Terry Stevens' Point

  • Of listening and hot dogs

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Today, I spent some time at the Wausau Chamber Business Expo.  It was enlightening.

     

    LIGHTNING

    As opposed to enlightning, which would have just hurt really bad...

     

    When you're in a building full of people who are all trying to sell each other something, selling the opportunity to sell something (i.e. advertising) becomes...interesting.

    I work with a crack team of sales pros, so I left the selling to them and did what I do best.

    I listened.

     

    "Business is picking up but it could always be better."

    "Do you want a hot dog?"

    "They have huge budgets but no strategy on what to do with them."

    "How are the kids?"

    "We do a lot of national stuff, but not much locally."

    "Gotta get back to work."

    "We price it that low because that's how they want it."

    "I could go for a hot dog."

    "People are always getting married."

     

    Lots of people talking.  Lots of opportunity.  Business is picking up in Central Wisconsin.

    If you own a business and want a piece of the pie, listen.  Listen to your customer's hopes, needs, wants and fears and speak to them in your advertising.  Don't try to sell them "our friendly, knowledgable staff", "in business since 19-dickety-5", or "for all your [INSERT CATEGORY HERE] needs" when all they wanna know is whether or not your hot dogs are any good.

    My team and I can help you find the hot dog they really want out of your business.  We'll even add some fixin's to it to make them think of your hot dog first the next time they're hungry.

     

    HOT DOG

    Yes, I know what they're made of too, but you want one just as bad as I do right now.

     

    A word of warning though.  If we help you tell our listeners that you have great hot dogs and you turn around and give them something inferior or unpleasant...

     

    HOT DOG

     

    Well, that's not going to work out too hot, dawg.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • The Cub Scouts and the Konami code

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Today, I read a story about the Cub Scouts adding a Video Gaming Pin to their program.

     

    WII FAT

     

    My late father, a scoutmaster and avid despiser of video games, is probably spinning in his grave fast enough to power most of Wausau.

    I'm just wondering if pressing

     ↑, ↑, ↓, ↓, ←, →, ←, →, B, A, (Select for 2 players) Start

    counts as a demerit for cheating...

    Also, don't plan on getting anything done today if you click this.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Nancy Pelosi wants to shut this station down

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Meet the latest politician who has come out in favor of destroying free local radio to save foreign owned companies' outdated business models.

     

    NANCY PELOSI

     

    I'm not a Right Wing talk show host with an axe to grind.  I'm going to let Ms. Pelosi's words do the talking.  By the way, these words come directly from her website.

    “Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of the aspirations and work of 20,000 singers, songwriters, and musicians nationwide. Thank you for bringing such a strong group of artists, performers, and leaders to Capitol Hill.

    “’GRAMMY on the Hill’ is an opportunity for musicians and recording artists to make their voices heard in the halls of the Capitol and to reaffirm the statement by the great poet, Percy Shelley: 'The greatest instrument of moral good is imagination.'

    “Creativity deserves to be celebrated, honored, and encouraged as a cornerstone of our national strength.

    “In coming to Congress today, you are sending a message too often lost outside the recording studio, in the political debate, or on the airwaves – that ideas, music, and imagination are as valuable as any material invention. And artists deserve to be compensated for their work and rewarded for their contributions to our economy and our culture.

    “You have an army of advocates standing by your side – from both parties – on Capitol Hill.

    “Whether it’s Chairman Howard Berman; or ‘GRAMMY on the Hill’ award winners Senator Durbin and Congressman Issa; or artists leading the charge – the rights of performers are not forgotten.

    “I look forward to working with these leaders and with Chairman Conyers to find a way forward on the issue of performers’ rights."

     

    The rest of her speech is all about Health Care Reform.

    What Ms. Pelosi and other "Performance Rights" advocates tend to leave out of their flowery speeches about giving artists their "just compensation" is that radio has already given artists (and therefore, their labels) the most precious "compensation" they could ever ask for.  FREE AIRPLAY.

    Radio is NOT legally allowed to accept money from artists or their labels in exchange for airplay unless that transaction is noted before and after EVERY PLAY OF THE SONG.  We played songs based on whether or not you, the listener, like them.  No other criteria comes into play.  Period.

    Radio makes its money by selling advertising to businesses who want to be a part of our programming.  Radio takes no cut of an artist's earnings that come about as a result of airplay.  Radio sees nothing financially from ticket sales, download sales, CD sales, T-shirt sales, fan club sales, etc.  The artists (and therefore, their labels) get to keep ALL of that.

    I've already blogged pretty extensively about the negative consequences of the Performance Rights Bill here, here, here, here, here and (my favorite piece on the topic) here.

    If you haven't already contacted your representatives and asked them to pretty please not put your favorite radio station out of business, please do so today.

    You can even sign an online petition here.

    Thanks for listening.  Hopefully, we'll be able to keep on giving you something to listen to.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Large item pickup poetry

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    And now, in honor of Large Item Pickup Week, a haiku...

     

    Pickup trucks like ants

    Driving slow and scavenging

    Won't take mattresses

     

    MATTRESSES

    Ewwwwwwwwww


    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Frampton came alive

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    60 years ago today, Peter Frampton came alive!

    Check out more of the birthday boy's music here:

     

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Ad-vice

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Ever heard of Edward Everett?

    He was a famous orator in his day.

    Still not ringing a bell?  Would a Wikipedia link help?

    He spoke before Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.  His speech was longer.  Like 4 hours longer.  I'm sure Everett was good at what he did.  I'm sure he explained the issues of the day quite well, but why is Lincoln's speech remembered while Everett's is relegated to the dustbin of history?  After all, Lincoln's speech was shorter and written on the way to the occasion.  How could it possibly better than Everett's?

    My guess?  Editing.

    When you have less time to work with, you have to MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT.  If there is a hint of ambiguity, cut it.  If anyone could possibly say "Huh?" after hearing your piece, cut it.

    When you have only one chance to be heard, MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT.

    Is there room for jokes, storytelling and tomfoolery?  Of course, as long as said jokes, storytelling and tomfollery progress towards the intended goal of the peice.

    When you run a commercial, odds are, you'll have one shot to grab the attention of that person on the other side of the radio.  Make it count.

    I'll help you.  Call 842-1672 and ask for Dawn.

    Running something worthy of this guy...

     

    LINCOLN

     

    can lead to a lot of these guys...

     

    100

    No Powerball ticket required...

    Be Cool,

    TS

     

  • New toys for this boy

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Today has been a day of meetings and opportunities for you and I.

     

    The opportunities I speak of are a tad less flamboyant than this...


    I've been informed that we're going to be doing a bit more with video on our websites.  My writing partner, John, and myself spent a few hours cackling with glee over the stuff we can produce with the gear we'll soon have access to.

    Also, our podcasting capabilities are receiving a bit of an upgrade.  Podcasting shenannigans will ensure once I work out the logistics.

     

    This is an exciting time to work in media.  Artsy fartsy types like myself have never had more toys to play with and I can't wait to hit the sandbox.

     

    SANDBOX

    And unlike these cats, I won't pee in it...

     

    I hope you'll come out to play too.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Wausau is a cow

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    [DISCLAIMER:  The following is simply my opinion and shouldn't be taken as the official stance of my employer.]

    Apparantly, the city of Wausau isn't actually a city.  It's a cow.  That's the conclusion I came to when I saw the Wausau Daily Herald's new piece on branding Wausau.

     

    ABOVE:  A video of marketers hard at work...


    "Branding" is a term that's tossed around a LOT in the marketing world.  No longer do we market products or things, we say.  We market "brands".

    As with most things in marketing, "branding" is a kernal of truth inside of a megaton of obfuscation and flim-flam.

    The premise of conventional branding is that if you can get people to have good feelings about your company's "brand" of service or product , you can then convince them to try said product or service.

    This is quite possibly, the biggest waste of marketing dollars I can possibly think of outside of setting said dollars on fire.

    Want people to fall in love with your "brand"?  CONVINCE THEM TO TRY YOUR PRODUCT!  If it's good, they'll keep using it.  Heck, they might even tell others about it.

    If you own or run a business, beware the slick marketer who says you need "branding".  Pressure washing your business's exterior walls, improving your point of sale system, finding a better location, improving your website's ease of use, training your sales force better, or any number of things that ACTUALLY IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCT'S USER EXPERIENCE will do you a megaton more good than "branding".  All the branding in the world won't help you if your product or service sucks out loud (unless you're selling vaccuum cleaners).

    Does your business need a strong identity or brand?  Yes.  However, a strong brand is the byproduct of a good company.  You don't get one without the other.

    Need help convining people to try your product or service?  That's where my team and I come in.  We're good at that sort of thing.  Call 842-1672 and ask for Dawn.

    As far as Wausau goes, a company or individual is not going to relocate to Wausau based on branding.  It, he or she will relocate based on job opportunities, good schools, public safety, property taxes, crime levels, education level of workforce and any other number of things that actually offer a TANGIBLE BENEFIT to being in Wausau!

    IMNSHO, whatever dollars are being squirted away on "branding" Wausau should be steered towards (GASP) MAKING WAUSAU A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE!

    The Paranormal Investigation group that my wife is a member of recently did an investigation in Manitowoc.  She and the rest of the team were blown away by how clean and friendly the city was.  She wanted to move there that day.  No branding necessary.

    If Wausau needs branding, then that implies that Wausau is a cow.  Where there are cattle, there is bullsh...  stuff.

    Want to "brand" Wausau?  Start by fixing the [CENSORED] potholes and move on from there.  I'll be here if you need more solutions that actually work instead of feel good nonsense passed off as "branding."

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Who the heck was Peter Steele?

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    You may have noticed an celeb obit for a fella by the name of Peter Steele.

     

    PETER STEELE

    Peter Steele (1962-2010)

     

    Steele was the lead singer, bassist and composer for a group called Type O Negative.

    I sum up their sound as "Black Sabbath with Lurch from the Addams Family as their frontman".  Steele had a knack for black humor. In fact, he had actually faked his own death a few years back as a prank.

    Thanks to Steele's uniquely dark sense of humor, Type O Negative was more a charicature of "The Evil Metal Band" than anything else.

    While they're quite in the "metal" vein of rock, they did a pretty listenable cover of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl".

     

     

    Explore more of Type O Negative's music here:

     

     

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Straight up working class rock

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Too ugly for magazine covers, too grubby for MTV, a sound too blue-collar for hipsters and yuppies to dig.

    This, is Rose Tattoo with rock the way it's meant to be, loud, ugly and dirty.

     

    Check out more of Rose Tattoo's music here:

     

    Be Cool,

    TS