Beyond The Mic: Indy’s Digital Managers

Media is obviously a people-business.  Personalities on-air, on-line and in social media create content that attracts audiences.

But many more people are involved in our daily operations than just the voices you hear, the faces you see or the authors you read.  Without these behind-the-scenes roles, sponsorship fulfillment to our audiences wouldn’t happen.

Today, Radio Indiana introduces you to our digital management team; Bob Parrish, Robyn Fuhrman & Jordyn Byington.

Bob Parrish joined Emmis in March of 2014 as the General Sales Manager of Emmis’ Terre Haute properties before joining Emmis, Indianapolis as the Digital Sales Manager in September of 2015. Bob got his first full-time radio opportunity in June of 2003 when he became the evening DJ and Music Director at WDBR (CHR) in Springfield, IL.

Robyn Fuhrman is our Digital Client Services Manager and has been with Emmis since 2013. As an alumnus of the University of Southern Indiana she received her Public Relations and Advertising degree, and minored in Sports Management. Robyn enjoys the organizational, analytical, and creativeness that comes with being a part of the digital team. Her and husband, Matt, reside on the south side of Indianapolis with their two cats.

Jordyn Byington is Director of Digital Content and has a creative background in photography, design and digital media.  Jordyn started at Emmis in 2012 managing station websites and doing graphic design. She is a born and bred Hoosier committed to the philosophy that we all have the power to make the world (and work) a better place. Self-described as a deep lover of the aesthetic, black and white photography, a social media junkie (especially Instagram), and a cheerleader for the growth of business, culture, art and community.

  1. With the constant evolvement of social and digital media, how has Emmis been able to stay ahead of the curve?

BP: Emmis has always been looked at as a leader in the digital space when compared to competing broadcasters. The leadership team at Emmis invested in digital media early on by creating an infrastructure for the division and by hiring great leadership to bring the infrastructure to the local markets. It’s that thinking and set-up that has allowed Emmis to continue to thrive in this space. We’re always looking forward- refining our skillset and product suite to stay ahead of the curve.

RF: We are lucky to have a unique boutique style that allows us to have corporate structure and local autonomy. I believe that our Emmis Digital Corporate branch out of Chicago does a great job at helping us locally to stay top of trends. I also believe we have a great team full of talented and innovative individuals whom are constantly looking for ways to help our brands and our clients succeed. It’s the duality of those two arms (corporate and local) that keep us ahead of the curve.

JB: Emmis has stayed ahead and on top because of how we value adaptability and freedom and balance that with smart business.  We are set a part because of our leadership and execution teams fearlessness of what is next or better. In this pursuit, it is essential be relentless for knowledge and be open to making decisions that change the status quo. Our culture and commitment to doing what’s right for our advertisers and our audience extends into social and digital media seamlessly.

  1. How important is digital media in regard to staying connected with our listeners?

BP: I believe that radio and digital are great companion mediums. With social media, station blogs, and talent social channels, radio stations and personalities are better equipped to extend the conversation beyond the dial. Just as we recommend for clients, integrating radio with digital media equals success. We teach the same for our brands. Our personalities are far from just on-air people. They’ve had to adapt and become social media experts, writers, and great communicators across a variety of channels.

RF: In my opinion the world is becoming a place where without digital and social branding you don’t matter. That goes for companies, politicians, product brands and radio influencers. Our listeners crave the desire to connect with the voice they hear outside of the terrestrial signal. They want the back and forth conversation of Twitter. They desire to watch videos and see what a show host is doing. Our listeners love the engagement of a Facebook live or Snapchat video because they know our jocks are more than just a voice on-air, so they love the digital capability to connect with them in a way very few other mediums can provide.

JB: Essential. Crucial. Everything.  I don’t think it could really be overstated. Our absolutely most valuable thing we have as a radio station is our audience and the connection they feel to us. That audience’s attention and connection has shifted significantly to digital media. If we can master connecting with that audience in both places – there’s no one that can beat us.

  1. Why does a digital medium work so cohesively with the radio industry?

BP: Simply put, radio is mobile. You can take radio with you wherever you go. With the ubiquitous nature of smartphones, you can connect with your favorite brand/personality through social, web, and even by listening through streaming services or Emmis’ NextRadio platform.

RF: Since the beginning of time it’s been a medium to disperse information and a form of entertainment. The pair (digital and radio) is so cohesive because digital media is aligned to achieve the same objective. Create conversation and engagement, disperse information and to entertain. When these two mediums align together, I believe the power becomes greater and the connection between listener and host becomes unmatched. The combo of radio and digital is a force to be reckoned with and something our clients should not overlook when building a solid marketing strategy.

JB: I think radio was sort of the original social media. The dynamic duo of radio and digital media solve a problem for anyone wanting to inform, educate, entertain and create conversation in a meaningful and personal way.  They work so well together because of sharing this strength. A radio message can be powerful when it is heard, but by presenting that same message visually through digital, we raise the frequency and the message is consumed through another sense – making even more memorable. Both medias are powerful alone, but using them in tandem provides real meaningful results.