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Don’t Let The Market Size Make You by Mike Gill

Jason Barrett



Before I enjoyed success as a programmer in a couple of major markets, I was a hungry and aspiring broadcaster in a smaller market with big market dreams. I emulated what I heard on WFAN and assumed it was the right way to do professional sports talk radio.

There weren’t content coaches or mentors available teaching me how to program and develop as a talent. Everything I learned was through trial and error and seeking out independent advice. I provided the best product that I could for my employer and assumed they were ok with it. The alternative would’ve been to spend more money to find someone better and in smaller markets that isn’t often an option.

Years later after running stations and working on successful national shows, I have a much deeper understanding of how to create content, develop ratings and social media strategies and maximize a brand’s value. If I were to listen back to some of my earlier work I’m sure I’d want to erase it. The perfectionist in me might wish that those inferior performances didn’t take place but truth be told, I’m glad they do. It’s important to learn, make mistakes, and be stretched thin early on because it gives you an appreciation for the business and provides you with experiences that help you later on during your career. If you can’t handle three to four roles, talking about community focused subjects, and making little money, the early stages of this business may make you consider another line of work.

I raise these points because they’re part of the fabric of small market radio stations everywhere throughout the country. Air staffs are small, sales staffs are small, and budgets are even smaller but the mindset to be successful can’t be. In many cases patience, positivity, and a love for the medium are required. The more an individual can handle and execute in strong fashion, the better their chances of developing and one day gaining an opportunity to make a better living in the radio industry.

It’s not much different than being a minor league baseball player. The goal may be to reach the big leagues, earn a big contract, and perform in front of sellout crowds, but before getting to that level, paying your dues is required. A player might perform in front of a few hundred people, ride a bus to each game, and even organize the bat rack or fetch baseballs. It’s part of the process of learning and proving you can handle responsibility before being thrown into the lion’s den. That said, you have to treat the stage as if it’s as important as the larger one you hope to one day stand on.

In my current role, I get to listen, talk and follow the work of many small market brands and radio professionals. I can tell you that there are hidden gems all across this nation and some brands which create exceptional programming despite not working with a ton of resources. Small market stations don’t often earn national headlines or praise, but many do a great job of connecting in their communities through events, promotions, sales, partnerships and charitable associations.

I thought for this industry piece that it would be interesting to get the perspective of someone who works in one of these situations and is doing a really good job. Mike Gill, programs 97.3 ESPN in Atlantic City for Townsquare Media, and doubles as the radio station’s afternoon host. He broadcasts in market 151, 60 miles outside of Philadelphia (market 8), and aims to superserve South Jersey and Philadelphia sports fans as if he were sitting on the other side of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania border.

As you’ll learn in this article, smaller market stations work with less and have to think outside the box to make their brands stand out. When they’re able to be creative and made up of a staff that shares a passion, love and dedication to making an impact, the results can be anything but small.

Jason Barrett

Don’t Let The Market Size Make You by Mike Gill

In today’s ultra-competitive sports radio world, many of us ‘small market’ guys are doing a ton of things in addition to hosting our own show just trying to get noticed. Programming, meetings, imaging, meetings, editing audio, meetings, blogging, meetings, making sure logs are right, meetings, building programming clocks for the upcoming NBA game and weekend’s shows – did I mention meetings?

All of that in addition to preparing for a four-hour talk show with compelling content and great guests, coming up with station promotions, scheduling, making sure everything runs smooth and more.

In Atlantic City, which is located on the beach in market 151, we are in the shadows of one of the most competitive major sports radio markets in the country – Philadelphia. However, I would contend we are only in the shadows of Philadelphia in terms of market size – not show content, guest promotions or overall show quality. We may not have the same amount of listeners but our market share is every bit as good.

Many people recognize our station when they vacation “down the shore” in the summer when the Philly stations are out of range and tell us ‘wow, I can’t believe the level of guests you guys have’, or ‘I can’t believe some of the things you guys give away on your station’.

Someone once told me, don’t let the market size make you, you make the market size! It’s something that I live by everyday when I program and host at 97.3 ESPN.

I went to West Virginia University where I was the sports director at U-92 Radio. I hosted a sports-talk show, provided play-by-play, and took any opportunity that came up. When I graduated in the spring, the first job I applied for I got, and my radio career began. That only fueled my desire to take on more challenges.

I did an internship at WIP in Philadelphia, with my goal being to work in Philly again one day. I fulfilled that goal, doing weekends at 97.5 The Fanatic from 2013-2014.

But, I always wanted to be more than just an on-air host. I wanted people to associate the station’s sound with my personality. I consider the radio station an extension of myself. Throughout my time in this business, I’ve always sought to give back and do more. It’s how I program my brand.

One thing I’ve tried to do is find and give young talent a chance to show what they can do. Many of our alumni have moved on to bigger markets and become successful and I take a lot of pride in witnessing their continued success.

  • Pat Gallen (Now CBS 3 in Philly and WIP Radio)
  • Matt Lombardo (97.5 The Fanatic and
  • Matt Hammond (Sportsradio 610 in Houston)
  • Barrett Brooks (Breakfast on Broad on CSN Philly, 97.5 The Fanatic)
  • Matt Martucci (Voice of St. Joe’s men’s hoops, WIP and SiriusXM Radio)

Those are just some of the recognizable names that got their start at ESPN 1450, which has since become 97.3 ESPN.

So how did market 151 get their hands on so many talented guys?

We got creative.

If a person has an idea, I’m willing to listen and within reason, give them a shot.

Currently, we are live and local from 1p-7p ET Monday-Friday and we air local updates from 6a-6p ET. Rich Quinones handles middays, and I host our afternoon show. We carry the NBA, MLB, the Masters, the NCAA Tournament, every primetime NFL game, the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. 97.3 ESPN is also an affiliate of the Sixers, Flyers and Eagles and because of these partnerships, our on-air promotions have a big market feel and sound.

Through those partnerships, we’ve been able to give away trips to Eagles road games, Flyers tickets every Thursday during the Spring book, Sixers season tickets, and an opportunity to sit with Sixers radio play-by-play man Tom McGinnis. These giveaways resonate with our listeners.

We’ve also created unique promotions. One in particular, ’99 Bottles’ includes registering 99 listeners and having a party where each bottle has a logo taped to the bottom of it. Each person picks a bottle and wins the pair of tickets that are taped to the bottom of it. Prizes include tickets to see the Sixers, Flyers, Phillies, local casino shows, concerts, anything we can get our hands on. The grand prize is Eagles club box seats on the 50-yard line.

With all of that play by play on our airwaves, it’s important to cover each team on a regular basis. We’re fortunate to have a Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, Flyers and high school sports beat reporter covering them for our website

How does market 151 have the budget to make that happen? We don’t. We get creative.

Veteran NFL writer John McMullen covers the Eagles for us. John appears on my afternoon show daily in-season and during the off-season, while providing content for our website. Flyers beat writer Dave Isaac from the Courier Post covers the Flyers for us, providing web content with his on-air hits during the season. Michael Kaskey-Blomain, formerly of, covers the Sixers, while also providing web and on-air content to the radio station.

We also struck a content sharing deal with a local website,, which is led by Philly radio veteran Brian Startare. The website supplies Phillies content for us from Frank Klose, who we credential and send to games. In return, he appears for bi-weekly on-air hits or anytime Phillies news happens.

Dave O’Sullivan is a well-respected local high school sports publisher of a magazine called Glory Days. He hosts a Saturday specialty show called ‘The South Jersey Sports Report’ and is our go-to guy for local material that we might not cover on our local shows, but has strong appeal on our website. By teaming up, Dave gains an opportunity to promote his magazine on the air during his show, and we receive the benefit of local high school sports coverage.

In addition, we’ve formed strong relationships with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio and Jayson Stark. They both appear weekly during their respective seasons, once again helping us present a profile of quality guests and content on the radio station that our audience can enjoy.

Not to be forgotten, my producers have worked tirelessly in securing high caliber guests. My former producer Pete Giordano spent eight years with me before leaving for a great producing opportunity at SiriusXM. Josh Hennig has since taken over and we haven’t skipped a beat.

I’m sharing these details to remind you to be creative, work tirelessly, and not take no for an answer. We try to make people take notice on a daily basis and that’s something that every small market station has an ability to do.

The goal at 97.3 ESPN remains the same, don’t let the market size make you, you make the market size. Because of that approach, the hard work has paid off in the ratings. Here’s an example of one of our recent books.


4.0 – #6 in the Market

Men 18-49 

6.5 – #2 in the Market

Men 25-49 

7.9 – #1 in the Market

Men 25-54 

6.2 – #2 in the Market

5.5 – #3 in PM Drive

Men 35-64 

8.2 – #1 in the Market

8.6 – #1 in the AM Drive

10.2 – #1 in Middays

8.5 – #1 in PM Drive

Mike Gill programs and hosts afternoons for 97.3 ESPN in Atlantic City. Visit the radio station’s website by clicking here. You can also follow Mike on Twitter by clicking here.

Barrett Blogs

Barrett Sports Media To Launch Podcast Network

“We will start with a few new titles later this month, and add a few more in July.”

Jason Barrett



To run a successful digital content and consulting company in 2022 it’s vital to explore new ways to grow business. There are certain paths that produce a higher return on investment than others, but by being active in multiple spaces, a brand has a stronger chance of staying strong and overcoming challenges when the unexpected occurs. Case in point, the pandemic in 2020.

As much as I love programming and consulting stations to assist with growing their over the air and digital impact, I consider myself first a business owner and strategist. Some have even called me an entrepreneur, and that works too. Just don’t call me a consultant because that’s only half of what I do. I’ve spent a lot of my time building relationships, listening to content, and studying brands and markets to help folks grow their business. Included in my education has been studying website content selection, Google and social media analytics, newsletter data, the event business, and the needs of partners and how to best serve them. As the world of media continues to evolve, I consider it my responsibility to stay informed and ready to pivot whenever it’s deemed necessary. That’s how brands and individuals survive and thrive.

If you look at the world of media today compared to just a decade ago, a lot has changed. It’s no secret during that period that podcasting has enjoyed a surge. Whether you review Edison Research, Jacobs Media, Amplifi Media, Spotify or another group’s results, the story is always the same – digital audio is growing and it’s expected to continue doing so. And that isn’t just related to content. It applies to advertising too. Gordon Borrell, IAB and eMarketer all have done the research to show you where future dollars are expected to move. I still believe it’s smart, valuable and effective for advertisers to market their products on a radio station’s airwaves, but digital is a key piece of the brand buy these days, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.

Which brings me to today’s announcement.

If you were in New York City in March for our 2022 BSM Summit, you received a program at the show. Inside of one of the pages was a small ad (same image used atop this article) which said “Coming This Summer…The BSM Podcast Network…Stay Tuned For Details.” I had a few people ask ‘when is that happening, and what shows are you planning to create?’ and I kept the answers vague because I didn’t want to box ourselves in. I’ve spent a few months talking to people about joining us to help continue producing quality written content and improve our social media. Included in that process has been talking to members of our team and others on the outside about future opportunities creating podcasts for the Barrett Sports Media brand.

After examining the pluses and minuses, and listening and talking to a number of people, I’m excited to share that we are launching the BSM Podcast Network. We will start with a few new titles later this month, and add a few more in July. Demetri Ravanos will provide oversight of content execution, and assist with production and guest booking needs for selected pods. This is why we’ve been frequently promoting Editor and Social Media jobs with the brand. It’s hard to pursue new opportunities if you don’t have the right support.

The titles that will make up our initial offerings are each different in terms of content, host and presentation. First, we have Media Noise with Demetri Ravanos, which has produced over 75 episodes over the past year and a half. That show will continue in its current form, being released each Friday. Next will be the arrival of The Sports Talkers Podcast with Stephen Strom which will debut on Thursday June 23rd, the day of the NBA Draft. After that, The Producer’s Podcast with Brady Farkas will premiere on Wednesday June 29th. Then as we move into July, two more titles will be added, starting with a new sales focused podcast Seller to Seller with Jeff Caves. The final title to be added to the rotation will be The Jason Barrett Podcast which yours truly will host. The goal is to have five weekly programs distributed through our website and across all podcasting platforms by mid to late July.

I am excited about the creation of each of these podcasts but this won’t be the last of what we do. We’re already working on additional titles for late summer or early fall to ramp up our production to ten weekly shows. Once a few ideas and discussions get flushed out, I’ll have more news to share with you. I may consider adding even more to the mix too at some point. If you have an idea that you think would resonate with media professionals and aspiring broadcasters, email me by clicking here.

One thing I want to point out, this network will focuses exclusively on various areas of the sports media industry. We’ll leave mainstream sports conversations to the rest of the media universe. That’s not a space I’m interested in pursuing. We’ve focused on a niche since arriving on the scene in 2015 and have no plans to waver from it now.

Additionally, you may have noticed that we now refer to our company as ‘Barrett Media’. That’s because we are now involved in both sports and news media. That said, we are branding this as the BSM Podcast Network because the titles and content are sports media related. Maybe there will be a day when we introduce a BNM version of this, but right now, we’ve got to make sure the first one works right before exploring new territory.

Our commitment to delivering original industry news, features and opinions in print form remains unchanged. This is simply an opportunity to grow in an area where we’ve been less active. I know education for industry folks and those interested in entering the business is important. It’s why young people all across the country absorb mountains of debt to receive a college education. As valuable as those campus experiences might be, it’s a different world once you enter the broadcasting business.

What I’d like to remind folks is that we continue to make investments in the way we cover, consult, and discuss the media industry because others invest in us. It’d be easy to stockpile funds and enjoy a few more vacations but I’m not worried about personal wealth. I’m focused on building a brand that does meaningful work by benefitting those who earn a living in the media industry or are interested in one day doing so. As part of that process I’m trying to connect our audience to partners who provide products, services or programs that can benefit them.

Since starting this brand, we’ve written more than 18,000 articles. We now cover two formats and produce more than twenty five pieces of content per day. The opportunity to play a small role in keeping media members and future broadcasters informed is rewarding but we could not pay people to edit, write, and host podcasts here if others didn’t support us. For that I’m extremely grateful to those who do business with us either as a consulting client, website advertiser, Summit partner or through a monthly or annual membership. The only way to get better is to learn from others, and if our access to information, knowledge, relationships and professional opinions helps others and their brands, then that makes what we do worthwhile.

Thanks as always for the continued support. We appreciate that you read our content each day, and hope to be able to earn some of your listenership in the future too.

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Barrett Blogs

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Pursuing Media Jobs

“Demetri Ravanos and I have easily done 50-60 calls, and it’s been eye opening to see how many mistakes get made during the hiring process.”

Jason Barrett



I recently appeared on a podcast, Monetize Media, to discuss the growth of Barrett Media. The conversation covered a lot of ground on business topics including finding your niche, knowing your audience and serving them the right content in the right locations, the evolution of the BSM Summit, and why consulting is a big part of our mix but can’t be the only thing we do.

Having spent nearly seven years growing this brand, I don’t claim to have all the answers. I just know what’s worked for us, and it starts with vision, hard work, consistency, and a willingness to adapt quickly. There are many areas we can be better in whether it’s social media, editing, SEO, sales, finding news, producing creative original content or adding more staff. Though there’s always work to be done and challenges to overcome, when you’re doing something you love and you’re motivated to wake up each day doing it, that to me is success.

But lately there’s one part of the job that I haven’t enjoyed – the hiring process. Fortunately in going through it, I was able to get to know Arky Shea. He’s a good guy, talented writer, and fan of the industry, and I’m thrilled to share that he’s joining us as BSM’s new night time editor. I’ll have a few other announcements to make later this month, but in the meantime, if you’re qualified to be an editor or social media manager, I’m still going through the process to add those two positions to our brand. You can learn more about both jobs by clicking here.

Working for an independent digital brand like ours is different from working for a corporation. You communicate directly with yours truly, and you work remotely on a personal computer, relying on your eyes, ears and the radio, television, and internet to find content. Because our work appears online, you have to enjoy writing, and understand and have a passion for the media industry, the brands who produce daily content, and the people who bring those brands to life. We receive a lot of interest from folks who see the words ‘sports’ and ‘news’ in our brand names and assume they’re going to cover games or political beats. They quickly discover that that’s not what we do nor are we interested in doing it.

If you follow us on social media, have visited our website or receive our newsletters, you’ve likely seen us promoting openings with the brand. I’ve even bought ads on Indeed, and been lucky enough to have a few industry folks share the posts on social. We’re in a good place and trying to make our product better, so to do that, we need more help. But over the past two months, Demetri Ravanos and I have easily done 50-60 calls, and it’s been eye opening to see how many mistakes get made during the hiring process.

Receiving applications from folks who don’t have a firm grasp of what we do is fine. That happens everywhere. Most of the time we weed those out. It’s no different than when a PD gets an application for a top 5 market hosting gig from a retail employee who’s never spoken on a microphone. The likelihood of that person being the right fit for a role without any experience of how to do the job is very slim. What’s been puzzling though is seeing how many folks reach out to express interest in opportunities, only to discover they’re not prepared, not informed or not even interested in the role they’ve applied for.

For instance, one applicant told me on a call ‘I’m not interested in your job but I knew getting you on the phone would be hard, and I figured this would help me introduce myself because I know I’m a great host, and I’d like you to put me on the radar with programmers for future jobs.’ I had another send a cover letter that was addressed to a different company and person, and a few more applied for FT work only to share that they can’t work FT, weren’t interested in the work that was described in the position, didn’t know anything about our brand but needed a gig, were looking for a confidence boost after losing a job or they didn’t have a computer and place to operate.

At first I thought this might be an exclusive issue only we were dealing with. After all, our brand and the work we do is different from what happens inside of a radio or TV station. In some cases, folks may have meant well and intended something differently than what came out. But after talking to a few programmers about some of these things during the past few weeks, I’ve been stunned to hear how many similar horror stories exist. One top programmer told me hiring now is much harder than it was just five years ago.

I was told stories of folks applying for a producer role at a station and declining an offer unless the PD added air time to the position. One person told a hiring manager they couldn’t afford not to hire them because their ratings were tanking. One PD was threatened for not hiring an interested candidate, and another received a resume intended for the competing radio station and boss. I even saw one social example last week of a guy telling a PD to call him because his brand was thin on supporting talent.

Those examples I just shared are bad ideas if you’re looking to work for someone who manages a respected brand. I realize everyone is different, and what clicks with one hiring manager may not with another, but if you have the skills to do a job, I think you’ll put yourself in a better position by avoiding these 5 mistakes below. If you’re looking for other ways to enhance your chances of landing an opportunity, I recommend you click here.

Educate Yourself Before Applying – take some time to read the job description, and make sure it aligns with your skillset and what you’re looking to do professionally before you apply. Review the company’s body of work and the people who work there. Do you think this is a place you’d enjoy being at? Does it look like a job that you’d gain personal and professional fulfillment from? Are you capable of satisfying the job requirements? Could it potentially put you on the path to greater opportunities? If most of those produce a yes, it’s likely a situation to consider.

Proofread Your Email or Cover Letter and Resume – If the first impression you give a hiring manager is that you can’t spell properly, and you address them and their brand by the wrong names, you’re telling them to expect more mistakes if they hire you. Being detail oriented is important in the media business. If this is your introduction to someone and they have a job you’re interested in, you owe it to yourself to go through your materials thoroughly before you press send. If you can have someone else put an extra set of eyes on your introduction to protect you from committing a major blunder even better.

Don’t Waste People’s Time – You’d be annoyed if a company put you through a 3-4 week process only to tell you they didn’t see you as a viable candidate right? Well, it works the other way too. If you’re not seriously interested in the job or you’re going into the process hoping to change the job description later, don’t apply. If the fit isn’t right or the financials don’t work, that’s OK. Express that. People appreciate transparency. Sometimes they may even call you back in the future when other openings become available. But if you think someone is going to help you after you wasted their time or lied to them, trust me, they won’t.

Don’t Talk Like An Expert About Things You Don’t Know – Do you know why a station’s ratings or revenue is down? Are you aware of the company’s goals and if folks on the inside are satisfied or upset? Is the hiring manager someone you know well enough to have a candid professional conversation with? If the answers are no, you’re not helping your case by talking about things you don’t have full knowledge of. You have no idea how the manager you’re talking to has been dealing with the challenges he or she is faced with so don’t pretend you do. Just because someone wrote an article about it and you read it doesn’t mean you’re informed.

Use Social Wisely – Being frustrated that you didn’t get a job is fine. Everyone goes through it. Asking your friends and followers for advice on social of how you could’ve made a better case for yourself is good. That shows you’re trying to learn from the process to be better at it next time. But taking to social to write a book report blasting the hiring manager, their brand, and/or their company over a move that didn’t benefit you just tells them they made the right move by not bringing you in. Chances are, they won’t be calling you in the future either.

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Barrett Blogs

Would Local Radio Benefit From Hosting An Annual Upfront?

Jason Barrett



How many times have you heard this sentence uttered at conferences or in one of the trades; radio has to do a better job of telling its story. Sounds reasonable enough right? After all, your brands and companies stand a better chance of being more consumed and invested in the more that others know about them.

But what specifically about your brand’s story matters to those listening or spending money on it? Which outlets are you supposed to share that news with to grow your listenership and advertising? And who is telling the story? Is it someone who works for your company and has a motive to advance a professional agenda, or someone who’s independent and may point out a few holes in your strategy, execution, and results?

As professionals working in the media business, we’re supposed to be experts in the field of communications. But are we? We’re good at relaying news when it makes us look good or highlights a competitor coming up short. How do we respond though when the story isn’t told the we want it to? Better yet, how many times do sports/news talk brands relay information that isn’t tied to quarterly ratings, revenue or a new contract being signed? We like to celebrate the numbers that matter to us and our teams, but we don’t spend much time thinking about if those numbers matter to the right groups – the audience and the advertisers.

Having covered the sports and news media business for the past seven years, and published nearly eighteen thousand pieces of content, you’d be stunned if you saw how many nuggets of information get sent to us from industry folks looking for publicity vs. having to chase people down for details or read things on social media or listen to or watch shows to promote relevant material. Spoiler alert, most of what we produce comes from digging. There are a handful of outlets and PR folks who are great, and five or six PD’s who do an excellent job consistently promoting news or cool things associated with their brands and people. Some talent are good too at sharing content or tips that our website may have an interest in.

Whether I give the green light to publish the material or not, I appreciate that folks look for ways to keep their brands and shows on everyone’s radar. Brand leaders and marketing directors should be battling daily in my opinion for recognition anywhere and everywhere it’s available. If nobody is talking about your brand then you have to give them a reason to.

I’m writing this column today because I just spent a day in New York City at the Disney Upfront, which was attended by a few thousand advertising professionals. Though I’d have preferred a greater focus on ESPN than what was offered, I understand that a company the size of Disney with so many rich content offerings is going to have to condense things or they’d literally need a full week of Upfronts to cover it all. They’re also trying to reach buyers and advertising professionals who have interests in more than just sports.

What stood out to me while I was in attendance was how much detail went into putting on a show to inform, entertain, and engage advertising professionals. Disney understands the value of telling its story to the right crowd, and they rolled out the heavy hitters for it. There was a strong mix of stars, executives, promotion of upcoming shows, breaking news about network deals, access to the people responsible for bringing advertising to life, and of course, free drinks. It was easy for everyone in the room to gain an understanding of the company’s culture, vision, success, and plans to capture more market share.

As I sat in my seat, I wondered ‘why doesn’t radio do this on a local level‘? I’m not talking about entertaining clients in a suite, having a business dinner for a small group of clients or inviting business owners and agency reps to the office for a rollout of forthcoming plans. I’m talking about creating an annual event that showcases the power of a cluster, the stars who are connected to the company’s various brands, unveiling new shows, promotions and deals, and using the event as a driver to attract more business.

Too often I see our industry rely on things that have worked in the past. We assume that if it worked before there’s no need to reinvent the wheel for the client. Sometimes that’s even true. Maybe the advertiser likes to keep things simple and communicate by phone, email or in-person lunch meetings. Maybe a creative powerpoint presentation is all you need to get them to say yes. If it’s working and you feel that’s the best way forward to close business, continue with that approach. There’s more than one way to reach the finish line.

But I believe that most people like being exposed to fresh ideas, and given a peak behind the curtain. The word ‘new’ excites people. Why do you think Apple introduces a new iPhone each year or two. We lose sight sometimes of how important our brands and people are to those not inside the walls of our offices. We forget that whether a client spends ten thousand or ten million dollars per year with our company, they still like to be entertained. When you allow business people to feel the excitement associated with your brand’s upcoming events, see the presentations on a screen, and hear from and interact with the stars involved in it, you make them feel more special. I think you stand a better chance of closing deals and building stronger relationships that way.

Given that many local clusters have relationships with hotels, theaters, teams, restaurants, etc. there’s no reason you can’t find a central location, and put together an advertiser appreciation day that makes partners feel valued. You don’t have to rent out Pier 36 like Disney or secure the field at a baseball stadium to make a strong impression. We show listeners they’re valued regularly by giving away tickets, cash, fan appreciation parties, etc. and guess what, it works! Yes there are expenses involved putting on events, and no manager wants to hear about spending money without feeling confident they’ll generate a return on investment. That said, taking calculated risks is essential to growing a business. Every day that goes by where you operate with a ‘relying on the past’ mindset, and refuse to invest in growth opportunities, is one that leaves open the door for others to make sure your future is less promising.

There are likely a few examples of groups doing a smaller scaled version of what I’m suggesting. If you’re doing this already, I’d love to hear about it. Hit me up through email at By and large though, I don’t see a lot of must-see, must-discuss events like this created that lead to a surplus of press, increased relationships, and most importantly, increased sales. Yet it can be done. Judging from some of the feedback I received yesterday talking to people in the room, it makes an impression, and it matters.

I don’t claim to know how many ad agency executives and buyers returned to the office from the Disney Upfront and reached out to sign new advertising deals with the company. What I am confident in is that Disney wouldn’t invest resources in creating this event nor would other national groups like NBC, FOX, CBS, WarnerMedia, etc. if they didn’t feel it was beneficial to their business. Rather than relying on ratings and revenue stories that serve our own interests, maybe we’d help ourselves more by allowing our partners and potential clients to experience what makes our brands special. It works with our listeners, and can work with advertisers too.

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