Category Archives: 1

Go Pro Note #11 – Soft Skills (You Need ’em)

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By Tish Hevel
School Director & Regional Ops. Mgr.
Ohio Center for Broadcasting
Columbus & Cincinnati Campus
National Marketing Team Leader

I hate buzzwords.  I even hate the word buzzwords.  Anything that sounds like something that’s been said too much is what I’m talking about.  You don’t need me to make a list, you know ’em too.  They’re the things you hear that make you wanna put your thumb and your other fingers together, then open and close em like a beak.  Blah  blah  blah.

But there’s one phrase that’s sticking in my head these days because it’s important.  Soft skills.  I think it means the talents that aren’t directly related to a particular industry.but make you a good person, or employee, or performer.  A work ethic.  A willingness to jump in and help.  A demeanor that says I’m all in.  Dependability.  Punctuality.  Professionalism. 

Those are the things that are even more important than talent.  Trust me on this, I’m old and I know things.  One of my responsibilities in my first television job was to get dinner for the anchors.  Did I love that part of the job?  ‘Course not.  Couldn’t stand it.  But no one knew.  And to show I understood the importance of TV deadlines, I was always early.  Wanted to be thought of as willing and dependable, and the only way I knew how to make that happen was to actually BE those things.

Soft skills.  They may be the hardest habits to develop.

Tish Hevel (with her friend, anchorwoman Norma Rashid) doesn’t look like this anymore.  But when she sported big hair and shoulder pads back in the 80’s, she ran television newsrooms. And worked on her soft skills.  Still does.

Ohio Center for Broadcasting
http://www.beonair.com

Tish

Go Pro Note #10 – Just Tweak It

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By David Huffman
Strategic Marketing Manager
Ohio Center for Broadcasting

Cue guitar riff:  da, da, da, dada, dadadadda.  “Just tweak iiiit…tweak iiit, no one wants to be defeated!” 

Sorry, first I just noticed that you can’t really type a melody and secondly the M.J. reference is kind of lame.  Onward we go…

Ever found yourself just kind of stuck with something?  Maybe it’s a clever promotion that didn’t quite pan out or maybe a segment on your show that you thought would be completely hilarious.  How about a bit that was hilarious but has become dry and boring?

Tweak it.

I’ll button my suit up for a second here and drop some serious knowledge.  Kind of…  In Malcom Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point, he discussed that most  massively popular goods or services do not usually take off until a very minor tweak in their design or their message caused them to “tip.”  And by “tip” he means fall over into massive popularity.

In other words, just because something doesn’t work initially doesn’t always mean it wasn’t a great idea.  You may have just missed one or two pieces of the puzzle.

Blues music, as great as I think it is, didn’t gain tremendous popularity until someone came along with an electric guitar and a Pop song structure.  Two small tweaks overall.

Some bios suggest that Jerry Springer’s show didn’t take off until they came upon the realization that people LOVED the fights and the drama.  A couple tweaks here and there to showcase those elements more and BAM…superstar.

If you have the time, read Malcom Gladwell’s the Tipping Point.  No use in me reinventing the wheel here.  Just remember:  Before you scrap it, tweak it.  Then tweak it again.

Dave Huffman is the Strategic Marketing Manager for the Ohio Center for Broadcasting.  He can play a banjo. 

Ohio Center for Broadcasting
http://www.beonair.com

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Go Pro Note #8 – Become “One of Them”

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By Dave Huffman
Outside Marketing Coordinator
Ohio Center for Broadcasting

First off, the above picture has really nothing to do with the blog.  Unless you’re into the deeper meanings of things.  I just like mullet haircuts.

In this new age of striving for financial freedom, my wife and I decided it was time to shed the nice cars, or ehem, ONE nice car and go get a “junker.”

One of the junkers we picked out was a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe with just under 100,000 miles.  We found it online, so I clicked the “make an offer” button and made the first offer.

Here is the response I got from the salesman:

Thank you for the e-mail, I am your Sales Consultant. This is a very nice Hyundia Santa Fe GL, when can we make an appointment for you to see, drive and buy this almost new Hyundia?

Almost NEW?  Nope.  Sorry, not even close.

Now I have my guard up and I’m almost certain I’m not buying the car from this place.

What does this have to do with my career or broadcasting? Hold your horses, I’m getting there.

If he would’ve been REAL with me and not tried to pull the wool over my eyes by acting like the car is almost new, I would’ve felt like he was “One of Us”, to steal a term from Chris Brogan.  I would’ve immediately believed in him and certainly would’ve had a better feeling about purchasing from him.  I wouldn’t have felt like he was changing into his Sales Pants to “sell” me a car.

Now, I’m not in broadcasting, so you’ll have to take this and apply it to how you think it would fit into the betterment of your career.  However, coming from the Music Industry, I can make a few educated guesses as to how you can Become One of Them.

  • Interact with listeners at appearances. Don’t sit behind the table with your arms crossed because you are “The Talent.”  Get out and play games with people, ask them about their lives.   They are interested enough in you to tune in everyday…so why would you put a wall up and not try to get to know them?
  • Write a blog. Yea, I’m saying it again.  Go start a blog right now.  You don’t need to be a great writer to blog.  Yes it’s true that bloggers are becoming more and more proficient writers, but some of the best were viewed as such because they told a story and the blog was easy to read.
  • Choose Your ‘Tude. Get rid of the attitude, you’re not better than anyone else.  Dr. Smith of CD101 has a great Go Pro Minute Video about having the right attitude.  It’s really not cliche.  In fact, it should be #1 on EVERY hiring list.  Given the choice between someone that really knows their sh*t and is even barely an a-hole and someone that doesn’t know anything but is willing to do and learn anything.  I’ll kick the a-hole to the curb everytime.
  • Comment Back. Has a listener commented on your Facebook or Myspace page?  Have they?  Ok, then why in the holy crap didn’t you comment back?  If you were in a conversation with someone and they asked you a question, would you stare them in the eyes and not answer?  Of course not, you’d probably be carted away to the hospital if so.  Social Media isn’t any different.  It’s still a tool of communication.

We could go on for days.  These are just a few items I think are important.  You could actually strike all of them and/or umbrella them under “Attitude.”

Choose your ‘Tude, dude.

Dave Huffman is the Outside Marketing Coordinator for the Ohio Center for Broadcasting.  He is currently working on crafting a bigger Baby Bjorn since his son no longer fits into the one in the picture below.

http://www.beonair.com

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Go Pro Note #6 – Ringmaster Your Resume

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By Patrick Locy
CD 101 FM
Columbus, OH

Being involved in the broadcasting business it terrific, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that any long-term involvement with this wonderful business requires the expectation that, at certain times, you’ll be expected to complete tasks* that are far outside the common obligations of a “broadcaster”… tasks that will often have you considering the addition of “Ringmaster” to your resume.

I was working as overnight radio talent very early in my career, and we were preparing to host a birthday show featuring the most awkward of billings. This was the Slayer and Cher tour to end all uncomfortable pairings. I entered the station that day prepared to interact with a few record label representatives, say hello to some acquaintances and take full advantage of the free food scattered about. Thirty minutes later and I’m driving a borrowed car through downtown, tasked with locating and transporting the Slayer side of tonight’s bill to a secondary location for a private performance. Now the locating part, that was easy enough… and how difficult can it be to drive someone from Point A to Point B?

When that someone refuses to perform, let alone get in the car, it can be pretty difficult. Never once was I informed that my “simple task” would require me to assume the role of hostage negotiator, attempting to secure the delivery of a few songs from a less than sociable performer… but that’s part of the fun of broadcasting. Twenty minutes and a few idle threats later I was speeding away from the venue, disgruntled performer and guitar in tow.

Consider this a quick reminder– always be prepared to embrace new (and often unexpected) opportunities as a broadcaster, and remember that that no matter how terrible those experiences may initially seem… everything is far more comical when you can recount it to friends later.

Patrick Locy is also the Assistant Education Director at the Ohio Center for Broadcasting and he LOVES Slayer.  And a little Cher every now and then.  Not really…ok, maybe.

Patrick

 

 

 

 

 

Ohio Center for Broadcasting
http://www.beonair.com

Go Pro Note #5 – Be a Personality NOT a DJ

By Shawnda McNeal
Co-host
The Atom Smasher Morning Show
Hot 96 FM
Evansville, IN

So, I was interviewing ol’ Lisa Rinna…yeah you know who she is, the chick from the Soaps with the big a** lips and still has the body of a 19 year old. As soon as I answered the phone for the interview she said, “Shawnda, you don’t have broadcasting voice.” I said “What exactly is a broadcasting voice, Lisa“?

She had me so fired up about that comment because you don’t need a God awful pukey voice to consider yourself a “Broadcaster.” It’s not the 1800’s people. We’re personalities. We actually have something to say and not just like the sound of our voice because it’s deep and awesome. When you open the mic make sure what you have to say fits your audience and keeps them wanting more.

There is so much competition with syndication! You need to stand out. I always tell people I’m 100% me on the air and off the air. It’s the only way to be! Keep it real and interesting at ALL TIMES! The best piece of advice I got was from KDWB’s Dave Ryan. He told me to read the newspaper EVERYDAY, have a life and keep up to date with pop culture. Start there and let your creativity flow!

Shawnda McNeal is currently the outspoken/opinionated co-host of the Atom Smasher Morning Show in Evansville, IN.  She has also co-hosted shows at WNOU (Indianapolis), KCLD (St. Cloud), and KEEZ (Mankato). 

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Ohio Center for Broadcasting
http://www.beonair.com