Monday, March 27, 2017

Episode 24:

Producing Better Radio by producing radio BETTER

Radio's ONLY Hall of Fame Producer
The biggest challenge in presenting TOMMY SABLAN is where to start. Seems like his shows have been on top of the San Diego morning show heap forever ─ both on TV and radio. He’s perhaps most widely know as the ‘producer’s producer’ of the famous     Jeff & Jer Showgram in San Diego. There, his contributions to an uber-talented team have lead the ratings as the show has moved from station to station, time and again. Now, Jer has retired from radio and the show continues as Jeff and the Showgram, and Tommy reveals how he orchestrated the evolution without missing a beat! Tommy Sablan is the first-ever executive producer to be named to the National Radio Hall of Fame.

In this episode, Tommy shares ways ANY station or show can dominate in their market, larger or small. He also offers insights on doing the impossible: helping a show move from station to station, while GROWING the audience each time. He also has some interesting insights on this that have worked so well, the radio industry STOPPED doing them.



>>> Check the Jeff & the Showgram YOU TUBE channel:

>>> See Tommy working a Jeff & Jer Showgram event back in the day!


Expanded Play Interview:

One-minute Martinizing

You’ve Got Mail

One of the fun things about the day job is getting paid to be a student of advertising. Not a week goes by without learning something new or learning something again. The ongoing objective is discovering what seems to be working and what’s somehow failing to get it done. My preference is to keep a journal and make note of what’s happening, what’s interesting. As the cool kids at Field Notes say “I’m not writing it down to remember it later. I’m writing it down to remember it now.”

Before I offer a theory of the case, let’s agree we are in the business of changing behavior. Our intent is to get as many people listening as many times as possible for as long as possible at the lowest cost. We need to be included in what’s called “the evoked set”, that is, the choices which are top of mind when someone wants audio. Building an audio brand or franchise starts with getting into that evoked set and then growing share of ear to become the first preference of the set. Put simply, penetrate occasions then dominate those occasions.

The most cost effective marketing tool for this task? My suggestion is that nineties throwback – email. Email continues to be the dependable workhorse of smart marketers. From savvy single location Mom & Pop merchants to global enterprises, email gets the job done. To be effective it’s a careful mix of art and science. It starts with the opt-in list. Accomplished entrepreneur Seth Godin holds what is practically a daily clinic on using email to drive engagement. You begin granular. Target a specific audience, one with a particular interest. For music shows/stations it might be an artist now on tour or one with a hot upcoming release. It may be exclusive as a genre (e.g., metal). For spoken word stations it may be listeners interested in local politics or personal finances. What can you offer the audience in exchange for their opt-in? This is the first “ask” you must get right.

Mail Chimp and others offer cost effective solutions which will help you get your email marketing up and running. The key, as always, is ask for action to be taken. Provide the rationale, then, encourage to “click here to listen.” Drive tune-in!

P.S. Allow me to suggest you Google “theskimm” and check it out, subscribe to get a look at it. It’s a wonderful email based enterprise which targets women. These young entrepreneurs get it. They have a strong working knowledge of how email can produce amazing results. Is your morning or midday or afternoon or night talent offering a cool email like this? Why not? You've got mail too. Use it!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Episode 23:
VO Superstar Nick Michaels
The STORY behind great imaging!

Nick Michaels is a writer, narrator, and broadcaster whose voice has appeared on over a billion dollars of paid advertising for clients like Bristol-Myers, General Motors, Kellogg's, P&G, Gillette, Coca-Cola, and many others.

Nick can be heard on National Geographic Explorer episodes and many other TV projects. His writing, voice, and television commercials are helping to shape the image of some of the most influential stations and networks in the country including KSWD-FM in Los Angeles, WDRV-FM in Chicago, KCBS AM/FM in San Francisco and even CNN, among others.

Nick's syndicated radio program, 
The Deep End With Nick Michaels, can be heard across the country. 


Hear Nick's impact on writing and delivery, in helping unseat a longstanding heritage market leader!

One-minute Martinizing: 

Get Different

The mission at my day job is to help others change behavior. We believe …“All that matters is what’s coming out of the speakers and on the screens. Everything else is a footnote.” Nick Michaels delivered the goods in this episode. His take away – what’s important is what they’re hearing not what we’re saying – is spot-on. The magic happens, or not, on the listener side of the radio, in the listener’s mind. Nick’s success comes from a deep understanding of the true nature of great audio - it’s a performance art.

Writing on his blog, programming ace George Johns recently said “It’s time for radio to take the blinders off and get the hell out of the forest so they can breathe some fresh air. We need to start creating some new radio because I’ve heard all this stuff before. The radio industry needs to do something so compelling that it forces its listeners to tell their friends and co-workers all about it every day.” Right on the mark, as ever.

Nick and George share a passion for making exceptional audio, audio that strikes a responsive chord, audio which triggers an emotional response. Job 1 for radio is creating exceptional audio, doing the common uncommonly well and to a measureable effect. What are you doing on the air that “forces…(your) listeners to tell their friends and co-workers all about it”? Getting listeners to talk about you, your show, your radio station is one of those critical measureable effects. You’ll get into their conversations by first getting into their mind.

Let me suggest this – something that gets people talking will breakthrough because it’s fundamentally different, it’s something which captures attention and engages the imagination. The task at hand is putting the listener mind to work. Getting the listener involved in filling in the blank. My sense is this involves a focused effort to get different rather than continuing to invest precious time and resources in getting better. Get different!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Episode 022:

Paige Nienaber:
Promote THIS!

Radio's Evil Genius Speaks

If you look up Paige Nienabor in the Encyclopedia of Radio Promotions, you’ll see his picture. Largely because he WROTE that book among several others!

In this episode, Radio’s “Evil Genius” shares some of his favorite stunts and the results created.

After groundbreaking stints at stations in Portland, Minneapolis, Charlotte and San Francisco, for the past 20 years he’s been consulting stations around the world on Marketing and Promotions. His contests and campaigns that have made hundreds of thousands of dollars and guided both stations and shows to market-leading ratings and revenue numbers.

His CPR Promotions is the go-to resource for hundreds of AE’s and Programmers who need ideas FAST! And he loves it. Working with fun, talented and creative station teams, Paige has helped orchestrate attention-getting promotions that get press worldwide.

He also reveals where he gets inspiration for some of his wackiest concepts and offers great tips for people who are short on two things: TIME and BUDGET!

Learn from Paige:

including great imaging examples,
fun videos and photos and TONS of great ideas!

Connect with Paige:


One-minute Martinizing
Know Thyself

Self-awareness is one of the secrets to achieving sustainable success. It’s also a precious gift. All of the successful people I know are serious about self-awareness. They know where they stand, honest about what they need to work on. They know how to do the work that will make a difference and move them forward. They understand doing that work – after knowing what needs to be done and knowing how to get it done – is the critical step. Without actually doing the work nothing happens.

This secret became obvious to me when one of my mentors suggested a specific daily ritual would help me to be more successful. The legendary Paul Drew told me I should end each day by taking a moment to reflect on what happened and then give myself a grade on my performance. He said “Give yourself a grade, A to F, and ask yourself why you got that grade, how could you have gotten a better grade?” Most importantly he added, “What would have to happen for you to get an A tomorrow?”

Paul’s advice has served me well (and many others lucky enough to have worked for him or to have known him).

As part of this daily exercise I have adopted a process which still works for me.

Be brutally honest about the grade you give yourself and then think about why you got that grade. What happened? I believe in writing these thoughts down, making notes in a personal journal.

When you ask yourself that last question make a list of the five most important things you need to get done tomorrow. Prioritize that list of five – be real. The next day work on #1 until it’s done and only then move on to your #2 and so on. At the end of the day move any of your top five not done to tomorrow’s list. Try this for a month and you’ll notice your daily grades getting better. Bonus: you will feel better about yourself and your job.

We all have bad days; it’s understanding why and having a plan to crush it tomorrow that will move you forward. The ancient Greeks put this secret into two simple words – Know Thyself