Career Capsule: I got my start in radio at KCMS in Seattle 21 years ago as an intern working on one of the first ever streaming only stations called Crossrock. We used Real Player and Windows Media Player, remember those?! That eventually turned into a full-time roll working for KCMS as their Webmaster, maintaining the website, early social media channels, texting and digital marketing. I also got to help with promotions and have a weekend air shift with Mike Tedesco. I then went to work across town at Tooth & Nail / BEC Recordings for 3 years, came back to KCMS, then out to Nashville to work at Provident Label Group. Radio kept tugging calling me back, and I then moved out to Rocklin, CA to work at K-LOVE & Air1 as their Manager of Digital Content. I am now currently the Sr. Marketing Director for CURE International, based out of Nashville, TN.
Matt, What’s new at CURE International?
CURE recently relocated headquarters to the West Michigan region and opened a new third floor at the Tebow CURE Hospital in the Philippines that will help us serve and heal more kids! The Brant Hansen Show is key to our radio strategy and we’ve recently re-launched his YouTube channel with consistent weekly content that will hopefully be valuable to our affiliates’ digital and social media efforts. We may have also created the world’s largest chalk-board wall for Brant & Sherri’s studio. Check it out at www.youtube.com/branthansen
We are always testing new platforms and outlets to reach prospective new donors. As you know, there are countless digital outlets and strategies available, so focused testing and measuring ROI is key! I’m currently exploring social media influencer marketing, peer to peer fundraising (Facebook Birthday Fundraisers) and Facebook Ad strategies and funnels. My hope is that we can find the right mix of creative content targeted to the right audience on Facebook that will result in new donors. Our strategy is broken into 3 parts. Awareness, Engagement and Activation/Giving. I’ll let you know if a few months if we’ve cracked the code!
What’s new with me?
My family moved to Nashville 9 months ago and my kids love catching fireflies and my wife loves the plethora of shabby chic vintage antique shops around town. I’m fully embracing the southern culture, enjoying the font porch rocking chair and all. Look me up next time you’re in town and let’s grab coffee!
Tell us about your role at CURE?
At the core, my job is to get new donors and keep donors giving. Our marketing team does this by creating great content and stories that will inspire people to join us in our mission of Luke 9:2, “Proclaim the kingdom of God and heal the sick.” Getting, and keeping people’s attention is harder than ever in the digital world. I love the challenge of creating the most compelling content while also finding the best technology and distribution platforms for that content.
What are some of the reasons CURE partners with Christian Radio?
Many reasons! Radio in relational, and the jocks builds trust with their audience every single day. When we do an on-air fundraiser for CURE, I believe it’s a beautiful, mutually beneficial partnership. CURE gets to benefit from the strong connection and trust christian radio has with its audience, and our radio partners get showcase how they are more than a radio station, making an impact around the world for the kingdom! I believe there are plenty of generous people to go around to support the many incredible causes we know, love and feature on christian radio. Competition is good, but I think the more important thing to challenge ourselves and organizations to do is focus on how we can more clearly communicate the “why” behind what we do.
Can you tell us some memorable ways CURE and Christian radio have worked together?
This is totally cliche and politically correct, but every CURE fundraiser we do is memorable. It’s pretty remarkable to think about the mother on the other side of the world being able to see her child walk, run and play for the first time because a radio listener in America decided to be generous. On a personal level, I had the opportunity to visit the CURE hospital in Kenya a few months ago with the WAY-FM air staff. I will forever remember the moment when a patient was being carted back into the ward to heal after his surgery with the beautiful sound of mother’s and father’s singing praise and worships songs! Best worship service ever!
Regarding Christian radio, what do you see as the biggest obstacles?
You have to live with the tension of knowing media consumption is changing, but radio listenership is still strong and relevant. It’s a lot easier to create new distribution platforms for your pre-existing on-air content than creating new content that gains traction and is sustainable in an on-demand, digital world. Using your radio signal is a great way to launch your digital content initiatives, but ultimately you need to decide whether your digital content is being created to compliment your on-air business model or being created for an audience who may or may not know your radio station and meets a need and solves a problem for them.
In what areas do you believe Christian Radio needs to improve most?
I’m not a radio programmer, so I’m not going to share my opinions I have for the on-air product.
I’m a digital guy. Digital is very measurable and you get virtually instant feedback. I would say that radio needs to define what success looks like with any digital/new media projects they are doing. Define what your ROI is and decide how much time and money you are willing to spend to achieve your goals. If it doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to quit, and try something else.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? And why?
My formative years learning radio 101 came at KCMS in Seattle 20 years ago. Alan Mason was our consultant. Scott Valentine was PD and Mike Tedesco was Director of Promotions.
Mark Ramsey – for year’s I’ve followed his work and thoughts about the future of radio. I appreciate that he’s always challenging the status quo and asking questions. My respect hit a new level when he actually practiced what he preached, and created a successful podcast series of his own.
Brant Hansen – I love the attention and importance he gives to show prep. There is science, art and heart that he blends so masterfully.