Teaching an Old Dog New Digital Tricks

July 9, 2018|

As more than 100 business leaders and yours truly attended a Google-sponsored digital marketing seminar on June 6, speaker Lee Regan’s words really hit home with me. I just learned that the mainstream career of a former CSRA sportscasting legend abruptly ended.

I worked with Chick Hernandez at News 12 in North Augusta in the early 1990s, and his career ascended to covering sports for NBC Sports in Washington, D.C., until early June, when his contract was not renewed. He’s devastated.

As of this writing, more than 500 wellwishers on his Facebook and LinkedIn accounts offered him encouragement and what I think is sage advice:

“Reinvent thyself! Years of intelligence is yours to share.”

“Chick, I would put your own sports franchise together. Produce, distribute and profit handsomely from your own product. Stop peddling to the man.”

“Podcast Network?”

“C’mon, Chick do a podcast. You have a hell of a network … use it! Maybe you don’t need a major network to be successful.”

Then, on social media, his fans offered up show titles for his consideration: Chillin’ with Chick and Chick’s Champions.

I also flashbacked to 2008, when WGAC’s John Patrick and I sat on my back porch in Evans deciding whether to do the area’s first daily business radio show. I vividly recall him saying that people won’t be listening to mainstream radio as much and it will all go online. That was John’s way of saying that we all need to get ready for the digital transformation, and he was right! We decided to do the show on radio and stream it live online.

At the Google seminar, Regan showed how John Patrick’s prediction was right tenfold by sharing how important “how-to” videos are to build your company brand online. How to “shop” your competition online to see how it “stacks up” against your business on searches. How search re-targeting works when your potential customers are looking for products and services.

He gave good tips on the importance of a mobile-friendly website, such as:

  • Having a clear call to action on the landing page of the mobile site
  • Building mobile-friendly menus
  • Having clickable phone numbers
  • Not requiring mobile users to pinch to zoom
  • Ensuring site-search functionality
  • Not having a landing page with promotion-blocking site navigation

This old dog, too, has been forced to learn new tricks — I’m back in business doing videos exclusively for clients’ websites and social media, not for television, and providing advice and vendors for other clients wanting to reach prospects on the worldwide web.

John Patrick was right. To some degree, everything we do is going online.

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