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What Is The Secret of Sports Talk?

Jason Barrett

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The headline of this article poses a question that we have all wondered or been asked about many times. How do you craft the perfect show? How do you balance pleasing yourself as well as the audience? How do you land an opportunity and make more money? How do you build a dominant brand and become a seven figure talent?

The questions that exist in our industry are endless but so is the journey to discover those answers. There is no one-size fits all formula to make great sports radio, and everyone’s path presents different trials and tribulations that get dealt with differently.

espn1250Ari Temkin is someone I have known for a few years, and he wears two hats at his current place of employment, ESPN 1250 in San Antonio. He hosts “The Hardline” from 11a-2p CT with News 4’s David Chancellor, and he also serves as the radio station’s Assistant Program Director. He’s been with the station for four years, after spending nearly a year and a half in Austin working for 104.9 The Horn.

What I’ve enjoyed about Ari is how inquisitive he is about the business. While we’ve not worked together directly, he’s always asked questions and struck me as someone who’s hungry to learn, and continue improving as a host and programmer. I’m sure those traits have served him well in his climb up the ladder the past few years.

ari1What I didn’t know about Ari before today, is how gifted of a writer he is. The piece you’re about to read is thought provoking, informative, factual, honest, and real. It ventures into a few areas that may make some people uncomfortable, but these are important issues that require further dialogue if we want to make progress. I hope that you’ll remember that as you consume the content and think about what Ari has brought to the surface.

WHAT IS THE SECRET OF SPORTS TALK?

Most of us have been there.

We’re sitting behind a desk as a young, fresh faced, aspiring sportscaster stares blankly across back at us.

You speak, providing insight, advice, and words of encouragement. Sometimes they internalize it. Sometimes they hear you.

easywayMost times though, the person staring back at you has no inclination of listening. Their goal is to get a job with an immediate payoff. They want the easy answer – the one they’ve already reached – and are simply looking for you to reinforce.

What’s the secret? They’re always looking for the secret. The secret is a surrogate for the easy answer. The reason this person has found you, the reason they are sitting across from you at this exact moment is that you can tell them the easy answer.

Never mind the reality that there are more people looking to work in sports radio with less jobs available. Never mind that the industry has never been tougher, and more unforgiving to more qualified applicants.

We want to reach across the desk and shake that ignorance by the collar. Hard work and determination are merely just factors for success; if you’re looking for the easy answer you’ve got no shot.

jobInevitably, the person staring back at you across the desk wonders how you ended up on that side. The funny truth is it’s a façade, because I’m not entirely sure how I ended up on this side. If I trace my steps back, I’m not even sure I could end up in the same spot.

Each unique path we’ve all taken to get to where we are today was filled with many factors…luck perhaps the most common of all.

There are two questions people always ask me when I tell them what I do. They always wonder how to get a job in sports radio, and they always wonder if the end goal is television.

The first question is somewhat puzzling. It’s almost as if they expect my answer to be that I just showed up at a station telling the programmers I could talk sports. Getting a job in sports talk is similar to other highly competitive fields. You have to work really hard, make as many contacts as possible, take jobs in small markets, move cities, and make significantly less than you’d care to make. And if you are lucky and catch a break, you might end up in a top 50 market.

The television question is insulting, even condescending. Radio, and specifically the spoken word format, is art. It’s an open forum. Its hours of conversation, debate, compelling storylines, and perhaps the only true medium to capture the breadth necessary to discuss in depth topics. There’s no pretense, no window dressing, just personality and a microphone.

deathThe future of radio is inevitable death, but the spoken word sports format will always remain. The question that needs to be asked, whether by inquiring minds or the aspiring sportscaster is not how, but what?

What is needed for the future of sports talk?

Sports talk as a whole lacks nuance. Time is the greatest asset for a sports talk host and yet we do not utilize it to the best of our ability. Every storyline devolves into surface level discussions. The spoken word format affords time to lay out varying factors with multiple levels of payoffs, and yet we still lack perspective. Disagreements are germane to the format, but life does not exist on polar ends of the spectrum.

The Cam Newton discussion has been very surface level. When unraveled it’s about race, expectations, overcoming adversity, and success. In all of the screaming and bellyaching over arrogance and race baiting, there were very few hosts that mentioned the context needed for the entire story like where he came from or his intentions and motivations or what he does in the community.

romoWe would never want any one single act to define our entire lives, but we are constantly defining athletes by one, perhaps false, move. Tony Romo has been one of the most productive passers in the league over the last decade and yet his entire career has been defined by a botched snap in his first season as a starter.

With hours of content at our disposal we choose to peel only a few layers of the onion, which sets in motion an echo chamber of moral outrage and fast judgement. The best and most productive commentaries do not reinforce conventional wisdom, or widely held beliefs. Rather, they challenge them.

The most powerful tool of spoken word sports is the captive audience. Political radio placates to the right wing, music galvanizes specific cultures, but sports radio invites all kinds of people to the discussion.

Challenging someone’s beliefs has become taboo; people view it as an affront on their intelligence, but it’s the most profound way to learn and evolve. We are afraid to disagree because people condescend and belittle. Social media was established as a means of exchanging ideas, but instead it serves to reinforce our ideas and silence dissenting opinions. Sports radio is a reflection of that phenomenon.

Access to information has changed. Professional athletes are not engaging in more illicit behavior than in the past, we just have more means to gather that information. Sports, morality, politics and life are in constant cohesion and we should not be scared to address these complex issues. Life is not easy. It’s problematic, and it’s filled with conflict and adversity. This is not new today; it’s become a major focal point of the sports discourse, and the issue is we’ve been caught unprepared.

We are ill-equipped to handle these complex issues so we either avoid them, or deal with them on a surface level.

The most important factor for the future of the format is depth of voice.

Invite disagreement. Exchange ideas. Involve varying perspectives.

riceWhen the Ray Rice video was released outrage was packaged and sold a dime a dozen. How could you not be absolutely outraged by the unadulterated violence? And when the outrage subsided questions arose. Why would Janay stay with Ray and even worse get married to him? Was it a money grab?

Throw them out of the league we all said clutching our pitchforks. But we never acknowledged the unintended consequences.

Sexual assault is even worse. Victims of sexual assault rarely come forward when it’s in the case of high profile athletes, and when they do their entire existence is analyzed and often destroyed.

We were all outraged when a Cleveland radio host recently opined on why women do not belong in football, and yet we’ve all made similar deliberations in questioning motives in highly physiological crimes when having the above discussions.

We are ill-prepared for these complex issues because we have no depth of voice.

We need to be talking issues of race and sex in sports radio because they are commonplace. We need more female voices and African-American voices to help add varying perspectives absent from the current sports radio landscape.

Diversity in hiring practices is a major issue in sports as a whole. There is one African-American majority owner in all of professional sports. There are only a handful of high level executives and coaches and there are even fewer women.

BISRAOver the last few weeks, Jason Barrett did a tremendous job breaking down the top sports radio hosts, shows and stations…but it was lilywhite. That is not an indictment on Jason; it’s an indictment on the industry. Does a morning show with three white hosts think the Cam Newton criticism is steeped in racism? Does the afternoon drive show with two males think that girl who was “all over” Patrick Kane at a bar was sexually assaulted? “Well, why was she going back to his place,” an actual sports talk host said.

We need diversity because we lack the proper perspective to have these conversations. It’s not as much about accepting the need for diversity and perspective as much as it is understanding the need for it.

When I was growing up, I wanted to be as close to sports as I could possibly get. But the closer I got the further away I realized I wanted to be. It’s easy to become jaded.  Working in sports radio is a grind, and it never stops. There’s never a market size big enough, never an audience as wide reaching and never a perfect job. The most ambitious chase the mirage of perfection.

storiesThe business of sport is booming and one byproduct is the continued growth of our industry. There are more sports radio stations sprouting up across the country and with the proliferation of podcasts the landscape is changing. Because access to information is so easy, sports fans aren’t listening to you on the radio because you are on the radio; they are listening to you because you have something meaningful and compelling to say. The more saturated it becomes the more important the latter.

It’s funny, without fail that kid staring back at you across the desk will tell you how they’re glued to ESPN, how they follow stats and know everything about sports.

I can’t help but think of Bill Simmons’ Book of Basketball, which is based upon the idea from Isiah Thomas that the secret to basketball has nothing to do with basketball.

Well, the same is true for sports talk. What’s the secret the kid staring back at you desperately wants to know?

The secret has nothing to do with sports.

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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Barrett Blogs

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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