas trade.

Friday Afternoon at the Sales Office

At the end of a week, sales people are usually back in the sales office, taking care of orders and planning out the coming week before going home for the weekend. They also are sharing stories of their week in sales.

“So, how did your first week go in sales?” someone asked me. “Did you sell anything?” inquired another.

Yes, I responded. I sold a gas trade.

The room went deathly silent.

“You sold a gas trade?” they asked, almost in unison.

“Yes, yes I did.” I replied. “Don’t each of you have a gas trade?” I asked.

Don’t Tell Me It Can’t Be Done, Until I’ve Done It

It was at that moment I learned I was now the only sales person in that radio station that had a gas trade. And the reason was simple. They all knew what I didn’t. They all knew gas stations didn’t trade gas for advertising, but I didn’t know that.

Pam Lontos often says in her sales training, “Don’t tell me I can’t do something, until after I’ve done it.”

I was sure glad that I hadn’t been told that gas stations didn’t trade advertising for gas at the outset or I might never have had that gas trade for the entire time I was in sales and sales management at that radio station.

The Lesson Learned

The lesson I would learn from my first sale was not to let others tell me what I could or could not accomplish. If I was going to be successful, I would need to set my own goals, make my plan and work my plan.

I became a general manager at the age of 30. That job morphed into a market manager as the radio industry began consolidation.

My next goal was to use my college education in teaching to land a job as a broadcast professor at a university. That happened in 2010 when I joined the faculty of The School of Journalism & Broadcasting at WKU.

In 2014, I began this mentorship blog with the goal of paying-it-forward to others.

Throughout my life, so many people have been there for me, openly sharing their knowledge, wisdom and help to further my career.

That’s why I work every day to lead and mentor others in finding their own success in broadcasting.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouths Are

Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

Last week, I wrote about the power of the human voice. Each of us who decided to make radio a career was influenced by the voices we heard coming through our radio speaker.

Zenith Radio

My first radio, a pocket Zenith Royal 50 transistor, was purchased at Sammy Vincent’s Music Store on North Street in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. My first SONY reel-to-reel tape recorder would also come from Sammy Vincent’s.

Both of these wonderful electronic devices would be the foundation of my lifelong radio career.

Sammy Vincent’s was also the place to get a free copy of the latest WPTR-AM1540 Top 31 songs of the week.

Boom Boom Brannigan

WPTR had many famous voices travel through its 50,000-watt AM broadcast signal. Its most famous voice was that of Boom Boom Brannigan. You can hear an air check of Boom Boom from January 1974 here. The Albany Times Union wrote upon Boom Boom’s death in 2010 at the age of 82, “Boom Boom Brannigan, a pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll radio in the Capital Region was known for his energetic personality, sideburns and bright fashions. For decades, Brannigan was the voice of the local airwaves, a high-profile DJ who delivered the hits that defined the music of the baby-boom generation.”

Every market had their own Boom Boom.

For example, Boston had Arnie Woo Woo Ginsburg, New York City had Cousin Brucie and Los Angeles had The Real Don Steele.

Each were larger-than-life personalities that lived the part of being a radio star. Each were more important to their listeners than the hits they exposed them to.

Radio Stars

Bob Lawson, who worked with Brannigan at WPTR in 1964 put it this way, “They were the real stars in those days, and Boomer was the epitome of radio stardom.”

These legendary radio personalities caused so many baby boomers to get into the radio industry.

I had the opportunity to meet Boom Boom one Saturday afternoon when he was broadcasting from a little phone booth like studio in the transmitter room, next to the huge 50,000-watt transmitter. He was the consummate gentleman and further inspired this young broadcaster as he let me sit in with him during his broadcast that day.

70-20-10 Rule

Fresh off CES2018 many radio executives are talking about the latest shiny new things that are on the horizon and how they will impact radio. Everyone’s talking about how radio needs to innovate. The big question is how does the radio business manage its innovation resources.

In his book, Mapping Innovation, author Greg Satell cites the 70-20-10 Rule that is used by companies like Google to allocate resources.

70% of a company’s resources should be invested in sustaining improvements to existing products. Eric Schmidt, Google’s Chairman, said the 70-20-10 Rule insured that Google’s core business would always get the bulk of the resources.

20% of available resources should get invested in exploring adjacent opportunities.

The remaining 10% are for creating something entirely new. Something that most likely will crash and burn, so you want to be able to sustain this effort without it damaging your core business. What Satell said he learned about businesses that invested in basic exploration was they all eventually hit on something big.

Radio’s 70-20-10

What would you say radio’s 70-20-10 rule is? 70% goes to pay down the debt? I’m sure many come away with that impression from what they read in the trades. But not every broadcast company is in that predicament.

How about your radio company?

Consider this operating strategy: 70% of your resources should be invested in your people who create the radio you broadcast every day. 20% should be invested in the adjacent delivery pipelines, like streaming, NextRadio and voice activated devices. And 10% should be invested in building a new paradigm.

What’s happening in the 21st Century is the acceleration of change for all industries. Innosight predicts that about half of the S&P 500 will be replaced by 2026. Back in 1965, 33 years was the average tenure of a company on this stock exchange. By 1990, this narrowed to 20 years. By 2026, it’s forecast to drop to 14 years.

So, the gale force winds of change have never blown with more velocity.

Community & Companionship

What great local radio personalities each created in their markets was a sense of community and companionship for their listeners. That’s radio’s core business.

It’s where the bulk of your resources should be directed.

Put your money where your mouths are.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.

The Power of the Human Voice

dicktaylor
Dick Taylor

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

By: Dick Taylor,  CRMC/CDMC
DickTaylorBlog.com

I recently saw the latest Star Wars movie “The Last Jedi.” It was powerful in many ways, not the least of which was because it was the final film for actress Carrie Fisher, who was excellent.

In film, the way to connect with the theater goer is with close-ups of the faces of the actors. It’s powerful and we respond, as human beings, to another person’s face.

When radio was born, people could not see faces, and the connection radio listeners would make would be with people’s voices.

Radio People’s Memories

I belong to a bunch of radio groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. One of the things these groups have in common is a desire to have things be the way they used to be, like they were when they were growing up. (Spoiler Alert: Ain’t gonna happen)

The other thing that they share, is that the memories everyone has that are the most vivid about radio, are about the people’s voices they listened to.

What made their favorite radio station(s) so loved, were the personalities.

What Makes a Voice Attractive?

In the early days of radio, microphones and everything they were connected up to, to transmit the human voice, were by today’s standards, pretty crude. Men with deep, strong, resonating voices were preferred for traveling through the ether.

As technology improved, other voices entered.

Listeners would now find themselves attracted to people who sounded more like they sounded. Research shows that the reason apparently is because it makes us feel like we’re part of a certain social group.

“The voice is an amazingly flexible tool that we use to construct our identity,” says Dr. Molly Babel, a linguistics professor at the University of British Columbia.

Is a Pleasing Voice More Attractive than a Pleasing Face?

When we hear an appealing voice, our feelings of attraction are heightened. Attractive voices cause us to perceive those individuals with more pleasing personalities.

So, while the real emotion in movies is transmitted via close-ups of the face, on the radio it is the human voice.

So, which is more dominate? A face or a voice?

Turns out, researchers tell us, that “the effects of vocal attractiveness can actually be stronger than the effects of physical attractiveness when each dimension appears alone” (Zuckerman et al., 1991).

Alexa, Siri, Cortana

I’m sure the power of the human voice was not lost on Amazon, Apple or Microsoft as they developed their AI digital voice assistants.

My fiancé Susan gifted me an Echo Dot for Christmas. (I already have been using Siri on my iPhone.) The ease with which it sets up and you begin using it, is remarkable. It quickly becomes a member of the family.

When going to bed our first evening with Alexa in our home, Sue said “Alexa, Good Night.” And Alexa responded with “Good Night, Sweet Dreams.”

Sue came into the bed room walking a cloud beaming how real, how sweet, how comforting it made her feel.

And I knew exactly what she meant.

Anyone who has one of the devices will too.

Radio Voices

The power of the personalities on your airwaves are critical to your station’s future success in 2018. How do their voices make your listeners feel?

It can happen in many different ways.

Let me offer a couple of examples: It can be via stationality like the JACK format, (done very well in Nashville) or it can be like the voices and style cultivated by NPR.

It just doesn’t happen by accident.

It takes planning and continuous execution of the plan.

The Battle for Attention

In the end, every form of media is battling for attention.

And to paraphrase the lesson taught in “The Last Jedi,” radio needs to stop trying to defeat what it hates about the competition and save what it loves about radio.

Reprinted by permission.

Dick Taylor has been “Radio Guy” all his life and is a former professor of broadcasting at the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University (WKU) in Bowling Green, Kentucky and he’s currently seeking his next adventure.  Dick shares his thoughts on radio and media frequently at https://dicktaylorblog.com.