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Going Through Changes

Jason Barrett



In life, people are creatures of habit. We prefer routine and being comfortable. Everything from when we wake up, shower and grab a cup of coffee, to making our commute into work and listening to a radio show to provide us a mental distraction from the chaos that lies ahead.

IMG_4815While the individual is always in control of their sleep, shower and coffee schedule, the same can’t be promised when it comes to listening to a radio show or working in the radio industry. That’s because the media business is faced with change on a regular basis. It’s not much different than professional sports. Remember, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice all wore different jerseys at some point in their careers.

I raise that example because it’s one of the unavoidable situations that comes up when you work in this business. Anybody who works in programming knows that we’re in the business of generating ratings with the audience. Expectations are set, strategies are created, talent are secured and it’s all done to hopefully generate excitement with an audience and regular tune-ins each day. If all goes according to plan, the ratings will grow and advertising dollars will follow.

change-nothingBut what happens when the ratings don’t grow? Or when they rise for 2-3 shows on your radio station but not for one of your other shows? That’s where the most feared word in media comes into play – “change“!

It’s easy to say “give a show time” and that’s always been my mentality when crafting shows. I believe that most programs need 18-24 months to become consistent with an audience. In some cases I can tell much quicker that the show isn’t going to work but when I hire a show I go in with the mindset that it’ll take some time to win over the crowd.

However, just because you give something time, doesn’t mean it will reach the level that you need your brand to ascend to. If the show isn’t able to perform to the level that you’ve determined is going to be needed to justify continuing it, then at some point whether it’s easy or difficult, you’re going to have to deal with making changes.

changekeyI’ve told some of my producers over the years that if I lose them at some point in their careers, I want to lose them to bigger career opportunities. It feels great to know you’ve worked with someone and helped them grow and as a result, another company wants to invest more in them and give them bigger responsibility. The worst part is having to cut ties with someone because they haven’t performed or delivered the necessary results.

You’d be amazed at some of the situations that come up and require parting ways from people. From people stealing lunches out of the refrigerator to people showing up late and sleeping on the job to people lying and undercutting their peers to countless other stupid things that cause a person to lose respect and opportunity from an employer. While sports radio may be fun and a labor of love for many who work in it, people still are human and poor decision making happens to all of us at some point.

When it comes to on-air talent, the leash is usually longer. A lot of executives will put up with a lot of headaches if a talent is delivering ratings and revenue. Even things that are unacceptable in many other professions often get swept under the rug for someone who can be a difference maker in this industry.

Speaking for myself, before I cut bait with a host or show, chances are given and conversations are had. I’ll go through numerous things from changing the content direction of a show to changing the clock to conducting listener focus groups to asking for feedback from the host(s) about why they believe they’re not delivering ratings and what we can do better to be more successful. Once those avenues are explored, then it’s my job to promote the program and support the people doing it and it’s their job to execute and help us generate stronger audience numbers.

changeisgonnaWhile all involved may have the best of intentions, sometimes even after those discussions and adjustments, shows still don’t connect. When they don’t, nobody beats themselves up over it harder than I do. I’m sure many fellow programmers can relate. The last thing you want to do is tell somebody they have not performed to the level that’s required and as a result a change is necessary. But when you sign on to run a radio station, this is part of the job description. You can’t be a leader and have success if you’re afraid to deal with adversity and change.

When these situations occur, blame goes all the way around. The PD instantly becomes the bad guy and everyone inside and outside the building has their opinions on what’s going on. It becomes the companies fault, the ratings systems fault and everyone else’s fault and listeners will often react negatively due to the fact that a change is happening.

etuYou can’t as a host or programmer blame the audience and ask “why didn’t you listen more“? You can’t blame the advertisers and ask “why didn’t you spend more“? You can’t blame Nielsen and ask “why didn’t you provide more meters to people who like what we do“? You can only do one of two things, pick yourself up off the ground and find the next opportunity and make your last employer regret letting you go or sit in sorrow and blame the world for what happened.

I went thru this myself back in 2008. I programmed a radio station 590 The Fan in St. Louis which had a great thing going on when I arrived in 2006. The Cardinals reaching the WS that year certainly didn’t hurt business either. Over the next few months, budget cuts, employee dissatisfaction and lack of corporate support would lead the radio station down the drain and I’d become the fall guy for it because after all I was the face of the franchise.

changefearIt was hard to accept that back then because I believed in my abilities and my desire to win but in the grand scheme of things, we were beaten before we ever hit the airwaves. I didn’t see that when I accepted the job but I did after I stepped back, removed my emotion from the situation and figured out how I’d learn from it going forward.

When I received my next opportunity as programmer of 101 ESPN in St. Louis, I made sure I knew I’d have better corporate support and a General Manager who believed in me and the confidence that was instilled in me allowed me to focus on what I do best and fortunately thanks to hiring a lot of smart and talented people and supporting them, the station became a smashing success. The product became #1 for sports radio listening in the market and reached a level of being the 2nd highest rated sports station in the country during one particular month in 2010.

Today I sit in San Francisco where I program 95.7 The Game. In this market, my brand is the underdog taking on a heritage sports radio brand that has the Giants, 49ers and Warriors games on their air and they’ve rode the success of play-by-play to the top spot in the market for well over 20 years. When we built this station, we didn’t launch with the expectation that we’d beat our competitor in the ratings in the first couple of years. We launched with the mindset of hiring dynamic talent and building a strong and viable brand that in time could work it’s way up towards the top.

changeSetting realistic expectations is important because you don’t overtake strong brands in 1-2 years just because you’ve arrived and presented talent and a vision that you believe is superior than the competitor. If it was that easy and that formula worked that fast, I’d have already retired. You have to have a strong strategy, know where opportunities lie in the market, create a plan that will consistently show growth and establish what makes you unique to the market. When you go from 25th to as high as 6th in the span of 3 years, that’s a sign that you’re on the right track.

Since I’ve been here, we’ve shown that we will not be afraid to introduce new talent, take risks and change course if things aren’t working. One thing I always enjoy is hearing our current listeners criticize or compliment the work previously done by Brandon Tierney, Eric Davis, Sean O’Connell, Ric Bucher, Aubrey Huff and The Rise Guys. A few years ago these were foreign names to Bay Area sports radio fans and had we not taken a chance to put them on the air and introduce them, people would not have had opinions of them. Clearly they all had tremendous talent and whether the feedback on them was good or bad, it showed that new voices with strong talent, can connect in a market like San Francisco.

While one could play devil’s advocate and criticize us for not being consistent, the fact of the matter is that when you’re in the driver’s seat in a market, it’s your job to keep a winning product consistent and lock up the things that are most important to your success until you’re forced to adapt. In our case, we’ve got to keep growing to eventually cause bigger disruptions and change long-term listening habits. If that requires adjusting as we go, then that’s what we’ll do. During the past 9 months our radio station has had its highest ratings run and had we not made changes I’m not sure if that would be the case. That can certainly be debated but in a business that is judged by results, the numbers don’t lie.

changesextraChange is never easy for people but it’s a part of life (especially the media business) and I often find that I work best when I’ve got my back up against the wall. I think that you learn a lot about people in this business when the pressure is on and decision making is critical. It’s in most people’s nature to try and find a way to return to a place of comfort rather than enter foreign territory but sometimes you’ve got to be willing to gamble and put your ass on the line in order to create bigger opportunities for your brand.

When I look across the sports radio landscape, I see tons of stations who have not been afraid to take risks and as a result, have been rewarded for it. From The Score in Chicago to 710 ESPN in Seattle to 680 The Fan in Atlanta to Arizona Sports 98.7 FM in Phoenix. All made changes and continue to perform strongly. The same can be said for 101 ESPN in St. Louis, The Fan in Dallas, WEEI in Boston and The Fanatic in Philadelphia. All of these stations have continued to thrive despite dealing with change and there are plenty of others who could easily be on this list.

stephenabaylessLook at sports television and you’ll see the same. Over the past 5-10 years Monday Night Football switched from a 3-man booth to 2-man booth, First Take went from rotating hosts to using Stephen A. & Skip, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin left ESPN while Chris Carter, Keyshawn Johnson and Ray Lewis signed on and Football Night in America lost Tiki Barber, Jerome Bettis and John Madden but added Hines Ward, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison and Chris Collinsworth.

Some may see making changes as showing a lack of consistency and that’s fair, but some also believe it’s necessary to stay ahead of the curve. From where I sit, I’d much rather take risk and fail trying to be great than stay complacent and wait to be picked off. It certainly seemed to work out ok for Favre, Manning, Rice and Montana!

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



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



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



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 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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