Why I Switched Careers


It has now been a full month since I walked away from 8+ years working for a group of radio stations in Fort Wayne Indiana.

All together I have spent 25+ years in the radio business with a couple of breaks. I started as a teenage disc-jockey and moved into the advertising and marketing world which I found fascinating.

Radio uses push marketing methods. In order to get the free music, they will push advertising messages out too.

Television broadcasting works this way too. Newspapers also use push marketing methods… you want to read the news, then you have to page thru the ads too.

Yellow Pages is not push marketing. I don’t know of anyone who has casually paged thru the phone book as a source of entertainment.

The selling point for yellow pages sales reps was, the book was the place people go to find a business to spend money with to solve problems. Once you pick up the book, you are ready to spend.

Technology however has made the phone book and the yellow pages outdated. When we want an answer, we Google it. The web and search engines are replacing the yellow pages as the source for finding information and answers.

The other reason I switched careers, I believe in the methods used by my team at Cirrus ABS which combines sound technology, solid strategic planning and analytics to measure the results.

Our Sunday Seth talks more about this:

Paying attention to the attention economy

Most of us are happily obsessed with the economy of money. We earn it and we spend it and we generally pay attention to what things cost.

Certainly, salespeople and marketers are truly focused on the price of things, on commissions and shelving allowances and net margin and the cost of goods sold.

With all of these easily measured activity, it’s easy to overlook the fast-growing and ever more important economy based around attention.

“If I alert my entire customer base, how much will this cost me in permission?”

“How much time do we save our customers with a better written manual?”

“When we fail to ask for (and reward) the privilege of following up, are we wasting permission?”

“Does launching this product to an audience of stangers waste the attention we’re going to have to buy?”

Attention is a bit like real estate, in that they’re not making any more of it. Unlike real estate, though, it keeps going up in value.

Make it Special


My Sunday Seth:

Every successful case is a special case

It’s easy to dismiss strategies or plans or people who succeed by pointing out how they have something special, something irreproducible, some sort of advantage that makes their success special.

Special as in, “not available to me.”

They went to Harvard, they’re public, they’re not public, they have a great fundraising team, they have a powerful partner, they didn’t go to Harvard, they already have a reputation, they have no reputation to risk…

This is silly, as all success is special. That’s what makes it success. We don’t consider breathing a success, since, fortunately, we all can breathe.

The trick is learning about what the special cases have in common, in understanding how maybe, just maybe, you have some of the very same attributes that others have used in a new way.

Two Approaches

One is an opportunity.

So is the other, but from a different angle.

From Seth Godin:

Unbetterable

The two best ways to break through a rut and to make an impact:

  • Find things that others have accepted as the status quo and make them significantly, noticably and remarkably better.
  • Find things that you’re attached to that are slowing you down, realize that they are broken beyond repair and eliminate them. Toss them away and refuse to use them any longer.

When a not-so-good software tool or a habit or an agency or a policy has too much inertia to be fixed, when it’s unbetterable, you’re better off without it. Eliminating it will create a void, fertile territory for something much better to arrive.

The Press


You never know what you might have a microphone & camera shoved in your face.

Well, if you want that to happen, I’ll have a tip for you after the Sunday Seth:

How to be interviewed

The explosion of media channels and public events means that more people are being interviewed about more topics than ever before. It might even happen to you… and soon.

  1. They call it giving an interview, not taking one, and for good reason. If you’re not eager to share your perspective, don’t bother showing up.
  2. Questions shouldn’t be taken literally. The purpose of the question is to give you a chance to talk about something you care about. The audience wants to hear what you have to say, and if the question isn’t right on point, answer a different one instead.
  3. In all but the most formal media settings, it’s totally appropriate to talk with the interviewer in advance, to give her some clues about what you’re interested in discussing. It makes you both look good.Link
  4. The interviewer is not your friend, and everything you say is on the record. If you don’t want it to be in print, don’t say it.
  5. If you get asked the same question from interview to interview, there’s probably a good reason. Saying, “I get asked that question all the time,” and then grimacing in pain is disrespectful to the interviewer and the audience. See rule 1.
  6. If your answers aren’t interesting, exciting or engaging, that’s your fault, not the interviewer’s. See rule 2.

Recently while having dinner with some Twitter friends, HARO was mentioned.

I used to subscribe, quit for awhile, but am doing it again. Click here.

This Is the Information Age…


So there is no reason to be left in the dark.

My Sunday Seth:

“Why wasn’t I informed?”

Information is tricky. Sometimes it’s delivered to you. Often, you need to go find it.

There’s no blame in not being aware of something you had no idea you ought to be looking for. If you’ve been using the same brand of aftershave for five years, you’re forgiven for not Googling it regularly to find out if it contains a carcinogen. That’s information we’d like to come find us, not something we need to be on the alert for.

On the other hand, I’m stunned when someone enters new territory without doing a modicum of research. Consider the yutz who goes on vacation to a foreign land, only to discover on arrival that they’re in the middle of monsoon season (happens every year around this time!) or that there’s a civil war going on.

Or perhaps the small businessperson who launches an expensive marketing campaign without investing a few hours in reading up on what works and what doesn’t.

Or the email novice who forwards an incredible email to her entire address list without checking Snopes first.

The rules are now clear: no one is going to inform you, but it’s easier than ever to inform yourself. Before you spend the money, the time or the attention of your friends, look it up.

Are You Ready to Risk It?


Our Sunday Seth:

Dangerous (in a good way)

A path on the way to building a reputation:

  • When someone asks you a question, they get an answer bigger than they ever expected.
  • When someone gives you a project, they get a plan scarier than they hoped for.
  • When you take on a project, you finish it.

If this is your reputation, what sort of projects and gigs will you find yourself getting? Not a good way to fit in, but an excellent way to be the one people seek out.