Some see a young woman - and some see an elderly woman. Both - as it turns out - are right. But if you were a brand manager - how do you want the audience to see it?
Program Director Jim McCourtie (Y108 and Fresh FM, Hamilton) used that image - and the meaning behind it - to demonstrate to the Radio Humber students that the audience's perception on how they see YOU is what counts. What do the students want their media to convey? What is their personal brand? What is going to attract the right kind of attention?
Now 3 weeks away from the leaving the comforts of college for the real world - the class of 2016 were reminded how important it is to stand out - go above and beyond with creativity and innovation to get noticed - and to manage that perception - that brand - that will take them places in their career.
Jim reminded the class that their brand will be hired to compliment a station's larger brand - which led to the greater discussion of hiring practices and what someone like Jim would be looking for.
For announcers, newscasters and producers - Jim calls it a 'narrow look' before considering the bigger picture. He starts with the 'tape'; if he likes the audio piece - it fits with what he's looking for - then he opens up the resume and files it for consideration. A custom demo goes a long way, so does having a clean social media profile, and a stellar reputation. Jim will seek out what he calls 'back door references' - to get an opinion on someone he is considering hiring. These would be the references you don't put down on your resume. If those elements pass the test, then it would be time for the 'hiring viewpoint' - bringing the person in for a face to face chat.
Much like the image at the beginning of this story - Jim wants his station's audiences to either see the young woman, or the elderly one - and programming what he calls 'funusual' pieces (fun + unusual) work for both. A good programmer understands his audiences needs - and Jim says his announcers are never to make the listeners worry - it's not the job of these particular formats - it's not the perception to be conveyed. If the students can remember what they are trying to accomplish with their own brand - the perception they want to convey - then success is not far away.