Expanding Your Footprint in the Community


(By Pat Bryson) When I had been selling for about a year, my general manager came into my cubicle one day and said, “It’s time to get you on some boards.” At the time, I had no idea what he was talking about. What he was talking about was expanding my footprint in the community. He believed that what you give to your community comes back to you. It’s not always what you know, it’s WHO you know.

A few years later I joined Kiwanis. Whether you prefer Rotary, Lions Club, or some other service organization, these groups are often made up of the movers and shakers in a community. They are good people to know.

My professors at the University of Tulsa in my Mass Communications classes taught me that radio stations are “the guardians of the airwaves.” Our licenses from the FCC state that we should serve our local communities. We certainly did that in 2020! Note again the recent bridge collapse in Baltimore where radio began broadcasting news about the disaster at 4:00AM. We have the perfect vehicles to give back to our neighbors.

As someone who has made my living selling radio campaigns and now teaching others how to sell radio campaigns, I understand the value of being well-known. We have talked before about expanding your personal brand and positioning yourself as the “expert” when it comes to marketing knowledge.

In my work with Kiwanis, I met a gentleman named George Strella. George was a member of Kiwanis for 70 years. He was the song leader from the time I joined the organization. I don’t remember him ever missing a meeting. He was always first in line to help with community projects. When he reached his 90’ies, health issues hampered his ability to be at every meeting, but he came when he could. The group made him an honorary member for his years of service.

How many of us today have that sort of commitment to community service groups? How many of us volunteer in any capacity in our towns? Service groups are usually filled with like-minded individuals who care about their towns. They are leaders. Being known by them is an asset.

George was a positive force in my life. He provided a shining example of devotion to community service.

As we bring young people into our business, I hope we may encourage them to participate in their communities. Join organizations that have meaning for them. Time will prove that giving to their communities will pay large dividends in their careers.

Pat Bryson is the CEO of Bryson Broadcasting International, a consulting firm that works with sales managers and salespeople to raise revenue. She is the author of two books, A Road Map to Success in High-Dollar Broadcast Sales and Successful Broadcast Sales: Thriving in Change available on her website. Read Pat’s Radio Ink archives here.


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