R.A.P. Interview - Randy Reeves

R.A.P. Have you ever advertised your services?
Randy: The only advertising I've done was a mailout about a year ago. It was a 4 page flyer that really worked great. It seems that if you put a piece of paper out there with something on it, it legitimizes the whole business. I had a number to call for the demo, and I had an answering machine on a dedicated business line at home. While I was at work at Power, it would say, "If you'd like a demo, leave your name and address." Of the 160 flyers I sent out, I probably got about a 20% request for demos. I think the mailing list I used was from the parallel one stations, maybe the parallel ones and twos. The responses came from several different market sizes. It was definitely a big help.

I felt the response to the mailout was good, and it almost had a chain reaction effect. I had people calling me that I'd never heard of saying, "So and so told me about you..." and on and on. I've also received a lot of business from consultants. One or two consultants will contact a lot of stations and recommend me. Chances are, without the extra nudge from the mailout, I would still be in that "comfort zone" at the station.

R.A.P. Your voice is very versatile and heard on a variety of formats. Did you start out trying to appeal to many formats or was this something that developed down the road?
Randy: Initially, all I thought of was CHR, and anything else that came along was gravy. A country station would come along, and all I would do is just get slightly folksy, not country at all, but just take the edge off the CHR delivery. Eventually, I got an AOR station and just "growled" a little more. On the AC's, I just warmed up a little. After getting work for a few different formats, I realized that by just slightly changing the delivery, the mood of the effects, and even the production itself, you can change the whole nature of the sweeper. Lately, I've been doing a lot of the "bright" AC's.

R.A.P. Synthesizer effects are used a lot in your sweepers, and you create some of those with your keyboard. Do you use any other service that provides you with these sounds?
Randy: Most of what I have comes from local keyboard players at MIDI studios that I contract, but I would always welcome hearing from people that know other sources. I would like to see a guy, who is sharp with keyboards, develop one package and sell it to one sweeper guy. Maybe he could have some generic sounds like white noise and filter sweeps that he could sell to anybody and then create some custom sounds for each sweeper guy. There's definitely a need for something like this.

R.A.P. You have a great voice for spots as well as ID's. Are you working with any ad agencies or talent agencies in Atlanta?
Randy: Yes, I am signed with a local talent agency. I've done some commercial voice work with the ad agencies, but I'd like to get into more of it. I've done some work for Cotton States Insurance and some national TV voice work for Texize Glass Plus. I hope to do more commercial work now that I've got more time.

I did a little thing before I left Power 99 that I think will help my relationship with this agency and hopefully get me more of the commercial voice work. It was a mailout to the agency announcing that I was now out of radio, which I think has somewhat of a negative connotation to ad agencies. I listed all the advantages of not working a full time job, like flexibility, more time to go on auditions, more time to do this and that and so on. Then I said that the downside of the whole deal was no more free T-shirts, which I think minimized the negatives of my move. During this big campaign with this talent agency, I sent everybody in the agency a different greeting card every day with some sort of teaser message inside saying, "It's coming July 21st," etc., and I didn't give them my name. Each day, for a week, each of the 3 main booking agents in this agency received a card from me. By the time Friday the 21st came along, the day I finally left my job, they at least knew that some announcement was about to be made. On that Friday, I enclosed a letter that told them I was going free lance full time. I think that put in their mind that I was serious, or maybe that I was crazy for quitting the job.

R.A.P. How did they respond after they figured out who was doing this?
Randy: I got a message on my machine when I got home, and they said, "We were wondering what this was. We're so excited for you! That's great...We look forward to talking with you..." Now, they're going to do a mailout of some demos to try and get some more local business going.

R.A.P. Now that you're not locked into the station, do you have any immediate plans
for your extra time?
Randy: Yes. I plan to be at the NAB Convention in New Orleans in September. I'm looking forward to meeting some people, making some contacts, and hopefully meeting some of the people that I've already done work for. Nearly 100% of the people I work for, I've never met. It has all been a telephone relationship, and I'm looking to put a lot of faces with the names.

Once again, radio loses a great Production Director; and, once again, it is proved that there is life after Production Director. It sounds like Randy is off to a good start, and we'd like to wish the best of luck and prosperity to Randy Reeves: Voice At Large! We have included a sampling of some of Randy's work on this month's Cassette. Randy can be contacted at (404) 925-8868.

If you know someone you think would make a great subject for a future RAP Interview, drop us a line and give us the scoop! Better yet, if YOU have some thoughts you'd like to pass on to our readers, and a letter just isn't enough space, this forum is for you too! Drop us a line, tell us what you'd like to talk about, and we'll get back to you...really!

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