NAB And RAB's Radio Show 2014 Kicks Off In Indianapolis
September 10, 2014 at 2:00 PM (PT)
The NAB and RAB RADIO SHOW kicked off WEDNESDAY morning at the INDIANAPOLIS CONVENTION CENTER.
Secrets to Success
In a morning session, HUBBARD's DREW HOROWITZ moderated a panel that carried the title "Operating a Successful Radio Station in 2014," a tall order that three prominent broadcasting managers strove to meet in presentations from WEST VIRGINIA RADIO CORP. Market Manager GARY MERTINS, ALPHA MEDIA PORTLAND SVP/Market Manager MILT MCCONNELL, and UNIVISION CHICAGIO VP/GM DOUG LEVY. MERTINS offered suggestions about improving the work environment with better equipment (everyone gets a PC and salespeople get iPADS), dress codes (collared shirts required), and "getting rid of disgruntleds." He stressed the need for a "can do" culture and training programming and sales to understand each other's business.
LEVY listed several bullet points on how to keep personnel engaged and motivated, including not keeping secrets, celebrating victories big and small, noting high performance in a public way, using incentives, and listening. MCCONNELL emphasized engagement with one-on-one meetings, clear feedback, and inviting employees into the decision-making process. He suggested mid-year reviews as well as end-of-year reviews, and offering training through seminars and conferences.
The panelists also addressed how to recruit and retain top employees, with MERTINS saying he has little problem with recruitment, but LEVY noting that radio is now competing with more aggressive digital and interactive competition ("a sexier proposition" than working in broadcast); HOROWITZ advised stations to stress their digital products to avoid being painted as a "dinosaur industry."
The annual Advertiser Luncheon highlighted the long-running relationshop between agency LEO BURNETT and ALLSTATE, with the agency's AMANDA POLITO and CHRISTOPHER WARMANEN and the client's Marketing Manager JAMIE LISZKA explaining how radio fits into the insurer's marketing. WARMANEN, responding to a question from moderator ERICA FARBER of the RAB, said that the agency perceives radio as a "creative opportunity," a view illustrated by the playing of three spots voiced by DENNIS HAYSBERT with local references inserted, and three DEAN WINTERS "Mayhem" spots that illustrate things better suited to audio than visual representation.
A "lightning round" of "game-changing ideas" for radio highlighted a post-luncheon session moderated by consultant HOLLAND COOKE. After offering a series of tips -- sign up for multi-year renewals for domain registration, "you never lose Twitter followers by not tweeting," the topic "the best device she ever gave me" -- CPR's PAIGE NIENABER, RADIO ONE's COLBY COLB TYNER, GREATER MEDIA's JENNIFER WILLIAMS, ZIMMER RADIO GROUP's CARRIE LORENZ, and LEWANEE BROADCASTING CO. AC WLEN/LEWANEE, MI's JULIE KOEHN were each given five minutes to present five "winning ideas." NIENABER's included a "show us your logo" promotion, a "fugitive" search, a "live in the pink" promotion with listeners wearing a pink body suit for a month, a "live with Bob" idea with contestants carrying the "Bob" station logo, and delivering ice and water to disaster victims. TYNER used CHICK-FIL-A as an example of a business generating passion among its fans, and advised stations to engage listeners via social media and helping them get more followers of their own via the Twitter account @whereyouat, and be more creative with ticket giveaways, like telling listeners you "bought out" the theater and will be filling it with listeners (a group event); he added that stations should "hire creative engaging talent who live in the lifestyle of your audience."
WILLIAMS brought up photo apps for everyone on staff so they can snap photos at station events and tell stories, device charging stations at station events, promotions connected to the "Movember" moustache-growing charity drive, a "shop local" campaign with coupons through the station's app, and WLNK/CHARLOTTE morning show BOB AND SHERI's RV tour to affiliates across the country. KOEHN talked about community service, like her station's collecting pajamas and other items for the homeless, and helping local schools to list what their needs are on the station website so potential donors could know what items to give. And LORENZ showed off sales ideas including a Community Leaders program and plans targeted at small business and sports sponsors.
Stories To Tell
BOB AND TOM, SCOTT SHANNON, and CLARK HOWARD were the headliners for a session called "The Magic - Radio's Storytellers," with consultant GARY BERKOWITZ corralling the big-name crew for some story swapping. HOWARD told of selling his business, being a beach bum in his early 30s, and being approached by JACOR to guest on a travel show on WGST-A/ATLANTA, which launched his current career. BOB KEVOIAN and TOM GRISWOLD related their origin story, meeting at a bar where GRISWOLD was bartending and KEVOIAN saying "next time I blinked, TOM was my Program Director," and more incidents from their career, as well as how they've stayed together for many years. SHANNON, whose new syndicated show "SCOTT SHANNON'S AMERICA'S GREATEST HITS," was announced at the panel, told of his own youth, leaving home at 17 to go to CALIFORNIA to find radio work, getting drafted, and finally getting on the air in FAYETTEVILLE, NC. "Act as if, until you are," SHANNON said of his start, acting like a D.J. when he had no experience at the time. GRISWOLD talked about a show with SAM KINISON improvising a lyric to a DUKE TUMATOE song live in the studio, and SHANNON remembered JON BON JOVI and ROB SCHNEIDER duetting on an ELVIS song off-the-cuff.
'B.S.' From Hoffman
The regular schedule for WEDNESDAY concluded with the keynote, delivered by TYPE A GROUP Partner and "Ad Contrarian" and former agency CEO BOB HOFFMAN, who opened by saying "I'm here to talk about bullsh-t," claiming to be an expert because of his agency experience. HOFFMAN used as an example of BS the idea that consumers are passionate about brands ("What? Dude, get a f-ckin' girlfriend!"), and ripped the idea that digital should supplant traditional media as advertising vehicles, pointing to poor results from digital campaigns, making fun of banner ad click-through rates and alleging widespread fraudulence in online banner ad use.
INDIANA Governor and former Senator and talk radio host MIKE PENCE offered welcoming remarks, and NAB President/CEO GORDON SMITH discussed "the soul of a broadcaster" (which he defined as "giving back," the same as the soul of a public servant), enumerating stations' emergency service and focus on local communities; he also criticized the push by artists for a performance royalty, urging broadcasters to talk to legislators and remain "vigilant" in fighting the calls for an additional royalty. SMITH raised the issue of the 2015 copyright royalty rate reset and the extension to radio of the requirement of putting public files online. And he touted NEXTRADIO, exhorting broadcasters to "get on board" with the broadcast radio app and "Hybrid Radio," and NAB LABS' work testing all-digital AM.
RAB President/CEO ERICA FARBER's opening remarks asserted, "People love radio"; she cited statistics demonstrating Americans' heavy use of the medium and THE WALL STREET JOURNAL's declaration of radio as "king of the road" for in-car use. She also promoted NEXTRADIO as well as HD RADIO as enabling users to take broadcast radio with them away from home and the car. FARBER offered a run-through of radio's top advertising categories and, citing the comments at the ALLSTATE panel at lunch, said that ad agencies see radio as their reliable "workhorse."
The convention runs through FRIDAY (9/12).