Valerie Sickles is in her 16th year in radio. She says radio was her destiny. “I never intended radio as a career path. As a matter of fact, my career path has included TV, public affairs, event planning, and even working for a theatre company. Little did I know, I was being prepared for this beast we call radio and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Valerie is responsible for facilitating branding, station marketing, contesting, promotions, and events. She provides marketing support to Alpha Media’s Eastern, Midwest, and Central Regions and she spearheads all insurance and legal requirements for all Alpha Media markets. She is also one of Radio Ink‘s Future African American Leaders in Radio and will be featured in our March 6 issue. Here is our extended interview with Alpha Media’s Valerie Sickles
Radio Ink: What makes you passionate about the radio industry?
Sickles: Radio is an industry of creativity. It goes well beyond what you hear on air or see online. There are people behind the scenes generating ideas for clients, experiences for listeners, goodwill for the community, and, at the root of it all, it promotes the universal language – music!
Radio Ink: What are your goals, both personally and to make the industry better?
Sickles: My goal is to continue to grow to the highest level I can achieve, but to also help others grow with me. I feel it is so important to prepare young people interested in our industry to reach their full potential. There are so many career options that you really need to have a passion to be successful in today’s radio. Thus, we should do everything we can to nurture and develop up and coming talent.
Radio Ink: Why do you think you’ve been successful?
Sickles: Faith, passion, perseverance, integrity, championship multi-tasking skills, stellar customer service (wink), and a lot of great people helping me along the way. You have to be willing to continuously learn and adapt to change. Also, recognizing the fact that everyone’s role is vital to the success of the whole. Having a sense of humor doesn’t hurt either [laughs].
Radio Ink: If you were promoted to a much higher position of leadership tomorrow, what would you do to improve radio?
Sickles: It is imperative to advance the industry to coincide with the changes in technology. Proper training on all levels, in all departments is key to keeping the team functioning at its highest level of productivity. With all of the advances in technology, we cannot forget the human element, and thus we must remain connected on a grassroots level with our communities. We must engage one-on-one with our listeners and make sure the experience remains fun and exciting for both the listeners and the team.
Radio Ink: What advice would you give to someone just getting started in the business?
Sickles: Learn as much as you can about all aspects of radio. Value the relationships you make along the way and stay connected. Identify your talent and develop those skills. Take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. Stay passionate about your craft.
Congratulate Valerie on a job well done at [email protected]