SKO Radio, a New Internet Radio Station, Debuts in January Based in Akron, Ohio

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Earl McCune, one of the principle owners of SKO Radio

For generations listening to the radio meant having an antenna. Broadcast radio is under the province of FCC regulations, has a limited and measured transmission area, and all of the airways essentially are part of the public domain. What we normally refer to as print and broadcast media (radio and television) has dominated the dissemination of news and information for most of the last century.

Again, just most but not all of the last century. The rise of the internet over the past few decades has opened many new metaphoric “airways” for a wider diversity of voices to be “transmitted” via internet streaming to worldwide audiences. Furthermore, these new channels are not beholden to the restrictions of the public airways or other terrestrial broadcast boundaries. Welcome to the world of online media.

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SKO Radio will be based in Akron, Ohio

You don’t necessarily need a computer anymore. If you have a smartphone or a tablet you have access to this new cyber media world both as an audience member and as a participant. Streaming devices in the home are also giving greater access all of the time to growing audiences of both audio and video online media.

Along these lines investment in internet radio and podcasting, both by traditional media entities beginning online diversification and new online startups, is rapidly growing. Style and presentation are also evolving for the better due to the talent base that internet radio and podcasting are attracting. Moreover, marketers are aware that internet enabled automobiles will likely only serve to expand the base of internet radio listeners where almost half of general radio listening takes place.

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Earl McCune and Billy Dees

This January 2018 a new internet streaming radio station, SKO Radio, is hitting the proverbial “airways” from Akron, Ohio. This past week I had a chance to talk with one of the principle owners, Earl McCune. We talked about what internet radio is, how it differs from standard broadcast radio, and what the hopes may be for a new era regarding audio media and internet radio programming.

You can find SKO Radio on Facebook at SKORadioNetwork and on Twitter at @SKORadioNetwork. The website is not fully implemented at the time of this writing but will be online at www.SKORadio.com. In the meantime if you have any questions about being an announcer or a salesperson for the station, advertising, or the programming that will be available you can contact the staff of SKO Radio through the Facebook site.

For your convenience my interview with Earl McCune is available at the bottom of this post. You can also find it on your favorite podcast service under the “Billy Dees Podcast” including on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, PlayerFM, and Spreaker. You can follow my “Billy Dees” persona on Twitter at @BillyDees.

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“On the Air” with Earl McCune of SKO Radio and Billy Dees

 

“Getting Started in Freelance Writing” by Ginny Simon

Ginny Simon CoverWe often hear the term “freelance writing,” but exactly what is it and can it be a viable career choice?

This podcast is an interview with Ginny Simon, the author of “Getting Started in Freelance Writing.”

Ginny talks about the creative and business aspects of freelance writing, the importance of research, and how your content should be marketed to potential clients.

It is a very informative podcast and we hope that you will give it a listen.

The podcast is featured on HumorOutcasts.com and the book is published by Corner Office Books, a division of HOPress-Shorehouse Books. You can find “Getting Started in Freelance Writing” on Amazon.

For your convenience the podcast is right here:

Why Podcast?

Online Media Concept. Blue Podcast Button with Microphone. 3d ReI come from the world of audio and media production in general.

With that being said, in professional and social settings I often get asked about podcasting and its relevance. Being that I enjoy the medium I’m not sure how much people expect an objective answer from me. Well, there are no easy solutions in today’s complicated and fragmented online and traditional media landscape. I would not tout podcasting as a one size fits all solution for everyone. However, it is becoming a force that more and more people are turning to as part of their overall content marketing strategy.

The audience for podcasting is growing. According to recent data from Edison Research, the audience is strong in the age group 18-54. The podcast listener tends to be educated, affluent, and is also part of a group that likes content that is free from advertising or that is at least low in advertisement rotation. The on-demand nature of podcasts seems to be a big part of the medium’s appeal as well.

There are plenty of ways for people to produce their own podcasts at a low cost just as there are easy ways for them to produce their own online videos and digital pictures. However, just as with video and other media there are times when professional production is more appropriate. For one, the growing audience is increasingly listening to podcasts on better sounding streaming devices and becoming savvier regarding production quality. Secondly, as this occurs companies and organizations wanting to increase their listenership may not want to incur the time of in-house training and the cost of equipment to get to a high production level. Even with this being the case, most of the time professional podcast production is very affordable when compared to television and other media.

Investment in the medium is improving not only with increased funding but with traditional media outlets beginning podcast divisions. Style and presentation is also evolving for the better due to the talent base that podcasting is attracting. Moreover, marketers are aware that internet enabled automobiles will likely only serve to expand the base of podcast listeners where almost half of radio listening takes place.

fdb26a0f-3bfe-4804-9e0f-9a7f34098669To me, one of the major appeals of podcasting is the fact that they do not require the audience’s complete attention. Unlike a video or a blog post, you can listen to a podcast while you are pretty much doing anything. This is a key feature for young professionals who are busy with a family and a career.

I would also want to be aware of the burgeoning use of interactive audio content. It may not be long before you are able to just simply ask your car’s dashboard what your council representative’s position is on a given issue and his or her voice will be coming out of the speakers. Building an online reservoir of audio content for your potential clients to access in the future is probably a good idea.

Podcasts can be very entertaining and informative. I certainly would encourage anyone to become a fan of podcasting.

For the more ambitious of you who may want to try making one, it is often said that good writers are good readers first. I would advise the same for novices regarding podcasts. Listen to a few of them. Remember, we don’t expect online videos to be stylized as television programs and podcasts do not need to be modeled after morning zoo radio shows. Get some ideas and settle on your own panache.

Oh, and have fun.

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“If I Could Mend Your Heart” by Mary Farr for Shorehouse Books

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“If I Could Mend Your Heart” by Mary Farr

Podcast Interview

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Mary Farr. Her book, “If I Could Mend Your Heart,” deals with the subject of managing grief. This sorrow can be due to the loss of life but also any event or circumstance which heavily impacts our lives. The book is available here on Amazon.

Even though this is a difficult theme this is not a depressing podcast and this is not a sad book. Rather, Mary explains that often times carving out an alternative and positive path in life can be a part of how we manage the trials and tribulations that we all experience.

MaryFarrPodcastThe podcast is featured on HumorOutcasts.com. For your convenience the interview is also playable at the bottom of this post or for those of you who regularly listen to podcasts it is also available under “Billy Dees” on iTunes Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and nearly all of the other major podcast/internet radio platforms for your favorite streaming device or mobile app.

This is a podcast production in partnership with HOPress-Shorehouse Books. Special thanks to Donna Cavanagh over at @HOPress.

Thanks to all of you and happy listening.

HO Press, Shorehouse Books, HumorOutcasts Radio interview with Mary Farr

Podcast Interview Wil 3 Author of “Heartly God?”

Headphones and MicrophoneBack in June we had a chance to interview Wil 3 about his new book “Heartly God?” for Donna Cavanagh and HO Press.

It was a fun interview to do and I would encourage everyone to give it a listen. Wil 3 gives us various insights into his personality and what went into the writing of his book. If you enjoy writing or the creative process in regard to character or story development then you might find this podcast episode of particular interest. You can find the book “Heartly God?” here on Amazon.

We here at Perfect Media Prods produce podcasts for publishers and various other organizations who want radio quality productions both in terms of content and sound quality. We can produce the program for your existing podcast network and/or include it on one of ours if you wish.

This episode entitled HOPress HumorOutcasts Radio Wil3 Interview was featured on the “Billy Dees” Podcast which is available on most of the major Internet Radio services including iTunes (Apple Podcasts), Stitcher, Google Play for Android, SoundCloud, and Spreaker.

For your convenience you can listen to it in this post.

We would enjoy your feedback so as always feel free to make comments in the section below.

Thanks and fun reading to you!

Podcast Interview Wil 3 Author of “Heartly God?”

Is the Customer Always Right?

Closeup portrait of angry grumpy middle-aged man looking from unIn a word. No.

I do believe that customers are entitled to every effort and beyond to ensure that their investment in a given purchase is honored diligently by those selling the goods and services. There have been times when I have fallen on the sword at a loss to make sure that a customer who came to me in good faith was not disappointed. This is the right thing to do and at times is a cost of doing business overall. Customers must get what they paid for and it should come with a certain graciousness from the merchant. After all, customers are the reason our businesses exist.

Additionally, there are times when it is simply more practical to appease an unhappy camper than it is to spend too much time dealing with the situation.

However, there is an old adage in the consumer market place for the “buyer to beware,” and at the same time I would suggest that this applies to the seller as well.

The rules of the free market apply equally to both sides of the business counter. Yes, customers have the right to take their business elsewhere if you cannot satisfy their needs. At the same time, a private purveyor of goods and services is under no obligation to match unreasonable prices or agree to high demands as part of a sale.

There are customers masquerading under such seemingly innocuous terms such as “value seekers” and “deal getters” who more accurately are malcontents who will suck the blood right out of your business. They destroy the morale of your staff and steal your company’s resources from your otherwise loyal and repeat customers.

This may sound like sacrilege to the business-seminar loving, latte sipping, customer management gurus out there; but the truth is that some customers are just not worth having.

This is especially true for retailers who are often asked to match prices from various sources on the internet.

“I can get it for less on the internet but I’d really rather deal with someone local like you,” are not words coming from someone who is trying to do you a favor.

The translation of, “I’d rather deal with you…” is:

“I want to ask fifty million questions about the product to a trained sales staff, I want to demo the product in a brick and mortar store, and I want to be able to return the product to a reputable and known establishment if it doesn’t work. However, I still want the same cheap internet price.”

One way of heading off this type of situation is to decide what kind of business you intend to be.

I get criticized for saying this but I have often maintained that you can gear your company to be a price leader or to offer customized service and support; but you cannot do both. There may be a few exceptions for large companies that can split their brand identities and there are times when we have to be flexible, however, as a general rule I do not subscribe to the notion that all business is good business.

To be a price leader you need to move volume quickly and that is hard to do when you are also offering service and support. By the same token, if you are set up for customized service and support, price shoppers devour your time trying to negotiate deals over flaky projects that you should not want to be representative of your company’s services from the start.

When it comes right down to it business relationships are very similar to friendships or love interests. The best relationships are two-way streets. Do exceptionally right by your customers and expect fair compensation and respect in return. Stand up for who you are and don’t get bullied into serving some abstract ideal about pleasing customers if it ultimately comes at a loss for you.

How to Tell a Customer That Things Are Going Less Than Perfect

Angry woman talking on phoneNo matter how hard all of us strive to provide good service to our clients, sooner or later something will go wrong. Parts will be back-ordered. The software will have changed. The stars just will not line-up the way that you expected for a particular project. How you handle this dilemma will define you and your business as much as anything else you do.

Here’s the key ingredient to managing this type of incident. Make the call.

The psychology of this is very simple. When you call the customer you are in control of the conversation. When you wait for the inevitable call to come in, the customer is in control.

For example, let’s say you ordered a product for John and told him that it should be in the following week. The item then came up as back-ordered. So, you called the customer and said this:

John, hi – I just want to give you an update on the product you ordered. The product is currently back-ordered. We checked several other suppliers but it seems as though the manufacturer unexpectedly got behind on demand. If you would like to keep the order in place we will monitor the situation for you and call you as soon as it becomes available.

Now, will the customer be necessarily thrilled with this kind of news? Probably not, but most people are reasonable and will appreciate the fact that you were aware of the issue and contacted them. This is especially true if the customer paid in advance.

By contrast, let’s suppose that you did nothing in this same situation and the customer called in and said this:

Look, I was in there three weeks ago and paid for my item. I was told it should arrive within a week. I haven’t heard anything. I’m not sure if you forgot about my order or what you are doing. Is the item in? I would really like to know what is going on.

The best thing that you can do in response is damage control. You could explain to the customer that the item is back-ordered but the frustration with the circumstances has already broken the brand that is you.

In both of these scenarios the news that you are giving to the customer is exactly the same. The item was back-ordered. The difference is in what set of circumstances the message was delivered.

Nobody likes to be the bearer of bad news. However, you can give unpleasant news to a customer in a way that denotes respect toward them and concern for their satisfaction if you make the contact first.

If you wait for them to contact you it’s over. From their perspective you just didn’t give a damn. And to be totally honest, you probably didn’t.