What Got Us Here Won’t Keep Us Here


(By Bob McCurdy) I have been retired for two and a half months now and have had some time for reflection. I still stay on top of the various trades so I have not been totally out of touch in pursuit of relic status.

I have no real regrets or major career woulda, shoulda, coulda’s, which is what I always vowed to avoid. But the previous decades are worlds different from today and the coming decades and will require different skills and different habits. So I asked myself how would I approach my job differently in the coming years and what would I focus on, if I were just entering the radio business. These thoughts follow:

I would:
-Be sure to not undersell or underestimate the value of my media assets and as importantly, the value I bring to local advertisers. I assist local advertisers and local business owners achieve their dreams. I would approach every advertiser as a marketing professional not as a subordinate hoping to get a few minutes of their time. My focus on their business is of tremendous value to them.

-Make the corporate digital managers my best friends. I would soak up all of their digital knowledge until I know as much as they do. I would write down everything they told me and I’d study it. Digital would become my hobby.

-Surround myself with positivity. Positive podcasts, articles, blogs. What enters minds greatly influences thoughts and behavior.

-Ratchet up my work routine now that my commuting has subsided, making those hours not spent commuting productive time not rest time.

-Enhance relationships with key decision makers. There ARE creative, non-threatening ways of accomplishing this without upsetting the agency, if we bring value.

-Dig in with agency planning groups to understand how they view and go about choosing media. This knowledge would enable me to better “position” my media assets.

-Make sure I developed a contact at Nielsen who would teach me the “ins-and-outs” of every Tapscan program. I’d do the same with whichever analytics company my company had partnered with. My goal would be analytics excellence, understanding that providing proof of success leads to a client’s confidence to invest.

-Expand my horizons further by subscribing to ad industry trades, Ad Age, industry blogs, etc.

-Allocate my time more effectively eliminating all time vampires.

-Focus more on what I am doing and less on what others are doing.

-Figure out a way to separate myself from the other dozens of local media reps.

-Develop my listening skills.

-Utilize some sales tool to assist me in more effectively handling complex sales that involves multiple decision makers.

The beautiful thing about the above is that I would immediately benefit from my incremental growth and development and use that to inspire further growth- a virtuous business cycle if there ever was one.

It will take different skills moving forward to create our own favorite future! Enjoy the journey.

Bob McCurdy is now retired and can be reached at [email protected]


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