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Social Media Marketing World Highlights How to Win at Social Media

“I went to Social Media Marketing World 2019 to gain information that is critical to our business from people who understand and use it better than radio does.”

Jason Barrett

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At the end of each year I take time to reflect on the year that was and the one that lies ahead. I spend most of my time listening to radio stations, talking to people, and creating content, but gaining knowledge of new technology and business opportunities, developing trends, and areas where the radio business should further invest its energy is equally important to me. I read a ton each day to stay sharp, but there’s no substitute for on-site education. It helps me grow personally, relationships increase, and it serves as a benefit to my clients who can’t always leave their office for industry shows.

One goal I had entering 2019 was to change up where I was spending my time. I’ve been a steady presence at a number of industry conferences over the past few years, many of which are excellent. But I began to find myself more focused on networking and supporting friends because the subject matter wasn’t stuff I hadn’t heard before. That doesn’t mean the content wasn’t good, just that I was probably at too many similar events.

As a result, I decided this year to go to CES instead of NAB Las Vegas. I also decided to trade my attendance at the Podcast Movement conference to see what Social Media Marketing World 2019 was all about. I discovered that CES was interesting, but not vital for me to be at each year. On the other hand, SMMW was tremendous, and an event I will go to again. The fact that it takes place in a gorgeous city like San Diego and provides an opportunity to connect with friends from all three local sports stations is an added bonus.

Unlike past conferences though I didn’t want to rush my recap of the event. There was so much to absorb, and rather than trying to rush out the content, I wanted to step back, process the information, and share what I felt was most valuable from the sessions I attended.

At the 2019 BSM Summit, I hosted a session looking at opportunities for sports radio to grow its business. I talked about the industry needing to take advantage of new categories because the reality is that advertising dollars are projected over the next few years to grow in digital and not much else. We can bitch and moan about it all we want, but this is where dollars are shifting. I urged format folks to get more serious about merchandising and education because there are revenue opportunities in both. Maybe I’ll tackle that further in an upcoming column.

That’s a big part of why I went to Social Media Marketing World 2019. I saw it as an opportunity to gain information in an area that is critical to our business from people who understand and use it better than radio does. Over the course of three days I took a ton of notes and captured nearly two hundred photos from Powerpoint presentations on stage. It was a productive use of my time, but there was one thing missing.

More than five thousand marketers, influencers, social strategists, and business people were present at the event, but guess how many were there from the sports radio industry?

ZERO!

Even worse, I went thru SMMW’s Whova app (which is fantastic) which shows you the profiles of every person attending and allows you to search for people by job title, company, industry, etc.. I looked for people by the name of their radio companies, and with the key words ‘radio, podcast, host, sports, media’, etc. hoping to find others from our industry there. All of that searching resulted in locating 5-6 radio people at the conference, all from other formats and smaller radio groups.

I didn’t expect a room full of hosts and programmers at this show, but I was stunned by the lack of attendance from radio’s digital, marketing, and sales members. We are operating in a digital world. The audience starts and ends their day on social media, and the last time I looked radio wasn’t king of the financial jungle on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Google. If an event is offering information and access to people who can help you further grow your audience and revenue in the spaces you need help in, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?

Though we all realize that digital is key to the present and future, it changes rapidly. Look at these images below which show the top global brands over an 8 year period. The same thing happens in media. It’s why you constantly have to educate yourself because what exists now, may not tomorrow.

What I loved about this conference is that whether you were a host, programmer, seller, GM, marketing/digital director, there was something for everyone. It was impossible to attend every session since there were 5-6 happening at once, but there were a few that stood out which I want to relay some details from.

For content people, the sessions with Alex Khan and Chris Strub were excellent. Khan shared tips of how to improve content with the apps BIGVU, Shakr and Belive.TV. He also showed how to schedule and promote your live streams on Facebook and Instagram, create split screen conversations, and circumvent algorithms to reach more of your audience using Facebook Live. One particular trick he shared involving the Like button drew a lot of laughs and was very clever.

Strub meanwhile dedicated his focus to Twitter and introduced the room to Twitonomy. The app gives users a deeper dive into their Twitter data which helps with identifying your Alpha’s (Radio’s P1’s), what days and times they talk to you, and the topics they’re most interested in. Strub recommended using Hashtracking to find others who are similar to your most passionate fans. He also cautioned to keep an eye on who’s interacting with you and not be afraid to unfollow those who aren’t adding value to your Twitter experience.

The session with Strub also included strategic tips on how to best utilize Twitter lists and three ways to improve your authority on the platform: Leveling Up Your Circle, The Thank You Economy, and Becoming a ‘Prosumer’ (a person or individual that both consumes and produces media, content, or even goods). Strub gave six tips to improve ‘prosumer’ status and shared a personal story along with examples of how it’s helped him gain business opportunities.

On the business end, Neal Schaffer of Maximize Your Social was excellent. His points on brands being built to advertise not socialize was right on the money. I wrote about this subject two years ago and highlighted how many sports radio brands weren’t actively engaging with their fans. We tend to do the same thing on social media that we do on the radio, push content at people. Except we don’t control the outcome on social channels like we do on our airwaves – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram do. There’s nothing ‘social’ about pushing articles and advertiser discounts at the audience.

Schaffer showed some case studies to support his stance on why brands are wiser to build social businesses around influencers rather than thru brand pages. He highlighted the advantage influencers have of forming a personal bond with the audience, engaging more, and being able to tell stories that a brand can’t. The costs are more affordable and clients are made to feel part of something special and intimate rather than lost in the noise. The ROI is also greater over the long-term.

For those interested in data and how to perform better on the web, Dan Shure and Andy Crestodina did a fantastic job. Each of their sessions covered a range of topics including campaign tracking for email and ads, how to rank higher in Google Search, how to improve your click thru optimization, tricks to improving conversions, and how to better use and understand Google Analytics. Crestodina supplied a video link which is worth your time if you’re interested in learning more.

As far as key takeaways are concerned, Shure mentioned that 95% of SEO Success for blogs involves planning topics around ranking gaps. That was very interesting. I was surprised by Crestodina’s comments on 1 in 3 marketers not knowing which tactics have the biggest impact on the success of their campaigns. He also made a great point when he said “it’s not always the best content that wins, it’s the best promoted content that wins.”

There was plenty of big picture analysis provided as well. I specifically enjoyed Michael Stelzner and Mari Smith‘s presentations. Stelzner’s session stressed the importance of making a big difference with a small group of people rather than creating a small impact on a large group. Michael went over why Facebook has been less successful with video than YouTube, reminding the audience that Facebook is a platform that thrives on people connecting, NOT on content. The opposite is true of YouTube.

It was interesting to learn that YouTube has 1.9 BILLION users per month, and 1 billion hours of content watched daily. Instagram Stories has also grown from 100 million to 500 million daily users in less than 3 years. Stats like that further supported Michael’s position that marketers need to make both a bigger part of their business strategy. According to Stelzner, 43% of marketers don’t use YouTube and 62% aren’t using Instagram Stories. Sports radio brands should be thinking about this as well.

Mari’s time on stage covered a ton of ground too starting with the evolution of Facebook. Smith said you can learn and understand the platform’s future direction best by simply paying attention and reading thru the lines. She gave some great examples to support that position.

Like Stelzner, Mari has great confidence in Instagram Stories being a valuable and cost friendly space for marketers. She took time to draw attention to the expected rise of chatbots and messenger marketing and relayed some great information on apps delivering big audiences overseas such as WeChat, which she says Facebook could look to create their own version of in the states. The app TikTok was another one she highlighted which I’ve since been getting familiar with.

The highlight though of her session involved her strategic approach to helping businesses create successful marketing campaigns on Facebook. She shared her ‘Mari Method’ which stresses 70% of content on Facebook being video, 20% images, and 10% a combination of links and text. She explained why it’s best to keep video content between 7-20 minutes, build custom audiences, and necessary to put ad budget against your content. I was stunned to hear how little of our content is seen by those who follow us on Facebook.

Trying to capture all that transpired over the span of 3 days is impossible. If you’re interested in learning more, I’d suggest going on to Twitter and typing in the hashtag #SMMW19. You will have a sea of tweets to navigate but there’s no shortage of great stuff in there.

If there was an overlying message from the event, it was that social media requires human interaction, constant adjusting, and the opportunities for business are endless. This was my first experience at SMMW and I felt they provided a strong group of speakers who covered a ton of subjects that relate to our industry. I walked out of the door smarter than I did when I walked in.

I would encourage my friends in radio to get out there next year. There’s an abundance of information available to help your brand make a bigger impact in the social space, and if digital is where the money is moving, then that should be incentive enough for you to be in San Diego. The sunshine and scenery aren’t bad either!

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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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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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