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Saturday, February 16, 2013

I told you I wouldn't like a smartphone!

We live in the age where everybody and their brother says, "smartphone" is the answer.  Charles Osgood says, "close your garage door from around the world." My response: Close the damn door before you leave or call the neighbor. (No disrespect, Mr. Osgood, you're paid to say that on our station.)  Another TV ad on MeTV shows a guy locking his door with the phone as he walks out. My response? Turn around and use your HAND to lock it! Smartphones are making you a lazy public.

Facebook on a smartphone:  Uses data, tells you when friends go to the john. Who cares!  FB is free to you because you give up too much personal information anyway.

Twitter: Overused, and becoming what myspace and Facebook have become. Sad.

Calendars? Reminders?  If your memory's like mine and that means it's not too good, use your PC, a pocket calendar, or just don't over schedule yourself.

GPS on smartphone? Nice, and I'll admit...it helps when I'm heading to garage sales with friends, but again, not needed. There's one in the car and a co-pilot with his own smartphone.

Apps?  Well yes, WION radio has one, but I listen on the air and on my laptop.  WGLM, my sister station in our radio group has an app, too..but, again, laptop is good enough. If clients want to hear it, they can use THEIR smartphones.

My phone reaches me for real conversations. It's text-capable and I hate that, because I despise small keyboards. What a waste! I text FROM my PC, and receive them reluctantly on my phone. My DUMBphone.  My durable DUMBphone that can stand more accidents than anything with an exposed glass screen.

I thought it would be fun to try  a smartphone, and I despise contracts, so I bought an excellent USED phone. It's nice, well built, and annoying. My fingers are made for keys, not for dots. My eyes are made for a SCREEN...NOT A SCREEN.  I like pressing a button and FEELING that it did something. Glad I only tried this phone on wifi, not by transferring it to my account and no, I wouldn't have bought a newer one "with contract." I hate contracts, period. They lock you in for a term longer than the human condition allows you to stay the same in this day and age. Your needs change, and the contract doesn't.

We even tried to put my ham-radio involvement on the smartphone. Nope. If I don't like the phone, I'm not going to go out of my way to use that. Sorry, Scott...I know you're trying. (our engineer did that for me.) We'll put it on my laptop, (I think it already is, buried somewhere.)

I'll stick with my normal, everyday, NO DATA phone that lets you call me. It lets my transmitter and WION call me in a computer voice if something is wrong, and I'll go to my computer to check-in. And, if I'm not near that, I have employees and co-owners who ARE able to do it. That's why we don't have more than one person on vacation at a time.

So, you'll never track me with Google. You won't catch me texting while walking.  Hell, I was even in a grocery store yesterday, and a daughter couldn't get her nose out of the smartphone when her Mom asked her to go get some beans. She literally was more taken with video chatting. Me? I wanted to watch her walk into an immovable display and fall over. Not because I'm mean, but because it may teach her to get her nose out of the screen and into real life.

Until the day the smartphone is a transporter that can bring us physical things from the store, and move us around, I'll keep my nose in the real world, and use a real keyboard. Call me old fashioned, but....This blog got typed in minutes. Would have taken HOURS on a smartphone.

I still like technology. Don't get me wrong!  I watch Free to Air Satellite and maintain my own equipment. I have my own domains. I run an AM/FM station that does 'net streaming. I do web-editing. I like my ROKU box and netflix, amazon, and other video streaming services. I enjoy my mp3 player when walking and driving long distances.  I have a google number or three, and....I know what AM stereo is!  I like technology.

But...my phone is a PHONE.

Better stock up.  They're getting harder to find.
Gotta run. My (normal) ringer is going off on my old-fashioned cell phone.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

DO IT.....YOURSELF!

Bet you thought this blog was going to be about home improvements. Or...car repair....or something similar.  Nope. It's about promotion. The promotion of events, non profits, and even businesses.

Why the title,  "Do it Yourself?"

My business, the business of radio is supported by advertisers who believe in the power of our station, and get results from their advertising. It's a loyalty that builds over time. And, it's one that should not be handed off to any third party.  After all, who knows your business better than YOU? Certainly not someone you're PAYING to represent you to media outlets. They have to learn all about you before helping, and you're paying them the whole time from your pocket!

So, here are my "thoughts" about promoting of the things that are important to you.

1) If you're in a group that is holding a non-profit event:  DON'T FORM A COMMITTEE for advertising.  Committee is another word for "point to someone else to do the work and get nothing done!"  For most events of small to medium size in our area, you need ONE WELL QUALIFIED PERSON to contact:  The newspaper, the Shopper's guide, Our radio station, and Ionia Host Dot Com!  There's 90 percent of the area's media!  A simple "5-W" press release does the job in most cases.  (Who, What, Where, When, Why.)  A committee only serves to give more people the chance to NOT do what the committee is charged with doing (advertising) and to reduce efficiency, usually because "someone" was supposed to do it and "nobody" actually DID.

2) If you're the average Main Street or similar business in our area, place ANY advertising YOURSELF as Owner or Manager. You DON'T need someone else to do it for you (commonly called the " advertising agency"...also known as the lowest form of life on the advertising chain) instead, you need to target your needs, your goals, and tell the trained sales representatives that same information so the media can help you to reach the audience you seek.  Agencies simply take your money to do a job that you, as a business owner or manager are well-qualified to do.

3) With the above in mind, always remember there is NOBODY better equipped to focus on the important messages for your business than you!  Be PROUD of what you have to tell our local audience, and tell your story! (Churches, clubs, organizations, and businesses, too..) On the radio! In Print, and, on social media!  It only takes a small amount of time to tell others about your successes, goals, sales, growth, and about YOU. Don't trust your reputation to anyone else.  You may even find you ENJOY promoting your business.  Your own enthusiasm may grow!

Our radio station deals one-on-one with our clients.  We despise agencies that complicate the business of promoting YOU. Why? Because they can't do for your business what you can do directly with (all) our local media including WION!  Save the money you'd pay an agency and spend more in all the forms of local media. You may be surprised at the results!

At WION, part of the "flavor" of  our station is that a portion  of  the "information you need" is information about our local businesses.  As of last week,  that information is going worldwide to listeners in Texas, Ohio, Nevada, Canada, New York City,  and other locations.   Put your best "promotional" foot forward as we take Ionia County, Michigan to the world via streaming of our station. Granted, people won't fly here for a dinner, banking, or small transactions, but you, as our advertisers help make up the flavor of our town and our county.  Let's work (directly) together to ensure that what the world hears is a busy Ionia County with many events on the air,  and many good, healthy, enthusiastic businesses!  If we do that, listeners will know by what they hear that we're proud of our city and county!

Now, disband the committee, fire the agency, and get down to the work of promoting yourselves!  We look forward to working with you!

We're here to help! ....One on One!