February 2012 Highlights

R.A.P. Interview: Rod Schwartz - Account Executive, KHTR-FM/KQQQ-AM & Owner Grace Broadcast Sales/Radio Sales Café, Pullman, WA - Part 1

by Jerry Vigil

Yes, you read his title correctly. Rod Schwartz is an Account Executive, a salesman, being interviewed for a production magazine. But wait... he's not your ordinary salesman. Rod knows a few things about what we do, too, particularly when it comes to what makes radio advertising work for his clients. And he's been making those ads work for 33 years at the same stations in the small market of Pullman, Washington. But his story doesn't stop there. Along the way, Rod established Grace Broadcast Sales, a family run company servicing radio with syndicated "sales booster" programs as well as creative services. And more recently, he launched the fast-growing Radio Sales Café, a social website for radio salespeople. You'll find some great stories and lots of worthwhile information in this two-part interview. Check this month's R.A.P. CD for some excellent commercial work from Rod, and don't miss the rest of the interview in next month's R.A.P..

Production 212: Planning Your Execution

by Dave Foxx

When I was a little younger, feeling pretty full of myself and just starting to build a reputation in the business, I thought it was perfectly reasonable to say "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part," to my Program Director when he strolled in with a last minute promo. I said that exactly once. In a very quiet, dry voice, I was informed that if I didn't make it my emergency, he would find someone who would... permanently. What I had failed to recognize at first glance, was that some things are not in the Program Director's control. Secondly, there are a LOT of people out there who can do what I do and some can no doubt do it even better than I can. End of life's lesson.

Test Drive: PromptBuddy Audio Production Widget

by Steve Cunningham

Not so long ago -- in the October 2010 issue of R.A.P. to be precise -- we looked into a unique program, Word2WAV, which is designed for voice actors who work in the IVR business, or read scripts for e-learning videos, or any other task where lots of lines have to be read from a script, recorded, and the resulting audio files provided specific file names. I received an email during the first week of 2012 inviting me (and several thousand of my very best friends, I'm sure) to investigate another software program designed for the same application. Naturally I scooted off to the website of Wells Park Communications, where I found a link to the company's PromptBuddy product (wellspark.co.uk/promptbuddy.htm). Wells Park bills PromptBuddy as an "Audio Production Widget" which promises to allow prompts to be recorded, automatically topped and tailed, and saved as .WAV files. These are automatically named whereby the name consists of the first 64 characters of the prompt line. It was certainly interesting enough to deserve a look.

Radio Hed: Helping In Home Services Clients Succeed on the Radio

by Jeffrey Hedquist

Many of your clients have in home services. Are there opportunities you're missing to help them? I'm talking about tree trimmers, carpet, rug & upholstery cleaners, duct cleaners, drain uncloggers, plumbers, water filter providers, electricians, window washers, painters, landscapers, hardscapers, garage door installers, snowplowers, remodelers, gardeners, septic tank servicers, insulation providers, interior decorators, staging pros and others. Entering people' homes is a very personal thing, so you need to help them build trust.

...And Make It Real Creative: It's Hard to Be Simple

by Trent Rentsch

As a China Marker-carrying member of the Old Fart Producer's Club, I think I've survived long enough to have a fair idea of what works and what doesn't. Deadlines work, last second, thrown together spots don't. Real testimonials work, fake testimonials voiced by the client's mother's neighbor who wants to break into "the business," don't. Humor in commercials works, humor in commercials, doesn't... but that's another column for another time. Of all the truths this old Splicing Tape-carrying member of the Old Fart Producer's Club knows, this one is the truest... simple works. We could be talking about copywriting, producing, hell, even shopping for toilet paper. Simple works, complicated doesn't.

The Monday Morning Memo: Three Ads: One Bad, Two Good

by Roy H. Williams

Ads are (1.) category-focused, (2.) product-focused, or (3.) client-focused. The good thing about category-focused ads is that they're portable; anyone in the category can use them. The bad thing about category-focused ads is that they don't distinguish you from your competitors, because anyone in the category can use them. I've been told there are some good category-focused ads out there, but I've never encountered one personally.

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