Saturday, February 03, 2007

Why I do what I do ( and what I did before)

April marks the 4 year mark. It was in April 2003 that I accepted a position along with 11 others at Travis Broadcastings Sales Department. For me it was a return to a profession and career that I had been doing since I was 16. Not Sales, but the whole radio business. From 16 to 26, I worked on the programming side, as an air talent with what was known as "Full Service Adult Contemporary" and then "Top 40" which became "CHR" which stood for Contemporary Hit Radio.

In 1985 however, I took a position in Indianapolis working on the air at a Contemporary Christian Music station for a few months before I moved my family to Detroit. The move to Detroit was a departure from what I knew as a radio programmer and a step into the unknown to take a position with a radio company that devoted a big chunk of their resources to developing advertising campaigns. This was unlike any of the radio advertising ideologies I had seen before and caught my attention as something bigger than I had done before.

I spent 8 years in Detroit at WMUZ, six years writing and producing effective radio advertising campaigns, 1 year doing the morning show, then 1 year doing sales. Due to family needs we left and returned to Indiana. A year and a few months on the air again doing Country, Adult Contemporary and then Classic 70's (due to format switches) and it was finally time to step away from the safety of radio and do something different. Manufacturing. Then after a divorce and the death of my Dad, a return to radio at a very unstable station. I returned to manufacturing, did some weekend airshifts and then after getting remarried and the passing of my mother, doing commercial voice work, the time to return to my real passion arrived.

And that's what brought me to the sales department at what is now Summit City Radio. We were always the underdog. We have had three General Managers during 4 years. Only one of the sales staff from 4 years ago is still here besides myself. Both of us are now managers.

21 years ago when I switched from the programming to sales side of this business, I discovered books by Ries and Trout on Positioning, and by Harvey MacKay on how to super serve customers and the hunger for helping businesses succeed was ignited. But it is more than business oriented, it is also customer related.

Something I learned from either Frank Franciosi, the General Manager of WMUZ, or Don Crawford, owner of WMUZ was that when done right, radio advertising is just like word of mouth, but with a bigger mouth! If you see any of my red business cards, you'll see that printed right on the cards!

By the way, Frank is still the G.M. at WMUZ and there is an interview with him talking about advertising that is very interesting.

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