I started my career in 2004 Springfield, MO as an event planner for a local health system. In that position, I learned a lot about our community and the power of encouragement. I enjoyed planning yearly celebrations such as nurse’s day and co-worker recognition events. That role introduced me to a lot of non-profit organizations. That’s where I discovered my love for community relations. In 2008, I was hired as a Community Manager with the American Cancer Society. I helped cancer patients find local aid; such as wigs, nutrition and financial services, and support groups.
After leaving the American Cancer Society, I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks as their Community Outreach Manager. In that role, I matched members of the community to the best volunteer role in the organization whether board member, mentor, or event volunteer. I became a mom in 2014 and was blessed to stay at home full time with my daughter, Ava. I welcomed another daughter, Violet, in 2016.
In 2018, I returned to work as the Communications Director for Wesley Church. I spent a lot of time making those weekly bulletins that people throw away right after service.
I joined the team at KWND & KWFC in May of 2021 as the Promotions Director.
Rebecca, tell us what’s new at KWND & new with you etc… ?
We are leaning into our promise of providing hope and encouragement. Whether that’s through a community relations project or a singing competition. People are looking for a place to hear a positive message, a funny story, and the encouragement of Jesus. We just kicked off a dual station promotion called The Lawnmower 500. Thanks to a local sponsor, our listeners will compete for a Ferris riding mower valued at $6,000. On June tenth, 12 contestants will play games (similar to summer camp games) in order to obtain the winning key that will start the mower. Exiting stuff!
KWND (The Wind) will search for the next Cellphone Superstar this summer. We partner with a local music festival, Light The Way, to provide a once in a lifetime prize. The winner of our singing competition will be the festival’s opening act. This is the third year we’ve provided this competition and it’s amazing. We get to know the contestants and we get to share their story with the community. It’s kind of crazy… One day you decide to sing for 30 seconds into your cellphone and a few weeks later you’re the opening act for Anne Wilson.
How has your job changed or shifted during the pandemic?
I started at KWND & KWFC at the end of the pandemic. The world was starting to return to norm-ish in summer of 2021. The first concert that I worked was Zach William’s Drive-In Tour. We were able to have concerts but they were bring-your-own-lawn chair. Now, concerts are back! People are attending events again. We can smile at each other. It’s pretty great! The biggest obstacle was rebuilding our volunteer team. IN 2021 and 2022 many people weren’t ready to engage with the public, especially while indoors. It’s taken a lot of team work, but we’ve build a strong squad of volunteers. As a team, we’ve asked our listeners to volunteer with us and they’ve responded. We have some really creative spots running now about volunteer opportunities with our stations. While at events, we all look for people that are kind and engaging. All of those efforts are really starting to pay off!
What are the 3 main ingredients to make a promotion successful?
Three main ingredients to make a successful promotion.
Know Your Why – It’s really important to know what your station’s mission is and why it’s important to you and your community. When our listeners know our why, they know our heart. When our business ministry partners know our why, they know they can trust us. I love hearing a listener say, “I didn’t know ____ supported you guys. I’ll shop there now.” People pay attention to your why. They pay attention to your values. They want to support the businesses that support their station. Knowing your why gives the entire promotion more heart.
Know Where the Money Goes – One of the most impactful trainings I had while working for the American Cancer Society was called “I’m so glad you asked.” As staff members, we were constantly updated with information on where the donation money was going. We were updated on national research projects and on local grief counselors. Those leaders wanted anyone engaging with the community to talk about where the money went. When your organization is asking for financial support, as an employee YOU need to be prepared for the question, “Where does the money go?” Don’t be intimidated by it, simply say “I’m so glad you asked” and then tell them! When we have promotions, a lot of our listeners are curious about the process. Which is fair because they are supporting our ministry. I love to tell them which business we worked with to make a special prize happen. Our listeners are trusting us to use their money for God’s Kingdom and we owe them an answer.
What’s The Best Way for Me to Get Involved – The more ways we can connect people to our station the better. Each promotion has different needs but we always need people. I love planning a promotion and talking about which staff personality should have which part. Our volunteer team amazes me with their love for serving. Figuring out what our promotion needs are and who can help, is a major team effort there. Communicating with our volunteers and staff is 75% of my job. It can be a challenge to figure out what needs a new promotion might have, but our team does a good job of meeting at the white board and writing out the details!
What is the best promotion advice you’ve been given? The worst?
The best promotion advice I’ve been given is to know your audience. Try to include as many people as possible. Last year we had a dual station promotion for Mother’s Day & Father’s Day called ‘He Said / She Said’. We asked our listeners to call or email with a certain phrase or advice that their parents always said. It was hilarious! Some listeners submitted sweet grandmotherly advice and a lot of people reflected on how much their dad wanted them to keep all the cool air inside! We did a random drawing for two garden sheds. (Get it? He Shed / She Shed) Our listeners really engaged and we enjoyed the comments!
What is the one thing YOU must have to do your job every day?
The one thing I do in my job every day …. I return texts. I contact most of our winners and volunteers with my work cellphone number. Most people don’t pick up the phone to numbers they do not know, so texting is easiest. Almost daily, a winning listener sends a photo of their family at a concert they won tickets to, or they ask a question about what time an event starts, or they send me a photo of their dog. It’s pretty random. But I love it.
In your opinion what makes the ideal station promotion?
With both KWND and KWFC we have a lot of success with Facebook and promoting our events. KWFC has a lot of fun with Facebook Friday and the morning team of Dave Taylor and Paula Turley does a great job of engaging the audience. It really keeps their audience informed and playing along with the show!
Regarding social networking and promotion, what have you had the most success with?
At KWND (The Wind) we try to set up photo booth at most concerts. We text a photo collage with the concert tour logo to each participant. It’s a fun and FREE souvenir. We post all of the photo booth photos on our Facebook page after those events. I love the look of those photos. We have a hundreds of snapshots of our listening audience!
How do you measure the success of a great promotion?
I measure the success of a great promotion by how many times we cried happy tears as a staff.
It sounds funny but I’m serious. When the WHY, the WHERE, and the WHAT are all there, the promotion is a success. When our team takes an idea from the white board to a business ministry partner then to the billboards and the airwaves, it’s an act of love. We love what we do at KWND & KWFC. We get to witness God stories. The end of a promotion is rarely just a person picking up a prize. They walk in smiling, they tell us how long they’ve been a listener, they share their story and they are so thankful. They feel special. That’s an emotional thing to watch, when someone feels special. We’ve watched kids ride their new bikes up and down our hallway. We’ve handed single parents grocery gift cards. We gave a family their first EVER dining table. God has blessed us with a front row seat to joy and it’s awesome!