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Monday, December 8, 2014

(SOCIAL) Big Data Recruitment

By Buzz Knight

All industries need to give strong consideration to recruitment for the future and the radio business is no exception.

Do you regularly evaluate your methods and processes for reaching out to colleges and universities in your market? As you consider what types of students can benefit your business in the future are you thinking the same way you always have or are you thinking for the present business conditions, or better yet, for the future?

There is a neglected area of recruitment within our business with regard to the research/statistical/data-mining expertise of college students. With the rapidly transforming available data becoming more and more an important tool for all media and marketing companies, this priority will only grow.

Our easiest default is usually someone coming through the college system who comes to us with a promotion/marketing desire or the aspiration of being on-air talent, and those are certainly needed but we are missing the future by not establishing some goals on recruitment for those who mine statistics and data.

The future for media companies and any company that distributes content is finding stories backed by data that "tell a story" and help us understand consumer behavior.

As the world of Big Data becomes bigger and bigger, encouraging and seeking out future talent for our organizations becomes a necessity, in my opinion. There are some folks doing some great work in this area and that should be acknowledged.

The Council for Research Excellence treats this area as a high priority (

CRE is a research "think tank," formed and funded by Nielsen, consisting of over 40 Nielsen clients from ad agencies and media companies (full disclosure: I serve as one of the members helping to represent Greater Media and the radio business).

According to Richard Zackon, the CRE facilitator and adjunct professor at NYU, "the media industry is being flooded with cascades of data and powerful arrays of analytical tools. Unfortunately, we are seeing only a trickle of young technical talent to extract knowledge, generate insights, and drive business decisions."

Within the dozen working committees of the Council is the Education Committee which is chaired by Jed Meyer the global director of research and analytics for the Annalect Group (the data and analytics division of Omnicom Media Group).
According to a Jed, "It's a great time to be in the media industry. There is so much innovation and change -- from Big Data to technology disruptions and demographic shifts. It is a strategic imperative that companies fortify their research teams with diverse new talent to help the industry navigate and grow."

This committee is assigned the challenge of helping to cultivate and recruit the next generation of audience researchers and coordinates a number of programs with industry groups and educational organizations.

There is one more resource for you to tap within the National Association of Broadcasters called the Broadcast Education Association (

Heather Birks is the executive director and she can put you in touch with the various liaisons in your area who can help you spread the recruitment word.

BEA is on a mission to help educators and students connect with research

According to Heather: "BEA accomplishes this through their annual convention, held in conjunction with the NAB show each April, and much smaller focused seminars. For the past four years BEA has been working with Warner Brothers and Time Warner to produce a College Professors Thought Leadership Seminar."

The seminar allows university faculty to engage with the industry by hearing
first-hand scenarios and case studies illustrating how big data, analysis, and research tell stories that help companies improve productivity.

At the seminar, faculty meet with the Time Warner human resources team to discuss what skills students need to get internships and entry-level positions.

Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Program Development for Greater Media and he can be reached at Knight was named among ?Best Programmers? by Radio Ink magazine in 2007 and 2010. He has served on the programming subcommittee of the National Association of Broadcasters(NAB) and is currently a member of the Nielsen Radio Advisory Council and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) COLRAM Committee.

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