(By Ed Ryan) Every year at The Radio Show I run into Warren “Koz” Kozireski. He runs the radio station at the State University of New York at Brockport, the station I first worked at and eventually ran as a student manager. Koz brings several students to the Radio Show every year and I always get a chance to chat with them to gauge their excitement about the radio business. This year, I asked them to write an article about their experience. Here’s what they had to say…
By Amanda Berg, Derick Abbey and Catherine Mattis
The 2018 Radio Show was the ultimate industry welcome; it’s clear that radio is ready for young professionals. In an era where breaking into the job market is harder than ever, it was inspiring to see anticipated growth in radio. The week featured a network of broadcasters who were very willing to answer questions and give advice throughout the conference to help the next generation of radio-makers become acquainted with their own potential.
Amanda Berg, News Director WBSU 89.1 The Point, anticipated graduation Dec. ‘18
Young professionals were offered a series of special panels focused on breaking into the industry, with themes of staying passionate and flexible overarching throughout. Audit any broadcasting class today to quickly learn that in order to be successful, you need to learn a variety of skills. Most of the Young Professional sessions applied this rule to radio.
One of the more interesting panels was called “Everything to Everyone: Becoming a #JOAT.” A JOAT is a “jack-of-all-trades,” or a person who is responsible for multiple tasks in addition to their primary position within a company. The panelists introduced themselves, each listing numerous titles or jobs. In addition to their jobs they had “side projects,” spending their limited spare time either freelancing or sharpening skills.
Their advice was to stay passionate, and that saying “yes” is always a good idea. It seems to be the perfect time to be pursuing a career in radio, and witnessing so much enthusiasm for the field throughout the course of the conference was the perfect confirmation.
Derick Abbey, Programming Director WBSU 89.1 The Point, anticipated graduation May ‘19
One of the hardest aspects for a young professional in radio to understand is the importance of a strong sales team. When you first listen to radio, breaks are the enemy. Typically, people listen to the radio for music and content, not commercials. It’s only when you understand the connection between all the aspects of radio that you can start excelling.
This is why a major aspect of the NAB Radio Show is the spreading of sales techniques and training. Through the partnership with the RAB, the conference was able to bring in some of the industry’s best sales minds. Some of the most promising concepts to help train the next generation of top sales executives are often the simplest, like the notion that media selling is fun.
In his training sessions, that can be described more as a standup routine with a moral at the end, Paul Weyland brings clarity to selling. Not everyone gets to be part of the radio industry, and even fewer get to be a driving force behind it. If you were to take nothing else away from this, being a media seller is not something you have to do, it is something you get to do.
Catherine Mattis, Operations Manager WBSU 89.1 The Point, anticipated graduation May ‘19
NAB covered everything from the importance of the people inside your company to the importance of those on the outside.
It’s important to be extremely critical of potential candidates looking to join your company. The Radio Show’s session called “Building the Right Culture to Attract, Hire and Retain the Employees you Need to Succeed” explained why putting potential candidates through the ringer is necessary.
Companies now aren’t looking for people to fill an open position, they’re looking for the right personality for the job. Employees that look forward to being there will help to encourage a better culture throughout the whole office.
When it comes to people outside of your company, they might need help marketing their company. That’s where radio comes in. Information was shown many times during the conference proving that radio advertising is a successful way to increase awareness about a business. However, most of the information came from radio people talking about radio. The session “Listen Up – Advertisers Speak” was a panel of three marketers that use radio as one portion of their marketing mix. All three have proven results that radio advertising was effective. This was a brilliant addition to the conference.
Regardless of whether you’re most interested in management, sales, or programming, the Radio Show proved itself as an excellent resource. The experience is vital in developing a future career in radio, and it is comforting to know there are so many broadcasters waiting to welcome young professionals.