Dreams vs Spreadsheets

3 minutes of wisdom

Meet Rishad Tobaccowala:


He is Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer for Publicis Group’s VivaKi, and while he is not talking about TV or Radio, he could be, couldn’t he?

And hat’s off to Rishad for having the Rocky Mountain oysters to face the facts and speak truth. This kind of honesty is in very short supply in our industry.

In his business, and in ours, it still comes down to talent.

It still comes down to really talented people creating compelling content, no matter how it is distributed, and if you can do that, people will find it. And those people who find it will now actually do most of your marketing for you, spreading the word to everyone they know.

So if our business is not willing to pay for that talent…

is not willing to fund experimentation and encourage failure…

is not willing to make these rare people feel needed and appreciated…

we can be certain others will — and are: Google, Apple, YouTube, Facebook…

And unlike our business, they pay top dollar, they confer big stock options (that aren’t under water when they vest) and they make going to work every day FUN.

Until we get serious about this topic, paying for great talent in every good and effective way so that what people see and hear every time they tune in is absolutely riveting, until we put creativity and entertainment ahead of spreadsheets, we’re not going to attract the best.

It’s disingenuous to complain about low rates and declining profits when we won’t pay for great copy writers and remarkable production, for professional voice actors, for the time it takes to create something really, really good.

And it’s pointless to whine about Pandora and Arbitron and all the competition when we offer voice-tracked, chopped-up syndicated morning shows in midday, or “talent” doing 2 or 3 other jobs while also doing an air shift.

Put up or shut up.