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Radio Interview


Betsy Sharp

Assistant promotions Director 

KZTH

Oklahoma City

To contact Betsy click here
 

 

Betsy's "Beautiful History"
Betsy's career in radio began in her hometown of Lancaster, Ohio in 2000 when she was only 17, volunteering to clean the studios of WLRY so she could get her foot in the door for a weekend air shift. After deciding radio was her real passion she enrolled at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. While in school, she worked at WNZR and interned at WCVO in Columbus. After graduation she’s worked at two great industry leaders: KDUVfm and WAY-FM Media Group. Currently she’s working at another: The House FM.


1. What does 2010 look like for The House FM?

It looks bright. We’re gearing up for pledge drive in March and before the New Year had even started Janelle Keith and I sat down and hashed out a 12 month calendar for promotions. Outreach is going to be the priority in 2010 above all else. Connecting people with other people and resources is paramount.

 

2. How important is social networking for radio?

It’s essential. Not to sound too political, it’s the way every radio station and really any ministry can “energize their base”. For those that think it’s a waste of time… do you think talking to listeners at an event is a waste of time? Expert after expert will tell you the truth: social networking can be tireless, but ultimately can be extremely rewarding.

Facebook, twitter, and other sites give you the 4th or 5th hours to your on-air shift off-air and online with listeners. I’ve seen some get so excited that a radio DJ that they listen to everyday posted on their wall that their next status was “(name) from WXYZ is so awesome!!!1!11!!!” (Or something similar.)

…And don’t forget video. If you don’t know what Twitter’s 12seconds is… find out.

 

3. What are some of the main characteristics of a person working in promotions?

Be wicked-creative, don’t have an inferiority complex, be ready to ask for the moon and be told you can only have a patch of grass (and still move forward afterward), have thick AND tough skin, and above all things value the listener so much that you don’t just “friend” them on facebook, but you *actually* become their friend and care about what they care about. That will change things.

 

4. What kind of promotions work best for Christian radio?

Well… we know what it takes to “get the job done” and “just get by”. But the real innovators will be those that make a difference.

A lot of times promotions are done with giveaways. Instead, let’s find the “human connection” that Cisco is always talking about. What are your DJs passionate about? Will they go to Afghanistan like Brant from WAY-FM to spotlight Afghan Moms and raise over $18,000 with CURE? How about KFSH’s Lara Scott throwing a baby shower for Moms and babies in need instead of making herself the focus? Those types of promotions have that tie that binds and that will always win.

 

5. How do you think Christian Record labels can better serve Christian radio?

I enjoyed (and chuckled) at the “Open Letter” from my old friend Jake Sommers in your article section, and I agree that Natalie Grant’s “fact sheet” rocks compared to some of the whimsical writings on some artist’s pages. It’s not that we don’t like great writing. Jake (I think) was trying to talk about what I did above with the “human connection”.

Otherwise, I’ve always had a great time speaking with the guys and gals at EMI CMG. I haven’t had many others reach out to do anything super creative aside from CD or DVD giveaways. So rock on EMI radio team! I’m hoping we hear from some other radio promo teams in 2010!

 

6. In your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio today?

Radio (in general) needs to stop whining. Seriously. Let’s end the crying over the PPM, Apple, and whatever else comes up. Instead let’s get our own corner on the market!

As for Christian radio specifically, we cannot continue to have an inferiority complex. We stand for something real. Something true. Something that deserves and demands to be shared with everyone.

 

7. What do you believe is the primary role of the Christian radio air personality?

It’s simple: be a friend. Think about what the best-most-awesomest friend in your life does and do that for your listeners.

 

8. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators today?

I’d like to change this to people, not just stations. Other than the people I already work with, you need to get connected to the following people over twitter, facebook, or linkedin: Jeff Brown (WAY-FM), Kris P. Kreme (The JoyFM), Jeremiah Beck (WIBI), Carol Baker (WPOZ), Sean Copeland (Air1). As for a team shows, I’m huge on The Morning Cruise (The JoyFM) and the Afternoon show with David and Mary on 104.9 The River.

Notice I said “some”—don’t be offended if I didn’t list you, feel free to contact me for more.

 

9. Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?

That solely depends on what you and I will do to make the human connection with listeners. The possibilities could be endless if we do it right.

As for Christian radio’s future within 10yrs, the biggest obstacle is or could be lack of available talent. We need to stop being afraid of someone taking our jobs and equip and train the next generation of leaders for this field.

 

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