Let Freedom Ring


(By Pat Bryson) Today my friends in Canada celebrate Canada Day. We in the U.S. are gearing up for our July 4th celebration. I hope it’s a big one this year! I plan to gather with friends around a pool to eat, drink, and thank God for life, liberty, and happiness.

My flags are decorating my front lawn. Old Glory will be seen waving in the breeze across our nation. Or at least I hope so. No matter the warts our country may have, I believe it to be a beacon of light for the world. If our young people would have the chance to experience parts of the world where socialism or communism has prevailed, they would understand how blessed they are to live here. And I believe we in broadcast play an integral part in the life of our country.

If you will forgive my crawling onto my soapbox for a few minutes, I would like to share my deeply held belief about what we as advertising salespeople do. Why our job is SO important. I once lost a very good young salesperson because his father-in-law “wanted him to get a real job.” Well, what we do IS a real job. It’s a vital job.

After doing training with broadcasters in Kazakhstan in the late 90’ies, I returned home with a new perspective on our “mission”. The Soviet Bloc had only recently disintegrated, and these broadcasters had private licenses for the first time. They were relatively “free” to broadcast what they wanted (although if it contained anything critical to the government thugs were likely to show up and smash equipment). Now they had to earn revenue to support their stations. That’s where I came in. I was supposed to teach them how to sell advertising. The problem was their economic system was still evolving after 70 years of Soviet rule. Do you know there was no Russian word for “marketing”? Why did they need one? In a Communist system, everything is decided by the government. And, having experienced the results of this, the government didn’t make wise decisions.

I came back to the US and literally kissed the ground. And I realized what a vital role we play. In a capitalistic system, someone has an idea for a product or service, builds it, advertises it, sells it, builds more product, advertises it, sells it, etc. The wheels of commerce turn: jobs are created. And the grease on the wheels of commerce is advertising! It’s what we do! It’s delivering a message from a business to a group of consumers through our vehicles: Radio, TV, billboards, digital. Businesses inviting customers into their stores partially determine how our economy flourishes. Our clients need our help, guidance, and expertise.

This 4th of July, as you celebrate with family and friends, say a prayer of thanks that you work in an industry that plays a vital part in the well-being and future of our great country and the world. That’s worth setting off a few fireworks!

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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