Today’s Freeze Frame features Gracie LaRose (Loyalist PR 07/08) who is now working as Promotions Director for CHUM Radio Brockville.
Prior to enrolling in the Post-Grad Public Relations Program, Gracie earned a diploma in Broadcast Journalism from Loyalist College.
Freeze Frame: What are you up to these days, Gracie?
Gracie LaRose: As Promotions Director for CHUM Radio Brockville, I handle all of the promotions for 103.7 BOB FM and 104.9 JRfm. I also handle some of the promotions for CHUM Radio Kingston, which includes 98.9 The Drive and 98.3 FLY FM.
My current duties include: maintaining the BOB FM and the JRfm websites, coordinating on-air giveaways and promotions with music and movie reps, working with local not-for-profits and charities to help promote their events, promoting and maintaining the stations' brand, and doing budget stuff. I also do a daily on-air shift on JRfm, Brockville's Soft Rock, 7-10 pm weekdays, and Saturday Mornings!
FF: How did Loyalist PR prepare you for your current job?
GL: Without the Loyalist PR program I would not have been nearly as outgoing as I am today, and this is not the type of business that introverts thrive in. It also taught me a lot about keeping up a company's brand, which is a HUGE part of what I have to consider every time I prepare for a promotion or event. If it doesn't fit with the brand image we are trying to maintain - no matter how cool the promotion/prizing may be - we just can't do it.
FF: What are three key skills you use every day on your job?
GL: First, creating effective messages. In radio, you have VERY limited time in which to get your message out, and to make sure the important info was heard. A lot of what I do gets summed up in 15-30 second spots, or commercials. But, the length of the spot won't matter if you can't grab and hold the listener's attention.
Next, delivering persuasive presentations. Most of the in-office aspect of my job is writing proposals and creating PowerPoint presentations. The fun side to this, is that I have to make things very self-explanatory, because often the people I'm working with aren't anywhere near the metropolitan-hub that is Brockville. So I almost never get to be there when my presentations and proposals are being viewed. Most of the music and movie reps I work with are in the GTA or in the United States.
And finally, special event planning. This is key to my job. While everyone loves the free stuff I score through my links with music and movie reps, I can't give it away if I can't make a successful event. In radio, we do remote broadcasts all the time - often to help promote local businesses and charities. I have to make sure there is an announcer to go to the event, that there is someone in studio to make sure the cut-ins from the event get on-air, and I have to make sure that the commercial scheduling during the event has no conflicts. (It wouldn't be very good to have a commercial for Jimbo's Sports World running during a remote broadcast from Athlete's World.) The radio stations have a couple of major charity events that get sponsored every year, and we organize these events from the ground up. All the charity has to do is show up and take the cheque at the end of the day.
FF: What’s the best part of your job?
GL: The best thing about my job is the free stuff! Ha! In truth, I really like that I can work with the local charities to help them achieve their goals. I also get to meet a lot of really great people who I work with to create promotions, and who come through the station for interviews… Sam Roberts and the gents from Great Big Sea, and last week we had Steve Smith a.k.a. Red Green come by.
There are some things in my job that don't change from week to week, I'll always have paper work to fill out, and I'll always have to worry about ratings... but what I do for promotions, and contesting is never the same.
FF: Final question: what’s playing on your ipod as we speak?
GL: Powerline - The National Parcs Check 'em out! Totally awesome band!