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Radio Interview

Lori Midkiff

Head Of Listener Impressions

WCVO

Columbus
 

To contact Lori click here
 

 

Lori's Career Capsule
I started at the Christian Armory Bookstores as a part time cashier when I was a senior in high school.  15 years later, I was still there and had moved up to Marketing Director. When the company was being sold to the Lifeway chain, my job was eliminated and I came to 104.9 the River to be Promotions Director.  After a couple of years, I moved into the Financial Assistant’s position and also became our graphics designer.  I’ve currently been at the station for 7 years.



1. How did you arrive at your new position?

Last fall, our promotions coordinator left and instead of hiring someone new, several of us pitched in to help in the department.  It really rekindled my passion for promotions and when it was decided to develop this new type of department, I couldn’t resist taking the job.

 

2. How is your position different from a promotions director? Similar?

My position is the Promotions Director plus much more.  The Listener Impressions Department is all about giving the best impression of the station and connecting with the listeners…whether that’s at a remote or appearance, billboards, print advertising, station vehicles, web site, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Anything that gives an impression of our station, aside from on-air, goes through me first and I have a very high level of standards that our product has to measure up to.

 

3. What are your goals at WCVO?

My primary goal is to shape this department into something spectacular and that will set an industry standard.  I want our department to be the glue that holds everything together in house and be the tie that binds the listener to our station out in the community.  I have hired a Listener Impressions Agent and her primary job will be spent out of the office in the community visiting schools, churches, businesses, soccer games…where ever our target is spending her time with her family.  Our department motto is…”You only have one chance to make a first impression”

 

4. What criteria do you require for a promotion to air on your station?

I’m not sure we have criteria as we are a commercial radio station and need to serve our clients to the best of our ability.  What we do is shape every promotion to somehow make it relevant to our target.  For instance, if a car dealership wants to do a promotion with us, we may giveaway a 15-passenger van to a church that needs one as opposed to giving one person a car.  This way, we make an impression on an entire church and not just one person.

 

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

I think any promotion that speaks to your values as a station works whether you’re in Christian radio or not.  Here at the River, we’re striving to make everything we do either Faith or Family based.  Again, I use the example of a car dealership that wants a 2-hour remote.  We want to make that remote relevant to our listeners, so we make it a car seat safety check as well.

 

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

If they could provide a way for our listeners to get to know them deep down and relate to their lives.  I believe our listeners would love to know the story behind the songs and in this day of technology, this could be accomplished by video clips posted on radio station’s web sites.

 

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

I think trying to serve the secular clients that maybe don’t have the respect for Christian radio and overcoming that persona of Christian radio equals bad radio.

 

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

I believe they have a couple.  One is to be real and genuine on the air and, second, to get out and meet their listeners on a personal level.  Facebook and Twitter has really helped media personalities be involved in listeners lives

 

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

In my new position, I would love to visit some radio stations across the country to get ideas and see how they are impacting their communities.  A couple that come to mind are Z-88 in Orlando and KSBJ in Houston.

 

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

In these days of financial uncertainty and people being scared of losing jobs and homes, I believe Christian radio can provide a hope that can’t be found in material things.  The message of Christian radio will never die and if a station can withstand its own financial uncertainty, then I see it rising above all the rest.

 

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