With a 30 year career in media, “The New Guy” is a funny title to have for someone who has been around the block as many times as I have! I imagine you can relate, though. Most people are “The New Guy” many times throughout their career.
In our parents’ and grandparents’ day, people would often stay at one company for most of their employment history. They would learn their trade and do it faithfully without even a second thought of changing careers.
In today’s world, most people change jobs more often than they change their hairstyles! You have to adapt to the ever-changing economic conditions around you. 100 years ago, if you were a smart buggy whip manufacturer, you needed to recognize how much the automobile was going to impact your life. You would probably stop making buggy whips and start making tires, windshield wipers, or those cute little dashboard ornaments.
It is not uncommon for most of us to morph throughout our careers these days and be “The New Guy” a dozen times or so in our lifetimes. I have a friend who started right out of high school who planned a lifelong career as a carpenter. He worked as a successful carpenter, building many houses over the past 20 years. But then along comes the housing bubble and he wisely got out of the housing trade and is now selling insurance. He will likely switch to something completely different before he retires. Who knows? Maybe he’ll end up going back to school to become a dentist (like that famous elf!) The point is, we all have to adapt many times throughout our lives if we are going to survive.
When I started my career in media, I simply wanted to play rock-and-roll over the airwaves. If I couldn’t be a rockstar then I would at least play their songs on the radio. Those were the days when jobs in radio were plenty, too. Sure, we didn’t get a whole lot in our paychecks, but radio made up for it in fringe benefits. Most importantly, radio was FUN (think WKRP in Cincinnati!) Rarely did I ever have to pay for a concert or a night on the town! As a matter of fact, thanks to radio, I met my wife of 24 years! However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that DJs were “a dime a dozen” (as one radio manager informed me) and I knew that I would need to adapt.
After working on-air at various radio stations around the country in the 80s (including WZOQ in Lima and WTUE in Dayton), I morphed from a radio DJ to a broadcast software specialist. As consolidation was happening throughout radio in the 90s and DJs were losing their jobs, I was learning a new skill: web design. It didn’t take long for the radio bug to bite once again, however, and in 1999 I would combine my passions of radio and web to designed web sites for radio stations, including Dayton’s MIX 107.7, LITE 99.9, Channel 94.5, The X@103.9, and WTUE.
While I was designing radio station web sites, I was also getting more involved with the advertisers. I believed early on that digital was the next great untapped marketing resource. I strategized digital marketing campaigns with clients that included display, ecommerce, video, and streaming commercials. I got the opportunity to work for our corporate division and teach many digital sales managers and account executives all over the country how this new medium could be utilized for their advertisers. For the past four years, I was then the digital sales manager for a group of radio stations in Cincinnati, including 700WLW, WEBN, and KISS107.
Now, after 30 years in the radio industry, there are even fewer jobs in radio than there were just 3 years ago. Radio consolidation has gotten to the point that many radio stations don’t even have a local program director, let alone any local DJs. With all the recent changes to the industry that I devoted the past 30 years to, I am ready to be “The New Guy” once again.
When the prospect of working with the talented people at The Ohlmann Group presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity! There is not an ad agency more in tune with the ever-changing landscape of marketing than The Ohlmann Group. This agency has always been on the cutting edge, going all the way back to its beginning in 1949 when television was a brand new medium.
Now The Ohlmann Group is on the cutting edge of the digital revolution. Advertisers know that they need to be using digital platforms to market their business, but many don’t know how to best market themselves on the web. That is where we come in. We design web sites, manage social media campaigns, create display ads, shoot online videos, record podcasts, employ search engine optimization, and are now exploring the next great adventure in digital: mobile marketing. Sure, we still believe in the importance of print, outdoor, direct mail, radio, and television, but by expanding our digital component, The Ohlmann Group is also morphing with the times.
In the coming weeks and months I am looking forward to helping our clients strategize their marketing plans, managing their campaigns, and most of all, delivering results through digital marketing.
And who would have thought that playing Ozzy Osbourne records on the radio 30 years ago would have led to this? I would be interested to hear how your career has morphed over time! Feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.