This past November at Conclave 39 I moderated the production panel with Tim Burt of CBS STL, Diego of IHM-Minneapolis & Justin Case of Benztown Radio. Since it was the first production panel at The Conclave Learning Conference in a couple of years, I posed this question to the group: "What are you doing differently today compared to 5 or 10 years ago?" Between advances in technology, consolidation & the advent of PPM, all three panelists say their approach to radio production has changed significantly in the past decade. So how about you? What are you doing differently in your radio role?
After all if we aren't adapting and changing, we aren't moving forward. Radio is in desperate need of people who are thinking differently and trying new techniques to meet the challenges of our modern world. Complacency and routine will be our downfall if we don't collectively change our mentality and retrain our brains.
Where can you get such training? Try going to a conference. There aren't that many to choose from these days. The big ones that are still going on are Country Radio Seminar this February 25-27 in Nashville, The World Wide Radio Summit in LA April 22-24, and Conclave 40 in Minneapolis July 16-17. Make a plan to set aside some money & time-off to attend at least one of these events in 2015. Chances are, you'll pick up something new to apply to what you do in radio. At the very least, you'll get to go out, grab a drink and tell war stories with fellow radio people, which from my experience, is worth the price of admission.
Even if you can't afford to attend a conference in LA, Nashville, Minnie, etc, you can still network with radio folks on line. Set up a free SoundCloud account and link it to your Twitter & Facebook profiles. Share your airchecks and solicit feedback. You'll get a lot of opinions and advice...some good, some bad. But once you sort it all out, you'll pick up a nugget or two to make you a better air talent, voice talent or producer/writer. On top of that, you're exposing your work to a greater circle of radio people who might just be in the position to hire you on down the road.
Challenge yourself to make some adjustments to the way you approach your work. Maybe it's implementing something you picked up at a conference or in a blog article. It could be attempting something new you heard in an aircheck from another talent the next time you execute a contest, or it could be as simple as becoming better at interacting and engaging with your audience on social media.
If you haven't made any tweaks to your daily radio routine in the past year or two, you're not doing yourself, your audience, or our medium any favors. The need for innovation in this business is sorely needed and if you can do something new that makes a difference it could be just the thing radio at-large needs. As the saying goes, "build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door."