Career Capsule: My career began in July 2017 radio after one year working at a newspaper in Ardmore, Okla., which was my first job out of college when I graduated from Oklahoma State University. I have always felt God had a call to ministry on my life and when I started my career in journalism and photography, I always wondered what it would be like to use my talents for God. I have been a listener of The House FM for my entire life and when I started looking for job opportunities, I noticed the station had an opening. I decided to apply and see if working at the station was something God had in mind for me. Fast forward to now and I have been working in the promotions department of a ministry that impacted my life personally and continues to give me the chance to use my talents for God.
Stephen, Tell us what’s new at The House FM, with you etc…?
There is always something new at The House FM and that is part of what makes working here so exciting. We just wrapped up Kid DJ Day at the end of September, which is our biggest outreach of the year. We have several other promotions coming up quickly, including some we have been doing for a long time. Even our traditional promotions and outreaches find new ways to be innovative and it’s exciting to be a part of that process.
I am still in the honeymoon phase in Ponca City, Okla., so I’m learning my way around and getting to know the community. I have been keeping busy on weekends with my personal photography business, which is something I have done and had a passion for since college. I love cars and car shows so this fall I have been enjoying spending time with my Dad at every car show we can attend.
What are the 3 main ingredients to make a promotion successful?
A promotion, first and foremost, has to be about the listener. If the listener can’t relate to what you’re promoting then they likely won’t be committed or interested. Second, it has to be exciting. People are much more willingly to be a part of something when it is fun and not a chore. Lastly, it has to be motivated. It is important to never lose sight of why a promotion is happening: to reach people about our Lord Jesus Christ. Approaching promotions with that mindset, and involving God through every step of the process, keeps the promotion grounded in its foundation and can heavily impact lives.
What is the best promotion advice you’ve been given? The worst?
To always be thinking about the listener and consider what their interests are, how they’re invested and how they are impacted. I have had the pleasure of learning from two incredibly creative promotions team members, Dusti Fansler, Promotions Director, and Kortny Dylewski, Assistant Promotions Director. They have been the driving force behind many great promotions at The House FM and I’m honored they’ve taken me under their wing so I can learn. I think the worst thing you can do in promotions is become jaded and lose enthusiasm to reach listeners in an impactful way.
Regarding your career, what are you most proud of?
I’m proud that I’ve been able to use my talents to glorify God through The House FM ministry. God gave me the ability to tell stories, both through images and through video, and gave me the strength to be able to open my heart to listeners and pray with them. I have been to several events and concerts and I have prayed with several listeners about their lives and their relationship with Christ. It is an amazing to see the ministry impacting lives beyond just music or contests, but to God working in lives and using the radio waves to reach the hearts of his children.
What is the one thing you must have to do your job every day?
A Pepsi. I have to have that. I have to also have perspective and have prayer. My day would be much longer without Jesus on my side and constantly talking to God about my day drives me to work harder at glorifying him through my career.
In your opinion what makes the ideal station promotion?
The promotion must reach the listener on a personal level and you have to involve God into the entire process. You could have the most heavily pushed, perfectly timed and flawlessly executed promotion ever but if you don’t reach the listener on a meaningful level then you haven’t done your job. Placing yourself into the listeners’ shoes and understanding what they’re looking for from the station should drive ideas and layout a perspective throughout the promotion.
Regarding social networking and promotion, what have you had the most success with?
When I first arrived at The House FM we had a promotion called “Manny For A Day,” where one of our DJs would go to an amusement park with a winning family and serve as their manny for the day. The family also received tickets to see the Newsboys, which brought the entire package together. The promotion was a HUGE success and we had a huge response from it. We used several promotional videos and graphics to really drive the promotion on social media, which made a huge impact. Ultimately it goes back to knowing your listeners and determining their needs.
How do you measure the success of a great promotion?
If we reached even a single person who needed God or who didn’t have a relationship with Jesus before the promotion, then we have succeeded. Reaching a huge number of people can give the impression of success, but if we haven’t provided an opportunity for the listener to know Christ, or grow in their relationship with him, then we haven’t made the impact that we can through a promotion. In order to make a lasting impact and make a connection for life, you have to pass that threshold into the listeners’ lives.