How Far Do We Go To Write The Business?

by Jeff Left

Ever heard some of these? So what! We clipped two seconds off the spot, like they heard it! So the cart died in the middle of the spot, or the phone connection was scratchy for the call-in, or the signal was poor for the remote. Who gives two cents if the music was too loud and you couldn’t hear the announcer. Tough if the sfx were too loud. Who cares if I read live copy worse than a canned spot, or that the live sixty seconds ended up thirty-five seconds long. So, I forgot to get a lot of information from the client. You’re a jock, fake it! So, I forgot some prizes to give away. They’re here to see me. So I forgot the banners; I have a T-shirt on. My car is a lot newer than the station van, plus I can go home after the event! I can’t believe we have to set up the station sound system. It’s not a dance; it’s a remote. I didn’t need a copy of the log or a set of headphones; I just listened for the jock to throw it to me. Like everyone at the event would have wanted a bumper sticker! If we miss the break, it’s his fault—he’s the engineer! Jocks don’t hang banners, reps do. So the spot’s thirty-three seconds long; charge him for three extra seconds. Yea, it’s a lousy read, but it’s ten after six! Give it to the over-nighter; I don’t care who the client is. He won’t help me get a talent fee? I cut spots like these! Give them the crappy dub; we can’t stand them. It’s after five; we don’t do spots on weekends. IT WILL TAKE ME TWO SECONDS TO CUT THIS :30!

Some of these lines are said at radio stations every working day. Clients do not have to literally hear them for them to have an effect. What you do says a lot more than what you say sometimes. When a client sees this, in a way they see what they just paid for. Smart clients don’t pay for it again! Ever wonder why all of a sudden they aren’t on the air for a while? It could be because they saw in action any of the above-mentioned work ethic examples. Clients either run TO or FROM options in marketing their business. These examples make them run from your station. Even the best sales force cannot close a deal with this idea of your station in a client’s mind.

Stations like this not only make other stations look bad, but put a poor mark on Radio in general. Stations like this not only lose money, but force ad dollars into TV, print, outdoor, mailers and cable. Clients only have so many ad dollars, and they’re out. Every dollar matters. So, for everyone who doesn’t want to give at least one hundred percent on the job, I hope you lose thirty percent of everything you do today as an object lesson. Thirty percent of your fries at lunch, thirty percent less in your check on Friday, from your change at the store, or less that in gas or air you breathe.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the biz and forget radio is a business. When we cheat our stations, we cheat the clients, and they pass that on to the consumer with what we produced for them, poor store traffic, and poor sales. Look at the other stations who do just the opposite. Just look at the number one station in the market. Odds are they are 180 degrees away from doing this kind of business. They get the ABCD award—Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. They get the lion’s share of the radio revenue. They pay a higher salary to the employee and have the latest in equipment and self-marketing efforts. These stations create an arena of top-shelf radio in the client’s mind that radio works, and in radio, they work the best! They are the consumer confidence that keeps clients coming back. Post this in all your departments come raise time and see what kind of conversations you get.

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