It's been over a year since I began working at KSL (it's amazing how fast time flies) and it feels like it was just yesterday that I began working in the world of broadcast media. It has been the most fun I've ever had and the best job I've ever had. It's been quite a ride these last few months and I've learned a lot of great/funny things about working in the media (especially in promotions).
1. People REALLY love free stuff-This may seem like no brainier to you, but I don't think I can stress this enough...PEOPLE LOVE FREE STUFF. It doesn't matter what it is, if it's free and you put it on a table someone will take it. Chip clips, chap stick, jar openers (yep we really give those away), magnet clips, you name it and it can be gone quicker than you can say, "Hey, feel free to take some KSL swag." We sometimes get the people who frequent our booths who I know by name. Now I'm saying taking free stuff is a bad thing and I myself enjoy a chip clip as much as the next guy, but you shouldn't be making up family members so you can grab one or two (or three, or four) more things. Wait, how many grandpas did you say you had? and how many brothers and sisters? hmmmm. Also when people try to subtly (well not at all subtly) try to slip a few extra note pads in their purse...If you need them that badly I think an intervention is in order (or maybe a TV deal to be hoarders? cha-ching)
2. It's always better to over prepare
One of the biggest lessons I had to learn early on was to take the responsibility to do prep work myself. KSL owns three radio stations in the Salt Lake area as well as KSL TV and when you put them all together that's a lot of events to plan and set up. With so much going on it becomes clear that you become responsible for the events you sign up and for the extra time to prepare for them. My bosses are busy trying to juggle multiple events at a time and it becomes up to you to put everything together. In essence I have to be really self motivated in making sure everything is ready for you before events. Coming in early to make sure you have everything you need and staying late making sure that stuff is put back and that whoever is working something the next day knows where everything is. A lot of times it takes longer to get stuff together than the actual stuff I work, but I've learned it's better to over prepare than to go to a event/live broadcast missing something essential to it.
3. Think on your feet-
Anyone who works in broadcast media and media promotions can tell you about stuff going wrong from time to time (or most of the time? I kid I kid) and the proverbial shit hits the fan. At those times it's always best to over prepare (see #2) for every possible circumstance. What if it gets windy and rainy outside? I sure hope I brought some sandbags to weight down the tent!! Power outages? Bring a generator! Sound system dies 5 minutes before your suppose to drive on a parade route? (true story) take it down asap and play the station through the car stereo! Sometimes you just have to wing and go with your gut and trust it. From my own experience it almost never fails! When something doesn't go write just make sure to remember it in the future to make sure it doesn't happen again. I've been able to see myself becoming more meticulous at planning for any unforeseen circumstances.
3. Never be afraid to ask questions-As I said before sometimes It's hard to get the whole story on events your working with so many going on all at once (summer will be a killer), but that doesn't mean you should be afraid to ask questions. If anything it means you should be more assertive in asking them so that you know what your in for. Why try winging something when you have the knowledge and experience in front of you of your superiors or even co-workers? Like the saying goes two heads are better than one. The more you know about what's expected and what's going on the better.
4. DJs and News Anchors are human! Just like you and me (expect are way cooler)Surprisingly TV/Radio personalities aren't nearly as scary as they seem! I've been able to talk to them a lot at events and realize they're actual just regular people (with very public jobs). It's been awesome getting to know them and to be able to learn more about how they got to where they are. They have kids going through high school, fishing trips, family reunions and weddings. It's really cool to hear about it because it's something you don't think about much when you hear/see on the radio/TV. I really enjoy a good conversation and love to be asked about their hobbies (they especially like to talk about stuff not revolving around work). It's been awesome to make such a connection with them!
5. A good attitude can go along way-
No matter how hard of a day at work it's been I've learned to have a good attitude. How many people can say they do what I do and get paid for it?? I've had a lot of crappy jobs in my life (Carl's Jr., Target, concrete cutting, plumber) which have really humbled me in knowing what a great job and place I work at right now. If I can project that to the listeners and the viewers then that's like half the job right there!
These are just some of the things I've learned in the last year and I can see that they've not only helped me learn about how media promotions work but how to become a better and more responsible person in my whole life. I look forward to learning and experiencing more in this next year :).