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EDUCATING CLIENTS, SALES

QUESTION FOR DAN O’DAY:
As a production director of five stations, I try to follow your advice for the good of the client. I have preached to the clients, sales people and anyone who will listen that phone numbers and clichés are harmful to commercials, but each and every time they'll want that phone number in a commercial.

I am also the copywriter and will write a good script, and the client will change it to say all the jibber jabber garbage. I'm a 20 year radio veteran who wants to see our business grow with repeat business...but the clients and especially agency copywriters think they are the best copy writers on the planet. How can we change the system to benefit all?

DAN REPLIES:

Sadly, the answer to your question is: We cannot change the system. All we can do is build what I call Circles of Quality around ourselves and our work.

And we can try, gently, to educate clients and sales colleagues when possible. Before they can understand WHY retail phone numbers and mind-numbing clichés are bad, they need to understand WHAT a radio commercial is for and HOW it works.

Why don't you write up and print your own little booklet (8.5" x 11" "gatefold") that you can hand or mail to your clients, taking them step-by-step through the basics of effective radio advertising? The station could trade out (or pay for) the minimal printing cost. Or if they won't, YOU can pay for it...and start building your own Circle of Quality around you and your clients.

If you don't want to invest the time & effort in that, order a copy of my audio seminar, RADIO ADVERTISING: A CRASH COURSE FOR SALESPEOPLE. It's cheap, and you can cycle it among the entire sales staff. (It also will teach them how to teach their clients.)

Ultimately, your question really is: "My clients and salespeople have never been taught how to craft radio commercials that get results. What should I do?"

The only reasonable solution I can conceive is for SOMEONE to educate them. If they're not going to educate themselves (they're not) and no one else is likely to educate them (pretty unlikely), then I guess that leaves it up to you.

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