When you think about it, few careers demand you be creative every day as much as being in the marketing department of a TV station. So how do local TV creative services directors and marketing managers keep themselves and their staff from getting burned out, stuck? That was the mission of the first-time session, Unstuck, at the Promax Station Summit last week in Las Vegas. Check it out.
Concepts, ideas, copy, images, video direction, software expertise and editing prowess are just some of the skills you’ll need to be successful.
A weather spot, a news investigation promo, a social media post, a billboard ad and radio spots are just some of what is required from you and your staff on any given day.
Let’s face it, being creative can be hard.
So how do local TV creative services directors and marketing managers keep themselves and their staff from getting burned out, stuck?
Five creative services directors took the stage in a packed-room to share their secrets to stay inspired. Danielle Ray from WDAF Kansas City moderated and was joined by Erik Candiani from WWBT Richmond, Va,; Natalia Egan from KPRC Houston; David Hyman from WPIX New York; and Philip Wrobel from WXYZ Detroit in a freeform, back-and-forth give-and-take.
David Hyman said he starts his day with a long walk with his dog. “Always be in receive mode to your surroundings,” he said.
Listen from the bottom up, was a suggestion from Hyman, meaning everyone in your department might make a contribution beyond what their daily duties are. Hyman also said that you have to give ideas time to ferment. As an example, he talked about an idea a daily topical writer had for a sports promo for the 50-game subway series that airs on WPIX between the Yankees and the Mets. While initially dubious about pulling it off, Hyman said his team kept with it in spite of the idea’s many challenges.
Erik Candiani has more than 7000 Blu-Ray movies, so one source of inspiration for him was movie-trailers, which he likened to news promos.
Candiani said he’s a big fan of pop culture and has no problem seeing ideas everywhere and then modifying them to make them his own.
He said the inspiration for this single shot promo which took 42 takes to perfect came from an idea at last year’s Summit.
Philip Wrobel said his team starts out with a 10-minute morning huddle every day to go over the day’s work.
This builds team work, he said, and encourages his staff to step up and help each other out on projects. His one requirement: everyone must stand.
Wrobel said he finds inspiration by watching other ads, and customizing them to his own objectives.
Natalia Egan said she follows her 3 T’s approach: Trust Them, Task Them and Teach Them.
As to how to critique her staff’s work, she said to be honest and direct. But be respectful, leave egos at the door and no belittling. On that, Hyman jumped in with a suggestion to remark on the positive aspects first, so that any criticisms won’t sting as much.
Another suggestion Egan had was an idea about using a buddy system, pairing up two people together on a project, like a veteran and a rookie for example. Visiting other stations in your group to watch them in action was also another idea put forth by the group, as was changing routines whenever possible.
Egan said that sometimes, in order to communicate your idea, you have to show them. So when her team had an idea for the morning news team, they created a mock spot to ‘show them’.
Danielle Ray said staying enthusiastic and positive even when ideas are hard to come by helps. Ray’s team came up with some suggestions as well.
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