During high school & college I worked at Pine Creek Church Camp and
was certain that I would be going into the camping ministry, but God
had other plans for me...I started listening to Christian music
during my senior year of college - WIBI was the only station I could
get in my dorm room! I did my internship at WIBI for one semester
and was hired full time as their Promotions Director in May '05.
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
My door is covered
with Thank You cards that we receive from organizations that we've
partnered with & from listeners who were excited about getting their
kids involved in a "call to action" promotion that we did. It's a
great reminder that this isn't just a job - it's a chance to have a
positive influence in the lives of others.
2. Overall, how is
Christian radio different today, from 5 years ago?
Honestly I've only
been listening to Christian radio for about 3 years...grew up in a
small town in Indiana where everyone listened to country music. But
in the past few years I've seen stations go from just playing music
& doing fun giveaways to really connecting with their listeners.
Stations are realizing that people don't want to just sign up & win
a cruise - they want to nominate their friend, co-worker, or family
member & have the opportunity to bless someone. With the help of
people like Alan Mason stations are becoming more focused on
what their listeners really want.
3. What do you think
are the main characteristics of today’s Christian radio PD?
Being able to
balance their workload & staying organized. Our PD, Rob Regal, will
be coaching the on air talent one minute & sitting in a promotions
meeting the next - he does a great job with going from task to task
without losing focus. We joke around in the office about how often
Rob uses the word "protocol" but he does a great job of keeping
everything organized & creating new systems to help programming &
promotions work together to keep the station from becoming too
4. What criteria do
you require for a promotion to air on your station?
The first thing we look at is does it fit through our
"Lisa" filter? The time of year - what holidays are coming up? What
local events will be happening that would trump our promotion? And
they have to be simple - if I can't explain it to the staff then I
know the on air talent won't be able to explain it during their
short breaks & our listeners won't understand.
5. What kind of
promotions work best for Christian radio?
Promotions that have
gained the most interest and buzz at our station are those when we
are blessing our listeners OR our listeners have a chance to bless
others and share their stories. For Valentines day we gave $500 to
one couple to spend on their "Valentine's Dream Date"- listeners
submitted stories - staff picked the Top 5 - Top 5 were placed on
our website & listeners voted for the winning couple. This gave our
listeners 2 chances to get involved and the Top 5 couples were able
to spread the word about our station by telling all of their friends
to visit our website & vote for them. Our winning couple had never
even heard of our station, but a family member told them to enter.
They came to the studio after going on their "dream date" and were
able to meet the staff, be on air & get introduced to a new
station! We were also able to create a list of everyone's dream date
ideas to put on our website to share with all of our listeners.
6. How do you think
Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?
Joe Buchanan, our Music Director, works closely with
the labels and whenever we ask for CDs, autographed items, or iPods
to use for giveaways we never have any problems.
7. In your opinion
what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?
One obstacle that
our station & many others deal with is not having enough staff - we
all wear so many hats! The more staff a station has the more focused
their employees can be at doing their specific jobs. WIBI covers a
large geographic area and everything is at least one hour from where
our station is located - we are constantly racking up the miles, but
if we had more staff the responsibilities could be spread out.
8. What do you
believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality?
I think their main
role is to connect with the listener & to be real - be a friend to
them. Lori Brown & Jeremiah Beck from our morning show are great at
teasing each other & making the show light-hearted. They talk about
anything from American Idol to their daughter's music recital. They
don't put on a show just to sound good - they are real with each
other in a way that our listeners are able to relate with them.
People are constantly coming up to our booth at events because they
want to meet their "friends" that they heard on air - that shows
that we are really connecting with our listeners.
9. What (if any)
Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?
Since I've only been
in radio for 2 years I'm not sure if I can answer this question
fairly. I turn to our network stations, WCIC in Peoria & WBGL in
Champaign, when I need help with a promotion & for new ideas. Both
stations have been great examples for me to learn from as I grow in
10. Where do you see
Christian radio in 5 years?
It's hard to say
because I can't even tell you where I see myself in 5 years! God is
amazing & He has great plans for Christian radio...I'm just glad to
be along for the ride.