While the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) has made cuts during the recession, much like its member radio companies, the new Chair, Entercom Regional Vice President Weezie Kramer, tells RBR-TVBR that the organization is still active and viable. RAB, she says, is focused on the areas most important to its members.
Noting that the advertising recession’s impact on radio companies had forced RAB to make cuts in budget and staff, we asked Kramer: “So as we go into 2010 now, how viable and active is the RAB?”
“Well I think if you put it in the context of what the rest of the world went through in the last 18, 24 months the RAB’s no different than many other radio groups or many other businesses, pick the category, whether that’s automotive business or the local retailer down the street the RAB had to step back, take a look at the business realities and make some really, really difficult decisions and try to make the right ones to preserve all the things that are important in how we serve our communities,” Kramer said. “I actually think that [RAB CEO] Jeff [Haley] and the team have been fantastic. We cut back in a number of different areas – the one that we cut back the least was in training and services and these folks should be applauded for what a fantastic job they’ve done and continue to deliver great training, an improved website, unbelievable tools. John Potter, Dave Casper these guys are just fantastic. I think that the viability of the RAB is measured by the content that they put out there and the usage that they get. My understanding those numbers are in an all time high,” she said.
What, then, are the priorities for the RAB?
“I think the priorities are really sort of a number of broad areas. One is training and services. The second is business development and how we work with Katz to make that happen. The next is marketing and communications which encompasses the shows and the various things that we do. Then I think there’s also driving the strategy for the future of radio, embracing technology as we see ourselves as a leader of sponsor audio content. Finally strengthening the membership and growing RAB revenues so that we can reinvest. I could go into details in each of those areas if you’re interested, but those are the main priorities,” said Kramer.
“The cool stuff, for example, under marketing and communications would also include our shows. We’re continuing and working with the NAB on a combined show. We are also working with them on doing radio leadership meetings. Our Spring Board Meeting has been moved to be adjacent to the Four-As which I think is a really cool thing for the board members to be able to go down and interact with advertising decision makers and the Mercury Awards Event will be in September – it is going to kick off Ad Week in New York. I think those are all really cool things that are happening on that front,” she said.
Kramer also suggested going to the RAB website to explore the new and improved offerings from the organization for training the sales staffs of local stations.
“Dave Casper and his team are launching two new training products – a digital training product and another one for sales managers. One of the things we’ve done is to provide more digital training, more online training, which sort of meets the needs of the times as radio stations have had to cut back and make tough decisions,” Kramer noted, since many broadcasters are not willing or able to spend on travel for training. Rather, by focusing on video conferencing, WebEx-es and conference calls, she says RAB is able to “continue to do training at really reasonable prices.”
RBR-TVBR will have more from our interview of Weezie Kramer in coming days.