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September 8:
The Radio Show Issue
Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan




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(SALES) Can We Please Try Not To Suck?



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(4/10/2014 11:23:00 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
All well and good, Jeff.
Yet, I have to wonder: Where do these sales-folk pick up the skills to write exceptional copy? Is it through a process of osmosis? Is it a gift from the gods? Is the copy just what the clients want anyway?

Terrific copy is not something that we copywriters pull out of our butts - at least not for the first decade or so. And that's assuming we are given the go-ahead to generate something worthwhile - a rare occurrence.

I do appreciate, however, the station(s)' reality - as much as it doth sucketh large.

- Ronald
(4/8/2014 8:11:33 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Thanks for all the feedback. I'm happy to have continued this discussion. It is clearly a worthy discussion and one that must continue.

I understand push back. That is why my approach was to go to the sellers. If we as sellers write better copy, nobody is going to complain about it. :-) So if you sell radio for a living, just commit to doing a better job on the commercial copy.

This will help programming and your clients. Who doesn't want to get better?

- Jeff Schmidt
(4/8/2014 3:50:18 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
There was a time - not so long ago - when that kind of talk from the likes of "radiomike" would have got him drug out to behind the shed and issued a righteous whuppin' with a hickory switch.

Commercial production as an element of Programming? None of us have been able to even wake that dog up - never mind get it out there to do some huntin'...

- Ronald
(4/8/2014 12:45:03 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
From a programmers view, I would add this: Does the commercial make for entertaining listening even if the listener is not interested in the product? That's protecting the audience so that they'll stick around for the messages concerning something they are interested in.
- radiomike
(4/7/2014 7:50:22 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Hi Jeff, well said.
I left radio in 2010 after 31 years.
As a production manager,producer,journalist, writer, front line broadcaster, marketer, promotions, programmer and music director, I found the commercial element the tasteless and hopeless. When puffery is the accepted norm, one has to question the purpose or benefit of advertising.
There are clever and dedicated people who will change the paradigm, and that will happen. Hold on tight mate.

- Richard
(4/7/2014 11:05:37 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
This is the trainers' lament, Jeff.
Owners and managers have demonstrated little and no interest in generating superior advertising messaging. Further, they show the same disinterest in improving the affect of their on-air staffs.

Meanwhile, it might be worth expanding on the three rules mentioned (above). This, as the majority of potential advertisers have very little to offer in terms of super-competitive pricing at any given time. This is where superior "branding" messaging comes into play. Unfortunately, providing these take imaginations, knowledge, skills, time and the bodies to execute such advertising - all elements for which ownership is unwilling to pay.

After all, it is much easier to browbeat and bully the staff that is still lurking and bleeding in the hallways to work harder and do more for less money - even when the extra efforts do not result in increased revenues and more satisfied clients.

And yet, historically, nobody even tries to argue these points.

- Ronald


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