10 Questions with ... Lindsay Burrill
April 13, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Went to Franklin Pierce University for two years on a volleyball scholarship.
- Received undergrad from Emerson College, went for three years (majored in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Political Communication).
- Did street team promotions for a few years at Greater Media/Boston (worked my way into helping all five stations).
- Started full-time at the River in Sales (November 2012).
- Promoted to Marketing/Promo Dir. in April, 2013
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I've always had a lot of love and respect from the medium. I always knew I'd end up doing something in the communications field, but it wasn't until my DJ gig at WERS (Emerson College Radio)/Boston that I truly became obsessed with the industry. I knew I had no choice, but to pursue a career in this field.
2. Who were/are your mentors?
Donald St. Sauveur is my GM at The River, and my current mentor. He's smart, and never satisfied which means I'm constantly learning how to be better in this profession.
Professor Michael Brown from Emerson College is a past mentor. He probably doesn't even know this, but he taught me to think in a different way I was used to, and I've never forgotten his tough critique of everything I ever submitted. He always called me on my BS.
And this last one is cliché, but my mom is a badass business woman, and I go to her a lot for work-related questions, especially legal questions (she's the head of human resources and legal at a very affluent company).
3. What are some of your biggest challenges as an independent station?
Having a limited budget is tough (you won't ever hear us do the $1,000 artist of the day promotion); not group packages - conglomerate stations can sell their other stations as added value to be at a desired rate or cost per point. Plus we're all doing multiple jobs and some days are harder than others.
4. Tell us about some of the station's most success benchmark promotions.
Our whole philosophy when it comes to promotions is asking more than telling. Too often, people in this industry are so ready to provide solutions that they don't even know half the time if they are actually solving the client's problems or just regurgitating old ideas. The best promotion is the one that lives before, during and after with the maximum amount of listeners, and it's something that can be incorporated on-air, online and onsite.
I'm very proud of our annual MusicMatters promotion because we have found a way to give high school kids a huge opportunity; to network with other area musicians. We talk about the promotion for 10 weeks on-air and online without being redundant in any way, and have incorporated a digital, on-air and on-site aspect (the ultimate trifecta).
From town-days, to 40,000+ people in Boston Common, to our RiverFeast program this promo has touched many key events on our station ... and all of this is partnered with a very important client to us. We use this strategy as a template for many promotions.
5. What other things are you doing to generate non-traditional revenue?
The magic word right now is "digital," but it's not enough. No event can be singular anymore. It's about bringing a client's commercial messaging to life in a multi-faceted way that touches across as many platforms as possible. Like a bank, trying to get the word out about their mobile app - why not demonstrate that mobility by a series of live music events, with signage, on-air promos, and a gathering of guests and clients, all while tying into music.
Selling video pre-roll on different parts of our social media, web pages and YouTube has been another revenue builder. Also, creating sponsorship opportunities for every live music event we do is another way to do more for your client (no matter how large or small the event is).
6. What has been your biggest career highlight?
Surviving my first successful Newburyport Riverfront Festival (10,000 attendees at a free show we curate) and also surviving my first RiverFEAST - a charity concert and silent auction event we throw for the Greater Boston Food Bank (500 attendees). Such a gratifying feeling!
7. Of all the skills you have gained so far, is there an area you'd like to improve?
Several areas: social media execution, graphic design, trend research, writing commercial copy, sales ... the list goes on and on. The second you settle is when you're doomed.
8. What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
We've always known we sell an intangible. But now that there are so many ways to measure data, it's becoming harder and harder to justify trusting "the on-air is working." We can't track what we can't measure, so I think as an industry we need to focus on ways to create result-driven campaigns, adding assets we can measure to provide our partners with some reassurance. We have to view their other advertising ventures as complementary instead of competition and think more like ad agencies than radio stations.
9. If you wanted to completely change careers today, what would you do?
Become a stand-up comedian and eventually have my own late-night show. If only I was funny...
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day ...
...without checking my e-mail!
Last non-industry job:
Waitress at The Asgard in Cambridge, MA
First record ever purchased:
The Doors, The Doors
Fall Out Boy, with Motion City Soundtrack and The Starting Line
Favorite band of all-time:
Portugal. The Man followed closely by The Doors
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Going to shows, visiting my family, and hiking