In dollars, you know the value of your music and your gear. But what’s the value of your reputation?
And how do you go about pumping it up so it soars higher than a Branson balloon?
Patrick McMichael, director of business development for Bay Area-based Denon & Doyle, spends much of his time doing just that.
“Managing our e-reputation has quite literally become a full-time position for our company,” says Patrick. “We’ve invested our time in many of the local non-profit trade associations. I’ve sat on the board of directors for the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) and the Wedding Industry Professionals Association (WIPA), and currently I’m the vice-president of Programs and Education for our local International Special Event Society (ISES) chapter.”
Being actively involved with these non-profit trade associations has allowed D&D to not only educate fellow vendors but ultimately to reach out to the local public. “These non-profit associations continue to strive to be a guiding light for future potential clients,” says Patrick.
From formal presentations to local monthly or bi-monthly education programs to articles in the local chapter newsletter—and even press pieces in trade publications such as Special Event Magazine—Patrick claims Denon & Doyle has found a way to reach out and control their public image with the most important target—their own community.
“Nationwide, I think the biggest issue we’ve come across is the stigma that every DJ is a frustrated entertainer, hungry to get on a microphone and lead the YMCA in the first five minutes of a party,” says Patrick. “But we’ve been able to combat that stigma using a few different methods. Simply providing education within the trade association sector has been huge, but further than that has been the status that comes with being a member of those different boards of directors.
“When speaking at large industry events I’m always humble, I make it a point to thank profusely and graze over self-serving kudos, and this has helped to shape the image of the typical DJ in our market. We’ve reached out to our fellow friendly competitors by encouraging them to refer to themselves as Disc Jockey & Masters of Ceremony. In our marketing material we say that 25-percent of being a good DJ in the special event industry is playing music, while the other 75-percent is having the ability to control the flow of an event with tact and taste.”
Sounds to us like that balloon will fly.