How a local radio station is helping a tornado-battered...

Her real name is Carla, but a big city radio boss said she "looked like a Tess," so from that moment on her name on the radio was Tess. Other than her name, Tess Cowan keeps it real. Every morning, the people around Princeton, Kentucky, wake up...

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I can tell you, while we knew something was going to happen as far as severe weather and even "a few" tornadoes, I was not expecting an EF-3 tornado to rip across Bowling Green. I will say, regardless of the strength of the tornado, everyone needs to be warned even for the weakest because an EF-0 tornado, has the power to take lives.

Given the severe situation that was certain to unfold Friday night (we had been watching the different models and indices for days and relaying that information to viewers), I headed into work a bit early to get in on the National Weather Service's conference call. Even then, by the afternoon, the ingredients weren't all coming together just yet.

After the 5pm (CT) newscast, the first tornado warnings were issued in far western Kentucky and there were several hours of tornado warnings over and over the same areas just outside News 40's viewing area. Even though the warnings were still relatively far away from our station and our viewers, it was an ideal time to start talking about the impact the storm system would have on our region in just hours. And that's exactly what we did for the 6pm and 10pm newscasts that night, in addition to telling viewers at 10 to think about where their safe space would be. We also used social media, including nearly non-stop Facebook live, to track the storms as they made their way toward the area.

By the time the thunderstorm that would produce the powerful EF 3 tornado in Bowling Green was entering neighboring Logan County, we changed our focus from streaming on Fb live to cutting into programming. I'm thankful for the wording I used that night...telling viewers in Warren County to begin to move to their safe place before a warning was even issued for Warren County because the storm was moving so fast--55mph--it would cross into Warren County in no time.

WNKY Chief Meteorologist Scott Burchett
As we mentioned last week, the outpouring of love and support for tornado victims by Kentucky's radio and television stations is overwhelming. We learn almost daily of a new fundraiser or initiative to collect items needed for Western Kentucky. Below is just a small sample of those stores.
Radio and television stations in Bowling Green unite for SOKY Strong public service announcement to benefit tornado victims.
WLKY raises more than $1 million for western Kentucky...

WLKY announced Wednesday that its fundraising efforts aiding western Kentucky tornado victims has exceeded $1 million. The money raised by several live-broadcast phone banks during WLKY News and Special Reports, combined with contributions on...

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Laker Country 104.9 in Jamestown held a Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Radiothon on last Thursday. The Radiothon lasted from 9 AM to 1:30 PM and during that time, the station raised $206,000 in donations and pledges. Donations ranged from change collected at elementary schools to donations of several thousand dollars by local churches and businesses. Radiothon guests including Rep. James Comer, Richard Heath, Matt Jones from Kentucky Sports Radio, and Rocky Adkins.
WKYT partners with The Salvation Army for tornado relief ...

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - WKYT is partnering with The Salvation Army to help victims of the devastating tornadoes that tore through the state early Saturday. Thousands of residents in Kentucky are without heat and water after deadly tornadoes...

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Why should you attend Rising Above on January 26th and 27th?

  • Hear from eight of the top trainers in the industry!
  • Gain industry insight from your peers on what’s working and what's not.
  • Feel charged & ready to take on 2022 and beyond.
  • Registration is FREE curtesy of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association!
  • Who wouldn’t want to attend a virtual concert!?

Rising Above: A Virtual Sales & Management Media Summit will be held on January 26th and 27th through a LIVE video feed. This way you can stay within the comfort and safety of your own home or office. This day and half summit will teach, coach, inspire and motivate your members to rise above the challenges of today’s sales environment.

Whether you tune in for the entire summit or just a few of the sessions, you won't want to miss this lineup! To learn more and to save your seat, click the registration button below

For reasons nobody can identify, years ago in this business we adopted the monthly, 13-week, and 26-week schedule.  If you’ve studied human behavior and advertising, you know that it’s difficult to change human behavior.  Which ultimately is the purpose of advertising, to get people to think first, and do business with your client instead of the competitor.  

One rule I adopted early in my career served me well:  ALWAYS ASK FOR AN ANNUAL. It seemed like a simple rule to me, and I was surprised at how many schedule presentations went out from my colleagues that were not annuals. The logic behind annuals is that we are focused on “building communities of customers” for the long-term rather than just taking the short sale. Are there times when you must take what you’re given? Of course. But too often sellers fall into the trap of taking the path of least resistance.
Here are the top 9 reasons to ALWAYS ask for the annual:

  1. You’ll never get an annual that you don’t ask for.  I’ve never presented a client a 13 week contract and had them respond, “Can’t I do this for the year?”
  2. Advertising works with a combination of: reach, frequency, consistency, and compelling creative.  These are the Four Keys to unlocking the true potential of advertising.  Consistency should be measured in years, not weeks.
  3. It’s even more critical for smaller advertisers. A large advertiser can come into a market and buy heavy vertical frequency for a short period of time and because of the massive budget they can dominate.  Smaller advertisers have to go with smaller schedules, which require a longer-term consistency to get results.  I don’t care if they have a $100 a week budget, if they do that for 52 weeks they can get results.
  4. Advertising works on a “cumulative effect.”  Dr. Hermann Ebbinghaus, a German psychologist in the 1800s, developed the “Curve of Forgetfulness.”  In short, we forget most of what we are exposed to within a few days, unless we have repeated and consistent exposure.
  5. Requiring annuals of your sellers encourages them to do better presentations. When the stakes are higher, you put in more thought and effort. A 2- week promotion off the rack needs very little prep time. But if you’re going to ask your client to invest for a year, you better have a compelling strategy and reasons why.
  6. Asking for annuals shows YOUR belief in your product.  If your client wants to be in business a year, or five years from now, they should have a marketing plan in place for the same period. Most don’t, but we are the experts. We need to help them understand how advertising works.
  7. Annuals reduce stress and increase growth opportunities. If you can go into a month at 80% to goal because you have a lot of annual business, think of the time you have to develop new business or dig deeper with current clients.
  8. Annuals work. Simply put, the attrition rate of annual contract buyers is significantly less than short-term buyers, because annuals get results.
  9. Annuals elevate the conversation to “business advantage/consulting.” When you have a client on an annual, you meet with them to discuss strategy, results, and new business challenges. When you have a short-term buyer, you’re busy “re-selling” them all the time and never get to the deeper levels of strategy.

As we head into 2022 take the lessons of 2021 about the importance of relationships and challenge yourself to always ask for the annual.  In all my years of doing this, I’ve never presented a 13-week schedule to a client and had them ask, “I like this so much, can we do it for the entire year?”  Of course, you won’t get every annual you ask for, but just by asking, you’ll make difference for yourself and your clients.  
Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development at the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can also connect with him by email JSchmidt@rab.com or on Twitter and LinkedIn.
JANUARY 24, 2022
Virtual Video Streaming Conference

JANUARY 26-27, 2022
Rising Above: Sales & Management Media Summit

SEPTEMBER 25-27, 2022
KBA Annual Membership Conference - Owensboro, KY

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