December 1, 2015

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2/04/02 Goal 2002: Change What they're Saying About You
I was having cocktails with a handful of major agency buyers and planners when they began discussing media salespeople. Needless to say, I was all ears. This crowd had considerable experience in dealing with magazine reps, television reps, cable reps, Internet reps and Radio reps. But listening to what they had to say gave me a pounding headache and a broken heart.

The group consensus was that magazine reps were the most professional and that television people were close behind them. These were followed by Internet reps. Finally, I asked, “What about Radio?”

I’m really glad that you weren’t there.

After the laughter had died down, I said, “No, really. What about Radio?” The air was filled with words like "shoot from the hip," "goofy" and "self-important."

Finally, I said, “So has none of you EVER had a positive experience with a Radio person?” That’s when a woman said, "There was this one girl — I can't remember her name, but I loved her enthusiasm." "Was she well prepared?" I asked. "No, but her enthusiasm got my attention," the woman responded. "She was not just going through the motions. This girl believed in Radio with all her heart. If she had only done her homework, I might have even been able to buy her.”

What’s the current level of your passion? Do you really love this thing called Radio? Do you believe it works? How do you feel about your company, your station and your programming? And most important, do your feelings show?

I'm always distressed when I hear stories of weak Radio salespeople turned loose on the streets, especially when there are so many great ones who are producing extraordinary results for their clients. Will there ever come a day when media buyers tell me that all the very best media salespeople come from Radio?

If you have real passion and true belief, you can transfer that belief to others. But if you're faking it, if you dislike your job or your station or even if you're just mad at the program director or the sales manager – it’s going to show.

Keith Reinhard, chairman of DDB Worldwide, recently gave a 30-minute speech about Radio. I witnessed in him a belief that was deeper and saw a passion that burned brighter than I have ever seen in most of the Radio people I know. Here is the head of one of the biggest agencies in America — one of the biggest users of Radio in the world — and he loves our medium. What about you?

I want you to share a goal with me for 2002: Let it be our goal that, at the next media buyer’s cocktail party, they say, “What’s gotten into those Radio folks? They’re on fire!” On the day that this happens, a new future for Radio will have been born.

You can do it if only you will.

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