Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's almost spring. The wallflowers are already in bloom.

"Wallflower" is a rather old term, used to describe a painfully shy woman who goes to the dance but hugs the wall, arms wrapped around her waist, body language screaming, "Please don't ask me to dance."

In our business, there are plenty of male wallflowers as well. Oh, we're not talking about dancing here, but about sending out resume tapes.

Too many of you are way too shy to do it. Don't look around in the newsroom, saying, "Are you talkin' to me?" Yeah, you. I'm talkin' to you.

Here's what many of you think will happen if you send a resume tape to a station you think won't hire you because you're not good enough:

News Director puts tape in machine, watches it, rolls his eyes. Says, "How dare she send me a tape! She's nowhere near qualified. I will therefore write her name down in a rolodex so that the next time she sends me a tape I'll remember! Then I'm going to call her up and chastise her for sending a tape for a job opening for which she's not qualified!"

Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? But I'll bet some of you have actually considered that scenario.

And here's what really happens:

News Director puts tape in machine, watches it, doesn't care for it, ejects it, throws it out. He may do this three hundred times for a single opening. You could walk into his office the next day, introduce yourself, and he wouldn't remember you.

Why? Because as a manager you don't remember the people you don't want to hire. It's not only a waste of time, it's pointless. And as for the people who aren't qualified, so what? They took a shot. You still won't remember them.

So don't ever think that you'll damage your career sending tapes anywhere. And don't ever think you can't send a tape a second time to a station, because the News Director not only won't remember your first tape, he won't care that you sent one. The only thing that matters is filling the present job opening. The past means nothing.

So please, even if you're not Catholic, give up being a wallflower for Lent.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Election pop quiz

Since we might have something very unusual at the Republican National Convention this year (an "open" or "brokered" convention) you need to know stuff about the political process.

Yes, time for another pop quiz.

1. What are the rules regarding delegates and the first ballot?

2. How are delegates chosen?

3. What is "crossover" voting in a primary?

4. What happens if no nominee is chosen after the first ballot?

5. What is an uncommitted delegate?

6. Explain the rules of a caucus.

7. What happens to committed delegates if a candidate drops out of the race?

8. What happened in 1968 to throw the Democratic Convention into turmoil?

9. What is a "beauty contest" primary?

10. How are the number of electoral votes for a state determined?

Bonus question: How many electoral votes does your state have?

Pencils down.

Answers: Oh, you want answers? As my dad would say, look it up!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Yet another example of the market size myth

It's funny that we work in a creative business, yet so many of you plan your careers with basic math. Many seem to think you can only jump a certain number of markets after a certain number of years.

As I related last fall when I had three clients make huge market jumps from markets in triple digit markets to New York City, Dallas and Hartford, market size is a myth. And so are the traditional beliefs regarding movement up the ladder.

There are no rules anymore. You can jump to any market from any market.

If someone in your station tells you it can't be done, ignore it. If someone tells you something like, "No one from this station has ever gone directly to a top have to go to a medium market first," ignore them. It's probably because that person can't do it. Doesn't mean you can't.

There are no rules anymore.

Submitted for your approval, another case of a client who simply sent tapes to big markets. He had a good tape, had worked hard, and believed me when I told him to send tapes anywhere. So Andrew del Greco will be moving from Reno, Nevada (market 108) to WTAE in Pittsburgh (market 23). No agent, no big connections, just the belief that he could send a tape anywhere.

You can too.

Because there are no rules anymore, regardless of what anyone tells you. (Except me, of course.)