When times are tough, things contract. Paychecks get smaller and people start to worry. It’s only natural. It happens in every industry and it’s cyclical…every 8-10 years or so. It helps keep the economy in check.
There are things industries must do in order to stay alive during these periods. They include but not limited to: cutting expenses, changing existing contractual obligations, and yes, even cutting staff.
In an industry such as radio, we are not exempt from any of this, and of course, radio being a medium that has endured more change than any other medium in recent history, it should be old hat by now. Especially considering the connected world in which we live in. It would almost be unthinkable of a station that is not using some sort of outside talent, production, or some sort of third-party service to keep their business running. In fact, i recall back in my early days working as a producer at a rock station, learning about all the digital delivery companies they worked with, delivering mp3’s to the station before the widespread use of email…i know, i am very old.
Today is no different…we are a company connected to many stations around north america and the globe. We work in tandem with creative directors, sales reps/account executives, station owners and the like to keep their clients happy with their commercial production needs.
There is a tendency to cut off ties to your contracted business and try to do all the work yourselves in-house when things get tight, like say the recent great depression of 2008, of which we are still feeling some effects of today. There are some small reasons to do this and big ones…the big one of course, is to save money. We do the same thing. BUT cutting off a contract with something that helps bring in the much needed capital to keep the station running, a company such as us, is akin to stopping eating to save money. You NEED to eat to stay alive (you NEED to run commercials to stay in business), and you NEED to cook your food so you won’t get sick and die (you need to CREATE your commercials professionally so your business won’t die.)
Self interest aside, companies such as ours and others, are an essential part of the radio food chain. And to our clients credit during the recession, they understood that and kept working with us throughout the fallout. We could not be more grateful. And we know how hard it was for them, especially when added pressure of the ‘buy American’ movement came along as a result of 2008. Not only did these companies get pressure to drop ALL outside contracts, the ones that remained were pressured to be American-only…and i mean United States only.
It’s one of the reasons we increased our American voice talent roster recently. Since we have clients in the United States as well as in Canada, we have a voice-over team who reflects that, with careers and experience across both countries. Each voice talent has been well versed in local pronunciations for either side of the border and we can now claim to have enough American talent of origin to be considered properly under the “Buy American” movement.
Anything we can do to help our valued clients is what we will do…and one day i hope we can amend it to the “Buy NORTH American’ movement.