Career Capsule: Most of my career background is in administration with event planning experience and public speaking. Now, ready for a giggle? I’ve only been in radio since August 2018. Music has been my heart for as long as I can remember. (Don’t ask me to sing or play an instrument though.) I used to sit in my bedroom for hours, laying on the floor just flipping channels – waiting for my favorite song to be played and always had my fingers on play/record ready. I’d memorize the words in a song really easily – sometimes just allowing the music and the rhythm of the words to teach me the lyrics of a song. When I was in 8th grade, we had a career day. That’s where someone would come and share about the line of work they are in to peek our interest. I signed up to hear the speaker about the radio industry and being a DJ. It was Mr. Ron Chapman from KVIL. I knew right then that I wanted to be a DJ! In the 90’s, there weren’t classes for that in my high school, so on the alternate, I stuck with the “teacher” stuff. I graduated in 1997 and soon began my college days at Stephen F. Austin State University in August 1997 majoring in Radio Communications. I used to walk by the college radio station and just look through the window. I would dream of the day that I would be looking from the inside out. Unfortunately, life got in the way. I left college early . . . and my dream behind in May 1998.
Fast forward 20 years and in May 2018, the Lord put a radio opportunity in front of me that only He could have designed (a God story for sure!). And in August 2018, I began a career in radio full time . . . on the outside of the microphone!
Jessica, tell us what’s new at KCBI, with you etc… ?
In the 40 year history of KCBI, I’m the first Promotions Director that the station has ever had. There’s been promotion coordinators in the past, but not consistently. I’ve been able to develop this role into something more than just handling the documentation of station promotions and contest winners. I work closely with our Program Director who has a rich history in this industry and experience executing very successful promotions. This role goes beyond that standard promotions expectations. I’ve been able to represent our station at networking events, conferences, concerts and much more. I’m really excited for the opportunities that our station now has because we have someone to be the voice and face on the other side of the microphone.
What are the 3 main ingredients to make a promotion successful?
Planning, clarity and execution.
What is the best promotion advice you’ve been given? The worst?
Best: Build relationships. Have conversations with listeners. Engage and interact.
Worst: Just stand there and look pretty.
Regarding your career, what are you most proud of?
It would definitely be taking on a role in an industry that I had no experience in and making sure to keep it in line with our station’s mission and purpose.
What is the one thing YOU must have to do your job every day?
A planner/calendar/organizer. Planning for on air promotions and onsite events is a necessity. It can be easy to lose track of promotions: start/end dates, entries, prizes to be given, etc. Add on air promotions to onsite events and you have double duties. Having that one tool allows me to keep track of all of the promotions, checklists, and event locations all in one place.
In your opinion what makes the ideal station promotion?
A promotion that builds excitement. And truthfully, it doesn’t even have to be something big. We unintentionally created a fun promotion with a simple coffee cup. We stuck a character picture of our morning show hosts on a white coffee cup. That white coffee cup ended up being the subject of conversations on air and on social media for WEEKS! It ignited this crazy back and forth banter between myself, the morning show hosts and a morning show spouse. Listeners got in on it and were willing to fork out money to BUY this coffee mug! But, it was something small and simple that got people talking – probably seeing us on social media and listening to us for the first time.
Regarding social networking and promotion, what have you had the most success with?
We try to be intentional with the things we post on social media. We don’t post things just for the sake of content. And something that we’ve learned is people choose us because we talk real life. Our radio station is known for being real, for being open and honest about ourselves and our struggles. And we see that is where most listeners connect with us. They feel like we are their friends. And so anytime we post on social media a call to action, whether it’s praying for someone, or asking how they would handle a situation etc, we get good response from that. We also enjoy seeing the fun side of our listeners and when we post silly or off the wall unusual things, it’s great to share the laugh with them as they post comments about it. It’s another way for us to engage with our listeners.
How do you measure the success of a great promotion?
One of my favorite ways to measure the success of a promotion is receiving the feedback from our listeners. Hearing the responses to winning tickets to a women’s conference or even something as simple as a morning show coffee mug and how much joy those gifts mean to them. Sometimes, it isn’t about what we may be giving away, it’s simply about providing them with something that makes them feel special and important. And often times, it’s the very thing that they need right then in their life.