with RCS

Third and final day from NAB

As the NAB Radio Show draws to a close, some final thoughts (well, quite a few actually) on the last day in Philadelphia with Keri Jones.

It was the Marconi awards last night. Ended up drinking and exchanging stories with Lee Cornell. I can’t be ar*ed with the US radio awards. They are so sacharinny. Group hugs and incidental music. I guess it would be just as dull to be parachuted into ours, to be fair. I don’t know is who. And that creates problems. When it is PC to applaud? I may have ended up clapping a winning morning show from Little Toss, Iowa whose whole schtick is being nasty about Muslims. Or worse, end up sitting with them. I wouldn’t want to be on a table with some extreme right talk show hosts. Done that before. Especially when I have a few beers in me and won’t be able to let comments pass. Best not go.


Glad I didn’t go. Some rather visible hangovers today. This will be a good one. The brilliant and inspiring Jim Taszarek is a very good listen and he is talking about “New, New business models”. He always has cool sales and marketing examples and, unlike some of the heavy-sales-pitch robots that are here, he’s funny and relatable.

He starts on getting the money in.

How do I get my invoice to the top of the stack? Red lettering? Movie tickets? No, Taz suggests a funny greeting card. Have a policy on collection skills and discount for early payment.

You should offer a sales and marketing solution. People are looking for hope and that’s what you should offer. A solution.

What are you trying to do, how much and by when. How can we help solve your problem. That’s what people want to know.

One problem is “managing to the middle” you have to have a one size fits all sales staff approach but there is a vast difference between an experienced 40 year old and a 20 year old newbie.

If you want to change your rates, this is how you work out your level and work out where you spend time prospecting business.

Your amount of billing last month divided by clients of air gives you the average invoice. This is what the market thinks you are worth for a month.

Clients think in months- that ties in with payroll and phone bill and other expenses. Don’t talk about spots. Recommended read- “Pink spoon marketing”- Free tastes mean big business- is a good book. It’s named after an ice cream store than gives you tasters on pink spoons.

A deli in Milwaukee has ads and coupons on the tray liner, the paper in your meal tray. Why don’t radio stations offer specials ahead of time?

New Business models—home remodeling is up as a ad genre. Health and fitness, car maintenance, solar companies all up. There are new businesses on the market because of the recession.

The humanization of pets is big now. Pet accessories now at the checkout at Old Navy. There’s money there. How do we drill down to a new category?
Subscribe to the magazines that deal with the category- furniture is big- get American Furniture Magazine and talk BUSINESS with the would-be advertiser. For every account in the new category that sells and runs in the next few days you offer the exec TRIPLE commission. It may sound crazy but the payout will come as the business goes on.

A Call letter website – we are seeing the value of y102.com. Will people go there to buy a car?

Toastedrav.com is a Bonneville group station. It is named after the St Louise dish of deep fried ravioli (oh my god) All the stations send their traffic there. They have made a community and portal site with content written by air personalities

Discovernorthiowa.com is another site with excellent selling methodology. It has a fake/online mall. They looked at the big categories on the station, the top 6.

The station did well in health and wellness ads and worked out that the clients must be doing ok and listeners would be interested. So they created the big 6,they worked out their average invoice, $300, and charged that.

Clients say “how much traffic do you get” your answer – “we have just 6, do you want one”. Don’t sell on numbers. Don’t get into being a commodity based on numbers. Sell on results. We need to get control back, we do what we can to drive that number up. Drive Scarcity into the offer. It is successful as it is a limited supply. 1 drops out, the next is $350. And when people wont get higher that’s the top end.

Radio’s best advantage is our relationship and we should offer a multi platform solution. If clients don’t like the radio station, you can set up a different company and hive it off. Radio becomes a promotional asset.

Every quarter they give away a prize for one person in the advantage club. Radio started selling “spots” in 1928. We need a new way. In the 60s they talked of Marketing myopia. The railroaders were the strong force for commerce- the major transportation means. Then came the plane and the interstates. The railroads went down because they thought they were in the railroad business. Theu should have thought transportation. Mobile phones- are they in the buy music business? Camera business.

Shows slide of a low energy Philips bulb. Are they selling lightbulbs? No, they are selling your membership of the Green movement and meeting aspirations to be part of it.

Mediaone in Salt Lake City- an estate agent site is owned by the Desert News and the Salt Lake City Tribune. They get $2000 to advertise a home and get more than advertising. SO they are more about estate agency that papers.

We will reduce the need to sell local spots. Galaxy in Syracuse is making 40 per cent of its revenue from events. “The taste of Syracuse” website was bought by the radio station. He bought a barbeque and a concert series. He has concession income, parking income. If you have the venue, radio will drive people there. He has the overheads and liability but has put it into a separate company.

Buy some businesses and promote them to death- like print shops franchises.

Use listeners as a revenue stream- Taz gives examples of a station that buys job lot tires from a tier store at ½ price and sells them at 2/3 price from the dealer and shares the difference.

Prize Closet Clearout is a software programme where a client owing money gives you a product in lieu and you auction it off.

How do you stay motivated?

Find people like you grandkids- who like you. They think you are cool as you are and fun to be with. If you have negative people they are trying to get your family. If they bring you down, you can’t sell, you cant hit targets, your income falls and your family is affected. Think on that!

Excellent session. I had a good chat with Jim at a German Radio convention in Nuremburg where I was sharing some stories about the sitcom-that-is-my-life-that-is-radio-scilly. He told me to write a book. I blog and Facebook it all now. And he’s right. People, for some bizarre reason find what goes on in a 1,600 adults market on a rock interesting- possibly in clinical terms.

Holland Cooke is a good talk and speech consultant. Had a quick natter with him. I’m going to record a piece for our travel show with him as he is also a guest house proprietor on a small island, similar to Scilly, in Rhode Island. I’m interested in similarities and some content. Always on duty.

[b]11.15am Friday[/b]

Now, How to make money in the Digital Gold Rush.

Neal Schore president of Triton is moderating. People say they will be the new Clear Channel. They are buying all the content and syndication providers. The rumour mill says that an operator doing that would be able to say to the Cokes and Pepsi’s “don’t talk to those station, talk to us”. There is nothing concrete to suggest that this is their plan. Of course.

Also Brian Benedict- President Katz 360
Bill Freund- VP Triton
Patrick Reynolds- CMO, Ando Media
Eric Ronning- Target spot.

Lots of suits milling about at the back of the room. They are videoing.

Sadly, all speakers have rather monotonous voices. Getting bored. People talking but saying nothing. A station, somewhere, has hired a social networking director. I think one of our former staff members could have taken that title. Judging by the amount of time he spent on Facebook.

They suggest a loyalty club or email marketing. What other sessions are on now. This is dull.

There’s one call Building an audience with Facebook. They are missing a trick. They should diversify into products. Think of the free airtime they’d be getting from radio. Other session, radio stimulus package. How to boost radio stations in economic downturn.



Radio Stimulus Package:
Ed Christian- SAGA
John DEBella- WMGK
Bill Figenshu= Peak Broadcasting
John Parikhal- Joint Comms
Mark Ramsey- Mark Ramsey Media
Heidi Raphael- Greater media

Wow. What a difference 20 feet make, walked in on.

JP “Your worse nightmare will be driving to work with a sign saying “Pandora Philadelphia” coming soon. That would make me dry heave”

HR- we need flex and job share to keep great people on the team. We need to look at other businesses that “think out of the box”-like Jetblu (successful US airline and one which Ryanair has analyzed). We should reignite. Its starts at the top of the industry. Ben Franklin said “Well done is better than well said”.

Moral needs boosting. Companies that get it will succeed. The Greater Media chair helped an exec write a spot recently. They need more roll up the sleeves mentality. Ok, she’s doing a bit too much of a “I love my company’ speech now. We need to take it a step further than reaching out to Colleges. The NAB should have a school programme to catch them early on.

HR says we need more people for the future. This has been a common theme at this session. HR- these are exciting times for the industry. We wont allow pas circumstances direct the industry. “Lets not be a thermometer that measures the temperature, lets be a thermostat”

Larry Rosin from Edison Research is making the room laugh by saying the conference has been full of old men saying we want a digital strategy. Nine years ago the show was in San Francisco and was the best ever. It was full of internet company personnel and they had “a million plans to transform radio”. Radio seemed to say “phew glad that is over. We can go backto what we do best, building clusters and firing people”. He’s good. The room likes him.

He’s referring to yesterday’s group PD session where a big radio boss said there was still a filter for future talent through small markets. Today’s web savvy kids know how to use the tools and are doing so for fun. All the twittering in the world won’t solve the problems. It is exposed by the quote “ we need to have a digital future and new people, just don’t know how we can pay for it”.

The industry shoud ask for government cash and hire from the Harvard Lampoon and get creatives before they are stolen by Conan (NBC late show host) or 30 Rock (quirky NBC comedy). We are going back to the 70s in ideas. The people who made it in the 70s who hang around radio stations aged 14 and now senior execs. The radio recruitment strategy has been to see who walks in from school.

If a brilliant graduate walks in from college expecting $35k where would you put them. They won’t do overnights in Topeka (clearly their a%e end of nowhere) as they have no overnights there.

WMJK morning man- John DeBella (sporting a has a mighty fine Poirot meets Leatherman in Village People ‘tache)

What do we do in radio when money is tight. We don’t advertise. Despite telling clients to. He has asked anyone who has increased their marketing budget to raise hands. Nobody has. He wants radio to invest in itself. In 1985 he was in a meeting and was told by the PD to forget under 25s. They just wanted 25-54. Where are those kids now? Not as many using radio.

John’s son doesn’t even listen to radio. He uses his sat nav for traffic in L.A. How do we get them? Billboards and slogans wont work. FM radio took off as “we heard people who sounded like us and shared our concerns. They shared our lives”. I am not suggesting Scooter the intern should have a show. But put him on the HD channel. (us radio’s high def adds additional channels to the FM or AM signal, decoded with a kind of set top box. They can have, eventually 8 channels on each signal but most run up to 3. I’m told nobody listens, except an AM classical in Maine where you can see the benefits.)

John wants radio to grow. The HD channels may make some money if they were creative. He has been on air here since the 1970s and feels we should stay committed to the listener and to content.


He has 7 practical things about radio in 8 minutes. In management consulting-which he does- you need to fix the root cause. It is bullsh*t otherwise. Kill all czars. The Russians had it right. They wrecked Russia. That includes industry czars.

We tend to be lemmings. Don’t just take it.

1-Stop lying to yourselves. It’s the rehab programme first point. There has been no top down initiative in this industry. The top people don’t get it. You cannot take true action until you are honest. The industry has problems.

He sees redundant jocks called Shotgun and Catfish, coming to him for help as they cannot find work under their real names. Stop lying. It’s over. Find what you are good are. Create a mental outcome of what you want to create. What do you want it to look like when you get there?

Create a mental pic and share it with everyone. You can make a difference in some place of your organization. Then ask what you have to change when you get there.

There’s an old tool called the 90 days. You sit down and ask everyone what we need to do in 90 days. If someone starts new in a job, you give them 2x 90 days-back to back. Demand that the person does it.

Practise listenomics. Listen to customers. Go to Gomediafx.com- see the book on chaos. Lego did a revolutionary thing and got fans into the plant, to the boardroom. They revitalized. Proctor and Gamble is doing it with 250,000 people. It is powerful. Don’t try and control them.

You have to empower people. The customer really HAS to be king. Listen to them as they are NOT listening to you.

LOCAL is not important. Immediate is. People can get local online. Immediate is what is on peoples’ minds. Why do you pay people to say banal stuff- “the best variety so you can listen longer”. Local – you cannot win on it, you can on immediate.

Litmus test. Write a speech to sell a 20 year old on working in radio. Find one. And take the speech and pitch them. After the silence and or laughter ask them what we have to change to get them to work in radio. You have to do it yourself.

Fred Jacobs now. I want him to talk rubbish so I can use the by-line Jacobs crackers. Never mind. There are some basic ideas we need to think about.

We need to stop looking back at the good old days. He has stopped attending the get togethers. It isn’t what it used to be.

It needs rebooting. “I believe the windshield (windscreen) is bigger than the rear view mirror”.

My second act is to stop slogans and come up with solutions.

Who are we marketing to? He doesn’t like the current NAB “radio, heard here”.

Let’s get back to basics and serve advertisiers and listeners.

The US industry needs a strategic swot analysis to identify core strengths and sttretegy. We do digital stuff, but what is the strategy. We are very linear- it is radio v radio- CBS V clear channel. Share is just that, the percentage of those listening at any time.

Tehre is a modernized veriosn of the 7 dirty words for radio. ”Where else are they going to go” was a bad boss mantra. Jacobs says they have choices. Steve Jobs is a competitor . We are facing the best in the world. We should go outside for help. We have been inside radio too long. Trying to fix a plane when flying at 35,000.

Netflix offered $1m to anyone who could find better ideas for their movie recommendation system. The CEO said they were getting PHD thought for dollars. What are the future plans? They are not auditorium tests. Making ads with 1 person making ads for 6 stations is not something that brings quality. Tried to call a station? You usually get the request line or no answer?

What other business does that?

We’re being programmed as if it was 1985 and we sound the same. The reps do the same sales job. We let our PPM fears overwhelm a true sense of what we should do. We should be encouraging risk taking. We really need to refocus energies on personality development.

Whether you think Glenn Covell Beck (right wing and prone to tears or emotion) is a genius or a klutz he is on the cover of Time. They don’t feature Krock’s green day. It is personalities that people want to see. We have no successful plan. We have sold off our talents pool of late night .

We should stop voictracking. TV gets this .That is why TV starts the late night guys at a late slot.

The NAB should have conference in NYC or L.A. That is where the money is.

(Missed the previous day? Click here.

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