(By Brian Brian Winnekins ) To say I was overwhelmed by the reaction to my recent article in Radio Ink about my frustrations about working with advertising agencies would be an understatement. My email started going crazy at 4:30 a.m. when I came into work on Monday. I received emails from salespeople, managers, owners, print people, and even agency people with horror stories about either working with radio sales or working with agencies.
I reached out to Ed at Radio Ink and told him how my article struck a nerve and maybe we could do something to try and “fix” this issue or at least start addressing it. He replied, what would you suggest? So, based on Ed’s reply, I’m writing again.
Some themes in the emails that I received were..
- “this has been going on for years Brian and no one wants to talk about it”
- “agencies have always been like that”
- “thank you for saying what needed to be said for years”
- “great article but the agencies don’t care”
- “great article Brian, but if you had to deal with the radio salespeople I’ve dealt with you would understand why agencies do what they do”
- “wow I thought I was the only one that had those issues with agencies”
- “great article, I became so frustrated with how I was treated doing sales I finally just gave up and left the business.” In another case the salesperson said they were actively looking to change careers.
- “I can’t count how many times I receive terrible copy from an agency and they refuse to let me change it or get mad if I suggest changes”
- A production director sent me this: “I’ve seen bathroom wall writing better than the stuff I’ve received from an agency.”
My father taught me that it’s rude to complain and then not try to offer at least a solution, and that I should always be willing to listen and work with someone I disagree with or is on the opposite side of the fence. I may learn something, and even better I may make a new friend. So let’s talk about what is going on in our beloved industry and try and find a way to address some of these problems, both on the sales side and on the agency side.
Now how can we talk about this? One idea I have kicked around is having some type of seminar or “town hall” type of meeting. Maybe have it at the Radio Show, or at NAB Convention. Maybe we can ask Ed and Deborah at Radio Ink real nice to host some type of webinar or broadcast something via the Web from the NAB Convention.
How about getting RAB on the case and maybe they could host some type of regional “town hall” meetings with agencies and radio sales, managers and owners? Design some type of training not only for salespeople but also for the agency buyers? Set up a festivus for the rest of us event at NAB in downtown Las Vegas and we can all meet for an airing of the grievances?
Of course, no one wants to attend something where it devolves into finger pointing and arguing. That solves nothing. So some type of moderator would definitely be needed. I also understand that there will always be “bad actors” who will do what they please without regard to whom they are hurting, but that should not deter us from finding a way forward.
Do you have an idea or suggestion? Respond in the comment section as Ed will keep track, hopefully write a follow-up article, and let’s see if we can get something done! Judging from the responses from both my article and Mr. Christy’s article, we both have struck a nerve. We can all complain on the Internet and point fingers at each other, or we can come together, work out our issues on both sides, and move forward.