Just a thought… When you’re in a small boat, you can see who’s paddling hard and who’s looking around. [Ev Williams, Co-founder of Twitter]
I’m in a small boat now and I’m ready to rant.
If I could wave a magic wand, I’d do a lot of things. (Hmm – maybe I should’ve written this as a poem….) But somewhere on that list – probably way down – would be finding a way for companies to share their resources with other parts of the same body. I have a couple of good examples and, since this is my area of a lifetime of knowledge, I’ll focus on radio.
Since dipping my toes into the world of freelance voicework, I have had the opportunity to audition for jobs that were posted by media conglomerates and while I’ve leapt at the chance to make some extra cash, I’ve been puzzled at the sheer ridiculousness and redundancy of it all. You have a company filled with people who use their voices for a living – and you’re already paying them – and yet a job was farmed out to an agency (which would be paid) to hire someone else who would be paid as well.
I recall a decade or so ago, a former co-worker, who’d been let go for not playing well with others, showing up in a print ad for a brand of our company’s services. Really? You couldn’t have used someone who didn’t make a point of dissing the radio station and the company every time he got a chance? Okay then. Talk about the right and left hand not knowing what they’re doing!
What brought this to mind was being on hold yesterday waiting for information about Blue Jays tickets. Eventually, a lovely young woman named Catherine proved extremely helpful, but before that happened, I was subjected to no less than ten minutes of really torturous and whiny Kenny G-like music that ran on a one minute loop again and again and again. Never mind waterboarding – I’m pretty sure that hearing that soprano sax on never-ending repeat would get even Donald Trump to tell the truth.
Here’s my question. Rogers is owner to no fewer than four outstanding Toronto radio stations. Why not use that interminable waiting period (okay, it did terminate, but Lenny B or Kenny C or whoever they had blowing his horn through the tiny speaker on my phone made the time seem longer) to promote your own product?
Run a few minutes of prompts talking about your sports programming on radio or television! Tell me when Bob McCown’s show is on Sportsnet 590 The Fan or introduce me to the broadcast team for Blue Jays games this year. Let me hear the best of Roz and Mocha on KiSS or do some promotion for CHFI or 680 News. Why would you not?
Any time I’ve talked with people from other companies or industries, I’ve heard similar stories. World-famous celebrities in one studio who aren’t even brought down the hall to be guests on a sister station: lost promotion opportunities because someone didn’t take one more mental step, couldn’t be bothered or just wouldn’t share. Shame on them.
A rising tide lifts all boats, and all that. Or would you rather be left with all of those boats just dug into the sludge and muck, never to set sail again? Plenty of stations are in just that predicament right now. It’s been a week of more firings and layoffs in radio (not Rogers) but as the workplace contracts and more jobs are on the line in almost every facet of every industry, it really is time more people started thinking outside the box – before they find themselves out on the street wondering: what happened? I was just listening to Kenny G….