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Standing By Your Brand

Jason Barrett

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I was reading Richard Deitsch’s column on Sports Illustrated when I stumbled onto something that got my juices flowing. It was a response from Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski as told to Jason Smith on Fox Sports Radio about his approach on why he puts out information on draft night before the actual announcements are made on television.

wojWojnarowski said “Nobody allows me to do it, I’m going to do it. No one is going to tell me what to do. I’m not going to ever work at a place where I could be told [otherwise]. Listen, this is what it is. When I have news, I’m going to report it. I don’t care about ESPN’s television show, I could care less about it. The draft is a ceremony; the decision to draft a player has already been made. Should I sit around a wait for teams to send out press releases when they’ve traded for a player or signed a free agent? I’d be out of work. So I just look at the draft as an extension of free agency or the trade deadline. When I have the information and it’s accurate, that’s when I’m going to report it, whether or not they’ve had their ceremony where they announce it. I can’t even imagine not reporting news when you have it or being told by somebody. I don’t know how they do in the NFL, but come on, if you have news, you report it.”

Anyone who follows Wojnarowski on Twitter knows that he is hands down one of the best reporters in the sports business and his information on the NBA dwarfs his competitors. He clearly works hard to develop relationships and trust and gather information inside NBA circles that is accurate, and he’s built up a connection with his followers where they trust him.

From where I sit, I respect his view and approach and I think we need more of it in today’s media world. What Adrian is saying and doing is right, and as a consumer of content, fans appreciate this and want more of it which is why he has over one million followers despite not having the promotional power of the ESPN machine. Adrian’s main objective is to inform his audience and because he makes serving them his number one priority, they reward him by reading, posting, commenting and promoting his work. That’s the ultimate relationship between a content generator and a consumer of content.

goodellThe reason his words stand out to me are because I’ve watched our industry make a number of giant mistakes in dealing with professional sports franchises, leagues and athletes. For example, when multiple media outlets surrendered power to the NFL on draft night to not release draft information on Twitter, that was wrong. Not only did they cut their own reporters legs out from under them, but more importantly they failed to superserve their fans. If someone doesn’t want to know what’s happening, they’ll simply not follow along on Twitter and stick to watching the television show. But if they’re on Twitter during the NFL Draft, they’re there because they want to learn more information about what’s happening.

If a television network or radio company is going to partner with a team or league to air games on its channel, one of the first things that should be understood is that the media company can not and will not compromise its integrity to break news and deliver accurate information. Issuing policies to deny reporters the ability to do their jobs or sending down mandates to prevent personalities from talking candidly about their feelings on specific subjects that might not be comfortable, only creates a bigger divide and strains the relationship. We are in the business of entertaining and informing and nothing should compromise our ability to do that.

snyderSecondly, if a media outlet is going to pay large sums of money to carry these games and give up massive amounts of inventory, shouldn’t they have the right and the ability to decide what they do inside the remainder of their own programming? When did the league or team become the program director of the rest of the media company’s programming? They didn’t but because our business is reliant on delivering ad dollars and making budgets each month, those who are battling to keep our companies profitable on the business end, often don’t want to take on the challenge of dealing with a frustrated franchise owner and risk the possibility of losing a team’s rights or bruising the relationship. While I understand the trepidation, there are sometimes where you’ve got to defend the lifeblood of your company’s existence.

Somewhere along the way, media groups began giving back too much power to those who they are supposed to be business partners with and if it doesn’t change down the road, quality talent will be lost and audiences will eventually go elsewhere where the content isn’t compromised. Think that’s rubbish? ESPN has the most powerful sports platforms on the planet yet when it comes to the NBA they get beaten by TNT on the television side and by Adrian Wojnarowski on the news breaking side. You can have the platform but if the content isn’t as strong, audiences will go elsewhere to find it.

applemusicTake for example what Apple is about to do to the music industry. It’s exciting, refreshing and based on the company’s track record, likely to be a smashing success. On Monday the company announced they wouldn’t accept traditional advertising and instead would focus on weaving sponsors in through the use of spoken word sponsorships. Think that might be keeping a few CEO’s up late tonight?

What a novel concept – hire great talent, deliver high quality programming, limit the amount of interruptions, connect the sponsors in ways that make them sound part of the brand through the use of DJ endorsements and created content, and keep the focus on serving the listener. By standing up to the advertising community and setting a tone for what will and won’t be permitted, Apple has placed a huge focus on the audience and I’m willing to bet that they’ll be rewarded for that approach in very large numbers.

Currently, Spotify has seventy five million people using their service, Pandora has eighty five million and YouTube has over one billion. Why are people flocking to these services? Because they’re content rich and focused on serving the user. They’re not forcing fifteen to twenty minutes of spots per hour on listeners and they’re putting the advertising in places where it sounds natural and does minimal damage. They’re also not letting others dictate their content offerings or company’s policies. Coincidentally they continue to grow their audiences.

woj3This is no different than why sports fans who love the NBA rely on Adrian Wojnarowski. They enjoy reading his columns because they’re packed with information and insight and they read, favorite and retweet his tweets because they get fast accurate information about their favorite players and teams and in turn that leads them to seek out more of it. They also know that they can get this quality content without it being compromised with ads or forced agendas from outside forces.

As the media world turns over the next few years it’s going to be interesting to see how media outlets respond to these increasing pressures from teams, organizations and advertisers while the audience grows even more interested in digital, mobile and social programming. A brand is only as strong as the talent it employs and the content it delivers, and fans today want exceptional content from dynamic personalities and they expect it in rapid fashion. If you’re not clicking on all cylinders consistently, then be prepared to watch your fan base decrease in the weeks, months and years ahead.

If you saw the movie “The Social Network” you may remember the scene where Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin meet with Sean Parker to discuss the future of Facebook. In the scene, Saverin talks about Facebook’s early growth and how he wants to explore taking advertising while Zuckerberg is against it. They ask Parker’s opinion of who’s right and he tells them that ads aren’t cool and based on where they are as a company, it would be a bad move. In the future when they’ve built a great product that people love and support then you can explore that option but concentrate first on the product.

Now ask yourself this, does your operation approach things this way? I’ve been in four different buildings over the past nine years and while some definitely put a stronger focus on content and appeasing the audience than others, most are focused first and foremost on advertising dollars and minimizing expenses. That’s just the way the business operates.

audience2While those problems are worrisome, there are some ways to be ahead of the curve. The first step starts with doing a brand analysis and creating a gameplan to make sure you’re doing things to create strong engagement with your audience. By doing so you develop fans, and when you gain a strong level of loyalty from your listeners, they usually stick around for a long time. Long lasting connections between a brand and its audience is critical to having sustained success. If you don’t come out of your brand analysis with the understanding that the listener is your top priority, re-do the exercise. You will not be relevant, important and profitable for the long term without them.

You can concentrate your efforts on satisfying advertisers and partnerships first and they’ll appreciate it but when audiences begin to flock to other outlets in the future, those good feelings will vanish because in the world of business, it’s about results, and advertisers want their messages heard in places where they can reach the largest amount of people for the best possible price. You can decrease rates, offer more spots, take them to games or jump through other hoops but if your audience isn’t strong and with you for the long haul, neither will be your clients or bottom line.

noThe second part that we need to do a stronger job with, is standing up to those who we partner with. There’s power in the word “No” and sometimes you’ve got to use it. Broadcast companies are spending millions on signals, licenses, operating space, employee salaries, state of the art equipment and lord knows what else so the least we can do to justify their investment is stand up and support our talent and programming decisions even when it’s not comfortable. If you’re willing to give away content time on your platforms for things that don’t appeal to the audience, it will cost you. Content options are stronger than ever and people don’t want to their time listening to things that don’t serve their needs.

I once heard Oakland Raiders play by play voice and 95.7 The Game host Greg Papa say something that really stuck with me. He said “At the end of the day, my boss isn’t Jason Barrett, our GM or even Entercom Communications – it’s the audience. If they don’t like what I’m doing it then it’s my job to change it. They’re the ones that matter“. That type of thinking is very true and vital to any organization’s success.  

no2Your local teams aren’t wrong in asking for you to give them more positive content or encouraging you to avoid talking about their competitors or criticizing them. It’s your job though to know when to say no and do what’s best for your station and most importantly, your audience. Adrian Wojnarowski has taken that approach in his career and judging by the results, it seems to be working pretty well. When you deliver high quality content and focus on serving your audience it’s impossible to lose! That’s not rocket science. It’s just good business!

Barrett Blogs

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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Barrett Blogs

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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