November 29, 2015

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02/05/07 The Grind

The alarm abruptly awakens you at 5 o’clock. You could use more sleep after another late night, but you begrudgingly hop out of bed, shower, dress, and start the day. Before the kids wake up you finish some laundry, pick up their toys, start breakfast, and check e-mail. Then the morning battle begins. “I don’t WANT to get out of BED. I don’t WANT to go to SCHOOL! I don’t WANT to get DRESSED! I don’t WANT to eat breakfast.” Time quickly evaporates, and suddenly it’s down to the wire to get them out the door and dropped at school before heading to the office. Traffic is at a stand-still — of course — so you’re checking the Blackberry while talking on the cell. Monitoring your station, you notice that your client’s ad didn’t run properly. And why weren’t you told about the new promotion that kicked off today?

Finally arriving at the office, you’re summoned to a sales meeting where it seems everyone is talking r e a l l y…s l o w l y…but saying the same old things. Like a trouper you listen and participate while stealthily peeking at your watch. The second the meeting ends you blast out of the room, rush to your e-mail, check your to do list, and start making calls.

But clients just aren’t responding today. “Can we talk in a week?” they ask. You politely say, “Of course,” but on the inside you’re saying, “NO! I have a goal to meet and I need your business.” You’ll look for an excuse to call back later and try again.

Back in the car — your second home these days — you rush to your first appointment while working the cell phone. To kill time between appointments you drop in on few new businesses you just noticed. Then it’s on to a client lunch, a few late appointments, and back to the station to prepare presentations, schedule ads and production, and chat with management about a client problem.

Now it’s time for a client dinner, after which you rush home just in time to convince the kids that they have to get to bed on time. When they’re finally asleep you crash for a moment, but you can’t sit still because new projections and paperwork are due. So you work till 1 o’clock, stumble into bed, and at 5 o’clock the next morning that alarm sounds off again. The cycle begins anew.

Is your life like this? There’s no doubt that pursuing a career in radio is unbelievably hard work. You could do other things, but radio has cast a spell on you because it’s fun; it allows you to be creative, and brings great results for clients. It’s a very special business made up of very special people.

Those of us in the industry who benefit from your hard work sometimes forget to say thank you. You make us look good as you build radio’s good name. We know it’s a grind, and your efforts are appreciated. I’m not sure any other industry boasts such love, passion, and loyalty from its soldiers. You’re a superstar, and don’t always get the recognition you deserve.

At this week’s RAB07 conference, Radio Ink will present our annual Radio Wayne Awards, which honor the radio superstars whose hard work, dedication, and creativity separate them from the pack. These awards recognize the people who make this industry operate. These awards have never been about honoring retiring luminaries; they’re for those in the trenches who fight for every sale.

As we honor this year’s Radio Wayne winners, we acknowledge every seller and manager out there. Your presence in this industry is of great value, and your sacrifices are high. We at Radio Ink raise a glass to all of you. Without you, there would be no radio industry.

Thank you for your dedication, and for working the daily grind.

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