In our continuing search around the industry for millennials who love working in radio, it came as no surprise when we found one on the digital side of the business. Erin Nutter, 27, is the director of digital strategy for Max Media of Hampton Roads in Virginia Beach. She started with the company at age 21. Erin graduated from college in Ohio in 2011, moved to Virginia, and began working for Max Media two months later.
As director of digital strategy, Erin is involved in both programming and sales, and that, she says, keeps her job interesting. Among her other responsibilities, she maintains the websites, apps, and streaming players. On the sales side, she’s in charge of helping reps bring in revenue for all digital assets. She trains the salespeople on new digital products, she goes on appointments with them to pitch clients, and she helps them build proposals.
Max Media GM Dave Paulus tells Radio Ink Erin is one of those great stories of someone who comes into our business, brings an outsider/millennial perspective, and creates a culture of a modern and progressive media company. “She’s smart, energetic, and passionate about our team,” he says, “and is always thinking about ‘where the puck’s going to be.’ Every day when I walk by her office, I think about how much good fortune we have to have her skill set on our side here at Max Media Virginia Beach.”
Radio Ink: How and why did you choose radio?
Nutter: I have a degree in marketing, and my goal was to work for an advertising agency; however, being fresh out of college, I learned quickly that no one wanted to hire someone who did not have any experience.
I was hired into Max Media to be a part-time video editor and graphic designer; I had zero experience in either at the time, but wanted a job, so I was willing to learn. I love music, so I thought this would be a fun job!
Five and a half years later, I am overseeing the digital department in our Norfolk market and have assisted our other markets with their digital departments as well.
Radio Ink: There’s a perception that millennials do not want to get into radio, that’s it’s not cool enough. Is that true? What do your friends say about your being in radio?
Nutter: My friends think I have a really cool job; in their eyes, I just get to go to fun events, concerts, and meet artists all the time. I’m sure that some millennials see radio as an industry that won’t last, but you have those people in all generations, not just millennials.
For a couple of years I was in charge of our internship program, and I was receiving resumes and applications all the time from college students trying to get their foot in the door. So no, I don’t think it is true that millennials do not want to get into the radio business. Furthermore, we also just hired two new sales reps who are millennials.
Radio Ink: What interests you the most about being in radio, and why?
Nutter: I do something different every day. Yes, a lot of my job responsibilities require me to do the same tasks regularly, but I get to work with different clients on a daily basis to help come up with a marketing plan for them. My position also allows me to work on the programming side of the business, where I get to see all the positive impacts radio can have on people.
Radio Ink: What do you find most exciting about being in radio?
Nutter: Radio is not the same as it was 20 years ago. There are so many more ways for a listener to connect with their local radio station. Social media has completely changed the game for radio stations. Listeners may not always be able to listen to their favorite station, but thanks to Facebook, they’ll know about contests they can enter, local happenings, the latest concert announcement, and so much more — they’ll feel just as connected as if they were listening.
Social media also gives listeners the chance to actually interact with stations now; instead of listeners just being able call in to the station, they can now comment and have a conversation with their favorite personality, and much more!
Radio Ink: What are your biggest challenges so far?
Nutter: The biggest challenge was getting clients to understand that there’s more to digital than just banner ads on a radio station’s website, and that digital is no longer an added-value feature. That took a while — but thankfully we are mostly past that.
Radio Ink: Do you believe there is real money for radio in digital?
Nutter: Absolutely. Radio has an online audience just like it has an on-air audience. For clients to be able to talk to both audiences is huge. As long as stations have social media pages and aren’t giving away digital as added value, then there is money for radio in digital!
Radio Ink: Tell us about your biggest digital success story.
Nutter: Several years ago, our cluster took the number one spot in the Miller Kaplan report for digital, bringing in the most revenue for digital in the market, and ever since then, we have held that spot.
The reason this is my biggest success story is because it shows that Max Media has embraced digital and doesn’t see it just as a fad. Programming and sales both know that digital is a part of our everyday lives, and instead of resisting, they have accepted it and choose to use it to their advantage!
Radio Ink: Does the radio industry get digital?
Nutter: Honestly, I don’t think anyone 100 percent truly gets digital. It changes so quickly — one day you think you’re an expert and the next you’re learning something new. I think the radio industry as a whole does the best it can. However, there are people that have been in radio for decades and are “stuck” in the way things used to be, which is unfortunate. But I’ve also seen people that have been in radio for decades learn how to adapt to this ever-changing digital world successfully.
Radio Ink: What are your long-term goals?
Nutter: I want to make sure I continue to help radio adapt to the digital world and to always make sure I’m doing what I love and have a positive impact on those around me.
Reach out to Erin to congratulate her by e-mail at [email protected]