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Grow! by Paul Martin

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Pogo Stick Stability and New Media Innovation

My brother had a pogo stick when we were kids.  He got to be pretty good with the pogo stick, but I never could get the hang of it.  With a goal of bouncing across of our driveway, I would only hop twice then sprawl all over the concrete. In our neighborhood, there weren't many who were as good with the pogo stick as my brother.  While my brother could skillfully bounce to the end of the block, I could only go that kind of distance on two feet. Two Feet Better than One Stick Technology companies caught onto this concept decades ago.  When a well-known company knew they had a ground-breaking technology, they also knew that consumers might find unintended uses (and problems) for the product.  So rather than having one Research and Development team, they put two smaller R & D teams in competition to build the new product. One team would launch the first version of the product while the second team would take prototypes of the yet unreleased product into the field and observe cust ...

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Over-involvement in church a big problem at work?

"If your employees get over-involved in community activities, church or social commitments, then you've got a big problem!" Don Beveridge's words challenged me all that day, but now he went over the top.  I was proud of every person on my team--and especially the team member's active church life! But Beveridge had a point: we compete for the attention and creativity of our team members...and, sometimes, we lose that competition. If we want to work with people who are involved in their community, church and family, how do we keep these good people producing at a high level at work? Belated relatedness It gets back to Alderfer's ERF Theory with Relatedness Needs, Growth Needs and Existence Needs.   Everybody is wired a bit different so we, as leaders, need to understand our team members and their needs.  To cover the three major need-groups: Build a positive and encouraging culture to build productive business relationships.  Catch someone doing something great and ...

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Six levels in communicating change

Son, this is a great bidness, but you're gonna find the world's worst communication is in the communications bidness. That's what a president of an Texas-based advertising agency told me at my first job in the 'bidness'. Ever since, I've kind of had a chip on my shoulder about clear communication.  Though it is one of the requirements of any manager, I've also discovered that I don't like to fire people, so I attempt to provide great clarity on any job performance issues.  Oddly enough, job performance clarity is one of the great challenges that any manager faces. When a great failure or tragedy occurs--like an airliner crash--linguists study transcripts from the black boxes to see what errors may have occurred.  Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers, describes the critical communication between an airliner Captain and the First Officer.  When the First Officer is too deferential in tone (a practice called mitigation), the Captain may not distinguish an urgent change required.  ...

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Wind shifts, Income shifts, Radio is ready

If you're piloting a radio station (or any organization for that matter), the winds are shifting again.  Like a sailboat captain, you see--no make that feel--when shifts could pull you off the course you prefer to go.  But the sailboat captain knows that you need several ways to get to your destination when (not if) the winds change. Growing up, I sailed quite a bit on small boats so when my father, brother and I recently visited San Diego, I discovered a sailing experience that we will long remember. The America's Cup is the world's premier sailboat racing event.  The sailing vessel, Stars and Stripes 11 (pictured on both pictures on this page), competed successfully in the America's Cup in 1992 and now is available for public sailing.  The Stars and Stripes requires a crew of 6 plus 6 more passengers to work the sails, lines and grinders.  The sail-craft can accommodate up to 30 people on board. The best part is that the captain permits each passenger to pilot ...

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The power of radio and the road ahead

Success follows those adept at preserving the substance of the past by clothing it in the forms of the future. Dee Hock Founder and CEO, Visa International All those opinions on the future of traditional media are dizzying: newspapers are old news; television has no vision; radio--well, few talk of radio. Maybe that is because radio is a part of our past that will continue to be a part of our future.  But even radio isn't immune to the dramatic changes in the media scene. There are just about as many radio listeners as any time in modern history. There are just fewer radio advertisers than any time in modern history. Even still, radio powers consumer awareness and consumption of the events, the services and the products America purchases. Sure, online venues (social media, blogs, micro-blogs, search engines, email marketing--to name a few) are growing new viewers and increasing time spent with media.  But new media seem to be getting their minutes fr ...

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STAR 99.1fm on The Rachel Ray Show

What happens when a station staffer connects with a national female-targetted television show?

Take a look at this clip from The Rachel Ray Show...you'll see contemporary Christian station WAWZ/STAR 99.1fm and mid-day host Beth Bacall.

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Dancing Queen: Having the time of your life

Although she loved to dance, she never attended her high school proms. She never expected to be invited by a boy. She heard her classmates talk about the prom, but she never even asked to go, because she knew something. She knew it would be no fun on her own. She knew it would be a bit dangerous for her. She just knew... Now that she attends a community college, she has another chance for a dance. Again, no boy invites her. She knew it might be a bit dangerous for her to go. But this time she takes the chance, because she knew it would be fun to go--even without a date. What's the difference? She knew she would be welcomed. It is truly hard for any of us to go someplace for the first time or do something new. But you really want to go when you know that you're welcomed. The prom for special needs young adults at her community college was built for people like Beth. Whether the kids have Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy (like Beth) or other mental acuity or physical challenges, they knew they would be welcomed ...

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Ramsey: Moving beyond radio to become a local media company

Mark Ramsey sees many radio stations across the country ideally positioned to be local media companies that engage large groups of people through any media necessary. He says we have hundreds of thousands of audience relationships already and we can grow far beyond with social media (Facebook, MySpace, twitter, et al), web, email--and I'll add direct mail and promotions to the list.

In essence: The more exclusive and vibrant the relationship, the more valuable the group becomes when you desire to appropriately monetize the relationship.

Ramsey spoke at the Christian Music Broadcasters meetings duirng GMA week in Nashville. Here's a video of his speech. It is truly worth every minute.

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Top 5 Under Radioed Designated Market Areas (and Over-Radioed, too)

We recently analyzed the competitive landscape for radio stations and discovered that certain Designated Market Areas (DMAs) have a much more competitive climate than others. The results actually surprised us. What do you think? Top 5 Under-Radioed Markets (markets with the most households per station) DMA HHs Stations HHs/Station New York 7,788,145 256 30,422 San Diego 1,040,131 37 28,112 Detroit 1,978,208 76 26,029 Los Angeles 5,544,481 216 25,669 Baltimore 1,126,228 54 20,856 Top 5 Over-Radioed Markets (markets with the least households pe ...

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Take aim, be sharp

My digital camera broke a few weeks ago so I found a inexpensive replacement. This new, improved model helps the photographer focus on the subject through some crazy electronics guided by an easy-to-use user interface (a viewfinder with a focus area bracket). All it needs to capture a great shot is for me to get the point of focus between those little brackets. If the little brackets are to the right of the flower, I get a sharp picture of a gray fence post...not exactly what I want. Business development is like that, too. During a recession, we know--in our heart--that we need to sharpen our focus. Often, we sharpen our focus on fewer, bigger clients. That's not the strategy that succeeds in a downturn. Since we don't know which industries will improve first, we need to have a systematic way to discover when a prospect industry is emerging. In essence, we need to systematically call on sectors--we could spend a week prospecting on each industry. That covers the industry emergence, but certain businesse ...

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