By Dave Huffman
Ohio Center for Broadcasting
Strategic Marketing Manager
LinkedIn | Twitter
If you are an Ohio or Illinois Center for Broadcasting student, you've heard it a million times. You may have even been lucky enough to hear one of the famed Bruce Ryan table pounding speeches about it.
If you read this blog, you have seen us talk about it here. And now, right here with this post.
What is it? [Sound the horns: Doo, do, do, dooooo]
The Importance of Networking
"Yea, yea, yea" you say. I've actually heard some students jokingly complain that this is all they hear, and they'd actually be pretty close to being correct. Aside from all the great technical knowledge you get at one of our broadcasting schools, we will - without a doubt - jam the importance of networking in the broadcasting industry into your head.
Because the industry is tiny. Literally, everyone knows everyone or has worked with someone at some point.
Personally, I barely worked in Sales for a bit - but I've watched as friends (and my wife) have taken job after job by first being referred by someone they know.
Heck, I think up until this last position she holds, my wife had never even applied for a position at a radio station. Everything had been a direct offer because of someone she had met or engaged with earlier.
So what can you do?
Aside from the typical never burn bridges advice (which IS good advice), there are a ton of actionable steps you can take to network more effectively. Some require a lot of work and some humility and some just require some flat out dedication.
Here are three of those steps.
1. Use Social Media
Sure, you're on Facebook. But what about LinkedIn? How about Twitter? Do you have a blog? Download our quick-start social media for networking in broadcasting guide for some more insight into "SoMe" for networking.
The guide is nothing groundbreaking, just something we put together for our students that we thought we'd share with you.
2. Ask Pros to Aircheck You
My wife (with me in tow) has been anywhere from a no rated market up to a top 20 market, and every step of the way she's asked others in the industry to aircheck her. And most have been more than happy to do it.
Not only does this get your name tossed around out there in the industry, you'll pick up some great advice and other viewpoints along the way.
Remember though: Most are really busy. So keep the aircheck short.
Not in radio or tv? Send off your latest video production project to folks in your industry.
3. Offline is KING
Going back to number 1, social media really helps warm the handshake and keep you in touch with folks - but the relationships are cemented when you make time to get offline.
Make your next tweet an invite for coffee or lunch where you do not talk business. If you're in town for a conference, set up an in-promptu breakout session where everyone gets together to brainstorm.
What say YOU? What have you done to build your circle? Leave a comment or two.
On April 16th, 2011 from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
The Ohio Center for Broadcasting Cincinnati campus wants to offer up some of our training for free.
The first in the series is Shooting and Editing Video. A 101 style course we've designed to get you up in running in no time flat. Topics covered will be:
- Intro to Shooting & Editing
- The differences in editing software
- Foundational editing tips & best practices
- Optimizing video for upload
- How To Be a MacGyver
What's the catch?
Nothing. We genuinely want to give back. Teachers can get some of those coveted CEU's, small biz owners can start to learn to utilize video - everybody wins.
Ok, and hopes are (kind of) that you'll run and tell all your buddies how awesome we are.
Fair trade though, right?
Go ahead and click below to save your spot.
Quick Post-Disclosure: If you have read the Ohio Illinois Center for Broadcasting blog before, you've no doubt seen us do this - that is, announce upcoming events and things taking place at our campuses.
Plus, we tend to use this blog as a news source for potential students more so than a helpful tips broadcasting industry thought leader type blog.
We tell you this in case you wondered why this belonged on our blog site and so you don't feel sold to ;)
I think back to June 2009, I was a single mom with a dream of being an on-air personality. When I found Illinois Center for Broadcasting I thought it was too good to be true. I decided to go for it and less then two years later I am living my dream.
I am the afternoon drive host for a Top 40 CHR station Hot 93.1 in Rapid City, South Dakota. Working in radio has given my life so much meaning.
I am in a small town but I am a big fish here. Everyone treats me like a celebrity, it’s so weird! I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love my job, not only do I host my own show but I am out in the community doing remotes each week, concerts, business developments, plus the bonus of getting to take part in one of the best festivals in the USA, Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Moving so far from Chicago so soon after graduation was a bit unnerving. Will I be good enough? Have I learned everything to be successful? I was filled with fear; however it turns out I did learn everything needed to know to start off. I am learning more and more everyday. I have the best job in the world and it all started because of the amazing people at Illinois Center for Broadcasting.
Seriously without the support of the whole team who believed in me I am not sure I’d be doing this today. I need to say without my personal drive and willingness to take a chance I would not be where I am today. I went to school, interned 30+ hours a week, a single mom plus was teaching too. After 10 months of no sleep and the determination of being #1 - I did it.
So here I am the NUMBER 1 Host on the number 1 station in town with share of 21.4 in my demo.
June Days 2009
Check out the Illinois Center for Broadcasting on Facebook or see the ICB profile on Universities.com!
Admit it: If you’re any kind of a sports fan, you’ve practiced your sports announcing. You may even think you’re pretty good at it. One guy we know has earned the right to feel that way. As winner of the OCB Columbus campus’ “Arena Pipes” competition, student Matt Leininger has won himself a sweet little prize:
He now gets to call a professional baseball game…as the PA announcer for a Columbus Clippers home game on April 6th, 2011 at 2:05 p.m. versus the Akron Aeros.
We sat down with him to talk about this opportunity. Interview below.
OCB: At the risk of embarrassing yourself, when you’ve practiced sports announcing alone in your bathroom… are you any good?
ML: Oh yeah. I did it in high school for the basketball teams. That was kind of my first broadcasting experience…got me hooked.
OCB: So you’re a ringer?
ML: I wouldn’t say I’m a ringer but I’ve done it before. We’ll see if I can do baseball.
OCB: Bob Costas or Joe Buck?
ML: Hmm.. I like Joe Buck’s announcing style…but I don’t know about him as a person. Costas…not really feeling it.
OCB: Which one would you be most similar to?
ML: Probably neither. I’m shooting for being a cleaner version of Howard Stern.
OCB: So what was your strategy for winning the Arena Pipes contest?
ML: I just tried to sound professional and read it as clearly as possible. Then I posted the voting link to my facebook page every day and 50 or so of my friends shared it. I got a lot of votes…somewhere around 18-thousand.
OCB: Are you looking forward more to calling the actual game play or the hot dog race?
ML: Haven’t really seen the hot dog race before…but it sounds like fun.
OCB: I understand the Cubs are looking for someone…interested?
ML: I would take that job in a heartbeat.
Editor's Note: "Gary" below is our National Placement Director Gary James based out of our Cleveland, OH campus.
It's been a while since I updated the Ohio Center for Broadcasting staff on my progress. I am still the official technical director for the Cleveland Museum of Art's Distance Learning Studios, however I've recently been called to do extra duties.
Before I came to the Ohio Center for Broadcasting, I had a degree in Early Childhood Education and had been thinking about getting back into teaching. CMA's studios were a perfect avenue for me to teach again. Even though art was not my specialty, I knew that with my dedication, degree, and dependability I'd get my chance. My first chance came when one of our presenters became ill moments before she was due to go on camera. I taught the show and reviews were good.
After that, the seed had been planted and I was asked to take on another show. I now have my own title graphic when I'm on camera that officially designates me as a "CMA Distance Learning
It has been a nice ride so far; achieving things I thought were highly unlikely.
It's the same as a camera man who want's to be on air, it all starts with the foot in the door. I was there every day all the time and learned everything to the point where I eventually was in the right place when I was called upon, and was the best person for the job.
While I am busy at CMA, I'm not too busy to give back to the school
that gave me so much. I still plan to apply as an IA in the summer time at the Ohio Center for Broadcasting, and I will be in touch with the office in the upcoming months.
By Dave Huffman
Ohio Illinois Center for Broadcasting
This Saturday, March 19th our Illinois Center for Broadcasting campus out there in the Chicago Suburbs (Lombard, IL) is hosting a pretty exciting event.
It's called How to Entertain Your Audience. Lots of exciting Chicago area personalities will be in attendance.
- Julian of B96 Mornings
- Sarah Spain of ESPN
- Electra of Q101
In honor of this event, I figured I'd chime in with some things I've learned over the years about entertaining an audience.
Truth is, Whether you are a comedian, musician, broadcaster, or just having folks over for dinner - there are some basic rules of entertainment you want to keep in your pocket and/or practice regularly.
And look, everyone has their thing, so my rules might not be yours. I basically developed these from touring the country as an independent musician for 10 years. Otherwise, I'm really no expert.
Here are my 3 tips for entertaining an audience:
1. Calm Down
This is hugely important in every way. Some nerves are good for you, but if it becomes noticeable and you are unable to channel it in a positive direction, the crowd can read it.
Aaaand that's when things get uncomfortable for everyone.
For me, this came with regular practice. Over time, I could identify my nervousness as a good sign and I learned to channel it to help me prepare.
You can also try different breathing techniques and Jedi mind tricks...
2. Talk TO them
Not at them. Even decent comedians are really good at this. A lot of broadcasting personalities are as well. Take some time to watch these pros to see how they interact with an audience and then emulate them.
Making direct eye contact with the crowd is a great way to make them feel like you are talking to them. Every once in awhile you can pick someone out and ask them a question and sort of engage in a one to one manner. Obviously, if you are on the radio, eye contact won't work for you - in that setting, I'm told you address the audience by saying things like "Nice to be here with ya today..." And making sure to cover topics that your audience can relate to so they'll call in and engage.
Over time, by copying what you see and hear, you'll develop your thing.
3. Embrace The Heckler
Let me tell you a little about the heckler: he likes attention and he probably won't stop until he gets it.
So let him have it.
Over the years I've experimented with different ways of doing this. Sometimes I'll take the heckler head on and heckle them right back (in a fun, non-threatening manner). Other times, I've laughed and agreed and poked fun at myself and then mixed in some side jabs toward the heckler here and there.
You'll find what works for you. The important thing is to not let the audience see or hear that you are bothered.
Many times you will find that the heckler is turned into an instant fan soley based on how you handled the situation.
Have any tips to add in the comments? What tricks have you learned over the years?
Photo Credit: Stephen Brace on Flickr
By Nick Johnson
Columbus Clippers, Music Director
You are absolutely in Control
The great thing about internships is that you are absolutely in control of everything, even though it may not seem as so at times. If you feel as if you aren’t learning anything, you aren’t being properly utilized - then speak to someone and let them know.
Tell the person you report to what you'd like to learn and what skills you'd like to work on. Persistence is the key.
The Opportunities Are Limitless
These internships that are offered are as much a work opportunity as a networking opportunity. The people you come across and make contact with could be the difference between you getting hired and just being another Resume on Human Resources Desk.
Act The Part
If you conduct yourself like an employee of that station, dress like an employee and coexist with collegeagues like an employee your superiors won’t know any better than to treat you as such. If you show up at 8:25 for a shift beginning at 7:30 regularly then don’t expect to be taken seriously when inquiring about being put on the company payroll.
I’ve seen interns with more talent than me on my best day, get turned away from part time work simply because they cannot commit to being on time and looking professional and they wonder “What did I do wrong?” If the company cannot depend on you to be punctual and market you based on your fit with the station then you’re just another body assisting with free labor.
Don’t Ever Say No
You can’t imagine the thought process of a Program Director when an intern refuses to do something asked of them. Be open minded, your willingness to do whatever someone asks you will take you further than you’ll know. I have been the internship coordinator for the Columbus Clippers for the past two seasons and it never ceases to amaze me, when an intern feels as if he is beyond taking care of his/her day to day responsibilties. Complacency happens from time to time, but it’s how you deal with that complacency that will set you apart.
Don’t become bigger than the job, it’s very common and it’s almost always a bad detour to take.
Get Your internship Early
Let’s face it, there are a few students like us that have been out of an educational enviroment for quite for some time which can make jumping back into school quite a bit of a task.
Get your intership early so that the transition goes that much easier.
I’ll be the first to admit, after being out in the workforce, sitting in a classroom for 12 hours a week was the hardest part. But being in a production studio from 10am til 5pm before heading to Campus for an evening class made the transition that much easier. Your mind is open and willing to retain knowledge and in my experience it made the classroom that much more enjoyable when you can relate to the instructor on a professional level.
This is an Opportunity of a Lifetime
If you are privledged enough to gain an intership just remember, if you work in radio there are thousands upon thousands of listeners, a large majority of which would do just about anything to be where you are. Have Fun! Enjoy it, I can guarantee you there is an office employee somewhere who is at work probably filing TPS reports listening to YOUR radio station thinking “I wish I could do that."
Be Open Minded
If you come in thinking you would love to work in Sports Talk Radio, don’t shut the door to an opportunity just because it’s not the exact thing you want to do. Take that promotions internship at a Top 40 Station, simply because YOU NEVER KNOW what could happen down the road and those added skills could really come in handy. Plus, you may find yourself exceling in a promotion department because you relate to the listeners so well.
Treat your internships as an extended interview process, everyday is a new opportunity to break through challenges and to prove yourself. Make the decision of Human Resources a tough process when deciding whether or not to make you a part of the team.
Current students or Ohio Illlinois Center for Broadcasting graduates: Any other tips to add?
By Dave Huffman
Ohio Center for Broadcasting
Let me first admit one thing: I'm naive.
I've taken a few of those personality inventories over the years for numerous reasons and a few traits always stay fairly consistent. Among those, me being "naive" always comes up.
I'm wasting a few minutes in this post illustrating that because I've heard a lot of "I knew Sheen's Ustream show would be terrible..." I really didn't though - when I first tuned in I actually thought it might have been good.
That was until the first 2 minutes passed and I realized he thought he could just rely on star power alone.
Then another 10 minutes passed and literally 20,000 folks dropped from the stream.
Granted, he did admit at the beginning that this entire thing was a "disorganized experiment."
And that's fine. I experiment all the time online. The internet is THE best place for experimenting and coming up with actionable data.
But, if I really want to achieve something with the experiment (which he may not have), there has to be a little more control. You have to know what you are looking or testing for. Or at least have an idea.
Here are four very basic things that would have changed the outcome of the entire show.
Use a Twitter Hashtag
Maybe I missed it, but I certainly didn't see one anywhere or hear mention of one. The only mention of twitter was his handle, which is better than nothing yea - but with almost 2 million folks following him on twitter he really should have organized that conversation.
And you guys know by now - hashtags are where its at when it comes to organizing those conversations and chats. And if you can organize them, then you can browse through and at least get some anecdotal themes as to what went wrong, what's good, and what people are saying.
There Was No Planning
Again, he said this was a disorganized experiment, but come on Carlos - you could have really made something happen with this broadcast. Even the most basic level of planning would have yielded better results than what you showed.
I spent 10 years as a musician traveling around the country performing countless unscripted nights and shows, so I know the value of improv. Improv is important as it helps keep things fresh and exciting.
But, at the very least, you need to have a roadmap so you can get back on track once you lose your spot.
The Content Was Terrible
Here's one I hate to toss out there mainly because I think content quality is subjective. However, in this case, the numbers don't lie. Throughout the broadcast his stream didn't grow at all, it grew to a point and then shrank.
If the show content was "good" we could reasonably assume the viewership would grow, at least by a little.
What could he have done differently?
Well, if he'd have planned - he could have lined up a couple of his buddies as guests and probably realized that the Rick dude (and the other folks behind him) had no real significance to the show.
He could have worked to get in touch with cast mates from Two and a Half Men and had them on to hash out differences.
Some of that would have at least bridged the gap between what is going on currently and what he's been talking about in the media.
Then, the show would have made some kind of sense.
Over-Relying on What's Worked
There are a number of celebrities that lose their grapes and go into rehab or get kicked off of shows, but Sheen's scenario blew up for a reason. A large majority the popularity, from what I saw, came from his one liners that folks have literally turned into a Chuck Norris-like batch of jokes.
But it's getting old. I think anyways...
In other words, winning is cool, but when you say it every couple of minutes, it loses its edge. It starts to lose meaning.
[parts of this reposted from TheIndieLaunchPad.com]
by Phil Brown
Ohio Center for Broadcasting
We’ve all heard it through the years…the big booming voice on the radio!
Is that what you need to be considered a radio disc jockey?
Not at all…
Presently, you’ll hear all types of voices:
- middle of the road
- humorous and everything in between.
I’m not saying that if you do have that big booming voice that there’s not a place for you.
What I am saying is that it takes perseverance, passion, tenacity and the willingness to go wherever you have to in order to get the gig.
Some other things you'll need:
Hmm, the word strategy used three times in those bullet points above. Here's what I'm getting at: If you think that you’ll rely on getting a lucky break, think again. You need a sound strategy to start your journey.
The broadcast industry employing you as a radio disc jockey has elements that make you a successful jock.
Perhaps we should toss out the word “jock” and change that to personality. Your personality is unique and what makes us all individuals.
Your personality needs to include:
- Knowing in depth different formats of music
- How to sound: Real? Engaging? Authoritative? Warm? Inviting? Energetic?
- Up on current local events
- Selling yourself and not sounding like someone you’re not
This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re ready to start the journey then think through the few things mentioned above.
Do you have the interest in learning what it takes to be a radio personality?
Photo Credit: VancouverFilmSchool
The next step in learning about whether or not a career in radio or television is right for you is to check out types of careers in the industry.
By Don Shook
Ohio Center for Broadcasting
In our program at the Ohio Center for Broadcasting you are released into internships after session 24. We've seen and heard students wondering in anticipation - where do I find this coveted internship and how do I go about it?
Finding an internship can be a tough task IF you let it intimidate you.
Whether you feel uncomfortable going to a professional business and asking if you can work for free, or you are just concerned that your schedule won’t fit any type of internship, the reasons for actively seeking one are legitimate and many.
However, to work and be successful in this industry - or any for that matter, you need to get your feet wet first.
So again, we are back to the first question of “Where do I look?”
First, you should not just be focused on your favorite station.
In Cincinnati so many students start out thinking that they are only going to do their hours at the WIZ (local Cincinnati station). The truth is, these stations do not take on 25 interns - they probably won’t have more than 5 throughout their entire family of stations.
That’s why having a back up (or two or three) is crucial. So open up a bit, look where you haven't thought to look previously.
Second, you should apply at multiple companies.
You might be focused on where you want your career to go. You should definitely be thinking about that as you search. But, if you could go either way, then reach out to both sides of the industry. The important thing is to get one. The contacts you make, the experience you get, and the resume material you earn are all extremely valuable.
Third, look beyond the contact sheet we provide you.
Most stations these days are bothered by phone calls. That’s why the bulk of them have internship opportunities and applications on their websites. Simply log on to a station, go to their career sections and look for internship info. Anything you need there that you don’t have can be provided to you from this office. A validation letter and current transcripts are available if staff is notified that the place where you are applying requests them.
Lastly, be diligent and get one ASAP.
The intern hours requirement at our schools is hard and fast. You'll have plenty of opportunities to get hours through the Ohio Illinois Center for Broadcasting radio stations and the BE TEAM, and that will surely help.
But you'll need something else to help get you over the edge, over that requirement.
So go on now, get! (that's my best cowboy-ish nudge)
In closing, it is my hope that those of you who are struggling in your search find an OICB staff member and ask for help. We get that it can be tough.
Heck, some of us are grads of the program, so at one point we were in the same boat you are right now.
Interested in reading more about networking in broadcasting? We've written a little about it here and there.
Photo Credit: Andy Hay
To Prospective Students & Fellow Graduates :
I really hate to be so cliché, but you are about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.
In the past week I have spoken with the parents of Ohio State University Basketball Players Aaron Craft and Jon Diebler. It may not sound like a big deal, but to me it’s exactly why I do this. I’ve always prided myself on my work ethic and this industry is the perfect example of a blue collar industry.
After graduating from Pickerington High School I went on to The Ohio State University to major in Journalism. I was able to so many great things from writing a column for the lantern to working with the student run radio station. It was a great experience, I learned so much and got to meet many people who I still keep around my circle to this day.
However, upon graduation I found myself in a career stalemate unable to move that experience into a job.
Then on my way into work I was listening to a sports talk station in Columbus, WBNS-FM 97.1 The Fan. I heard a commercial for a school calling itself The Ohio Center For Broadcasting.
I went in for a visit, meeting with Tish Hevel who took me through the campus for a tour. I was hooked, I had been away from broadcasting for 8 months but the high from being able to reach thousands of people just by cracking open the mic never went away. From that point on, I busted my hump doing anything and everything I could to find a new angle because for the life of me I would not fail twice attempting the same career.
I was able to do so many different things at The Ohio Center for Broadcasting from doing various internships at WBNS-FM 97.1, WTVN 610 AM, and The Columbus Clippers.
However, the best of the best was working the internet radio station aimed at sports talk known as “The Score”. I was the first voice heard on air of that station, joining me that day was WYSX Channel 6’s sports guy Clay Hall as well as the Buckeye Guy and Former Ohio State Running back and now Television Star Maurice Hall.
There I was sitting in front of guys I have marveled at through a television screen and they were sitting in front of me and agreeing with my opinions. That was the best day I had been a part of in quite some time.
If you decide that this is for you, I have a few words of advice, GO BIG OR GO HOME! Do not repeat the mistake I made, don’t leave anything on the table or you will always wonder at what could have been. It will frustrate you at times, you won’t understand why things happen in the sequence that it does. You have to keep your mind on the bigger picture, we are all meant to do extraordinary things with our lives but it’s up to you what that impact has on others.
Your Friends and Family may not understand why you are not attending a four year university, why you are not being paid for the work you’re doing at first, why you never have time to go out on the weekends.
My only advice is to tell them, “Because I love what I’m doing”
Three months after graduation I accepted a position as a play by play voice in Marion, Ohio and it’s amazing how much these towns of less than 6,000 people wait to see us. That’s the most important part of this, you are providing a service to the community above all.
I’m also the Music Director for the Columbus Clippers, Minor League Affiliate of The Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball, as well as the Internship coordinator working as a liason between The Clippers and The School.
I have to thank the people who helped me get where I am now. Tish Hevel, Sheri Reaze, Jack DeVoss, Patrick Locy, Dave Huffman and my Intructor James “Viper” Minter. Without Viper I wouldn’t be where I am now, he put me on the path and showed me the finish line.
So if you find that this is part of your life story, give it all you have and never look back.
Ohio Center For Broadcasting Graduate
March 08 Nights