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Radio Ink Magazine February 13, 2017

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United States
Streamline Publishing
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14 Issues


access_time4 min.
how far could you take your station?

I Imagine for a moment that your transmitter went down for five days. How would you still make significant contact with your listeners to keep them engaged, to communicate with them, and to get them back once you got back on the air?You say it could never happen?Perhaps not, but sometimes the best plans do go wrong. Back in the 1970s, I was the PD of a station where this nightmare came true. Five full days off the air due to some tech issue that couldn’t be solved. Our transmitter was destroyed, and our backup was somehow destroyed as well.I felt totally helpless. Our team of air personalities went to work quickly on a visibility plan that included five full-page ads in the local paper. I don’t recall the copy,…

access_time4 min.
illuminate the listener

We’re circling an 11,000-degree fireball as it shoots through a limitless vacuum at 52 times the speed of a rifle bullet.If this dirt-covered rock we occupy were the size of a standard schoolroom globe covered with a coat of varnish, the thickness of that varnish would represent the air we breathe.Like it or not, we’re all in this together.All seven and a half billion of us.When it gets dark tonight, look up at the stars. You’ll be looking out the window of our spaceship.If we could aim our 11,000-degree fireball at the nearest of its siblings — those things we call the stars — it would take us 63,000 years to get there, even though we would be shooting through space at 52 times the speed of an 865 mph…

access_time4 min.
are we killing the golden goose?

Before we address the question of whether we’re killing the golden goose, let’s verify that broadcasting is still very much a “golden goose” compared to most other industries.According to the NYU Stern School of Business, we enjoy a 17.64 percent after-tax operating margin, well above the all-industry average of 9.51 percent. Our furniture and home furnishings advertisers struggle to surpass a 6.72 percent margin, automotive sales margins hover around 4.87 percent, and grocery and food industries eke out 2.78 percent margins. Even the lucrative aerospace/ defense industries only turn 10.57 percent margins. Our newspaper competitors struggle to reach 7.07 percent operating margins.So let’s agree: Our industry is still in its golden goose cycle. But we’re killing that goose by incurring debt to buy more geese than we can afford —…

access_time4 min.
how to keep local advertisers for life

The day I committed to asking for local direct annual contracts was the beginning of my road to becoming the top biller in my market. And I learned how to do that by paying attention to the small advertising agencies that were stealing my clients. These agency principals were not creative geniuses by any means. But they were better at asking for and getting long-term contracts than the media salespeople. That was a fact back then, and it’s still a fact today.Here’s how to get started. Use a headline to get an appointment. “Hi, my name is Paul, and I just wanted to see if we could meet and talk about your advertising” just wasn’t working for me. So I’d say things like, “Hello, we noticed a huge mistake that…

access_time4 min.
radio: the original social medium

Sales managers, raise your hands: How many of you are looking at your downtrodden, well-meaning, well-trained salespeople who return from a day on the battlefield, scarred by the big objection? Your clients are increasingly moving their money out of radio and onto the Internet — with more and more of it going to (yes) social media. Your clients have drunk the Kool-Aid. They’re so scared not to be there that they’ve even committed a chunk of their budget to hire a specialist — a social media expert. What to do?Well, even though you sharpened your spears and arrows (and your antenna), you may still be missing the mark. You need to tell your clients that everything they love about the Internet (and social media), you have right in that little…

access_time3 min.
hire the best sellers every time

spike@spikesantee.comIn 2003, Michael Lewis released the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.The central premise of Moneyball is that the collective wisdom of baseball insiders (including players, managers, coaches, scouts, and the front office) over the past century has been subjective and often flawed. Lewis describes how Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s introduced a more sophisticated analysis of baseball statistics. By using statistics instead of subjective opinion to pick players, the A’s could field a competitive team on a small budget — a team that had a 20-game winning streak in 2002, and made it to the playoffs. The real lesson of Moneyball is that decisionmaking is risky and expensive. Decisionmaking is often flawed by unrecognized bias that tricks us into thinking we’re right when we are…