Roger Cutsforth talks about his new role as MD of the Radio Academy:
I am delighted and honoured to be the new Managing Director of The Radio Academy and greatly energised by the huge opportunity this presents.
I have many people to thank for their support and encouragement and you all know who you are. I would also like to thank my current employers Global Radio [with whom I’ve happily spent the best part of 9 years] for their support in this process, from my immediate line management through to Ashley, you’ve all been fab.
My career in this industry began with the Metro Radio Group in the early 90’s and I am, as many of you would probably expect, a passionate advocate of Mike Bersin’s blueprint the “Creative Led Sell” and I would describe myself as a Creative Salesperson. Many of you will be familiar with Mike and his teaching, but here is where the ‘creative led sell’ is often misinterpreted – we forget the last word, ‘sell’.
Working with local, regional, national and international businesses and organisations over the years, the countless examples of great products and services that still work on the principle, ‘if we build it, they will come’ is astonishing!
Simply put, ‘no they won’t’, unless or until you get your message out there. Sales is not a dirty word, we can dress it up and call it ‘pitching’ or whatever, but it is the lifeblood of what we all do, whether we’re in the BBC, Commercial Radio, Audio on Demand or Audio Design.
As an industry we are bursting with fantastic new content on numerous platforms, across different sectors and I will be driving the Academy to be its biggest cheerleader, showcasing and celebrating this amazing work. We will be telling these fantastic success stories to one another, to the creative industries as a whole and to commercial and strategic partners and ‘selling’ our industry by championing great audio content.
Not only is this vital for our industry now, it is also hugely important for the future to attract the best new entrants. We’ve been okay with examples of Companies/Organisations and individuals engaging with Universities about the fantastic opportunities as Broadcasters, Producers and Journalists etc in our industry and I also know of sporadic examples with Creative Writing too, but we have done precious little to engage with Business Schools to attract the best future business talent. We will be ‘selling’ the amazing variety of careers in our industry into Higher Education and beyond.
We want to take a leading role in career development across disciplines, for all of those in our industry, to offer everyone the opportunity and access to the very best in training, mentoring, tutorials and best practice.
We have lots to do and lots to shout about and The Radio Academy needs to be a credible voice, stage and showcase for the wider Audio Industry of the 21st Century and as ever to do so, we’ll need the financial resource. That is why we need to look at the content and service provision of the Academy so it is more attractive, relevant and useful resource for members.
I am relishing the opportunity and can’t wait to get started. It reminds me of my first days training at Viking FM in Hull in 1991. The Trainer [Richard Williams] said to us, “you’re selling showbiz” and for a lad from Hull who’d come from selling telephone systems, I was hooked and I am more now than ever before.
I look forward to working with you all.
Roger takes up his new post in mid July.