I spent years in sales, reminding our sellers that we are simply farmers planting seeds. It’s an obvious metaphor for connecting with a new business and working to cultivate the relationship into a healthy client. Without good farmers, seeds don’t always grow.
I told our sellers if they stop planting seeds every day and take too much time to enjoy a healthy harvest, the future will bring an empty field and an empty checking account. Our sellers were trained to always plant seeds regardless of how bountiful the harvest was today.
Our industry needs good broadcast farmers. What kind of farmer have you been over these difficult 16 months?
It’s hard to farm when the water has been turned off and the sun doesn’t seem to shine as bright, but those seeds still want to be planted. Our young future broadcasters are waiting for your special mix of nurturing, development, and mentoring.
We need to make up for almost two years of intermittent outreach and once again make it a priority. Make sure you reach out to local universities, colleges, trade schools, high schools, and job development centers to restart the conversation.
As you work on your 2022 budgets, please take time to develop a plan on how your station will connect with young future broadcasters. Post-pandemic outreach needs to feel, sound, and look different than 2019. Please keep these following action items top-of-mind, and let’s challenge ourselves to modernize and freshen up these familiar ideas by creating new initiatives.
- Don’t assume colleges and universities know you offer internships again. Be proactive and inform them.
- Job shadowing is perfect for providing a taste of our business. Excitement, fulfilling, and fun should be what is felt on a visit to your station. Do not go through the motions.
- Think about filling one full-time opening with two part-time employees from your local college, university, or trade school. This provides young broadcasters the chance to make money, learn the job, and become the perfect full-time employee upon graduation.
- Introduce yourself to the dean and professors at your local university. How many of you have had the chance to add to a professor’s curriculum with an in-class Q&A? Make sure they know you.
- Get involved in WBA Student Seminar each March.
- Get involved in Job Fairs both virtual and in-person held by the WBA.
- Set up an ongoing dialogue with students via virtual meetings. Find specific times every week that your station is available for 15-minute mentoring sessions.
- Connect current employees with their schools. Everyone wants to show they made it and would love to help nurture the next class of grads.
- Triple the number of times you connect with students and new employees in your workplace. Emotionally, the pandemic ruined a portion of their high school/college experience…relate.
Please feel free to provide Kyle Geissler your station’s ideas for connecting better with our future broadcasters and we’ll share them with your peers.