Terry's Blog Terry's Blog

  • An important message from the Boys and Girls Club of Wausau

    Posted by Terry Stevens
     

    If you're looking for a charity to slide a few bucks to in the season of giving, you can't go wrong with the Boys and Girls Club of the Wausau Area.  The services they provide to the youth of our area, especially with the recent economic issues we've all been facing, are more valuable than ever.  Please read the letter below and donate.

    Be Cool,

    TS

         

     

     After school snack

     

    Like us on Facebook

    www.bgclub.com


    Thank you!
    Last week you helped us raise $5,600 through the Midwest Communications radio-a-thon in support of our Great Futures Start Here campaign! Thank you! 
     
    If you didn't have a chance to participate you can still help by donating now. Through December 31 each new or increased gift will be matched $.50 for every dollar, up to $50,000. Each dollar raised helps the Club provide daily opportunities to kids in our community like Nicole. 
     
    Nicole's story
    Nicole turns to the Club because her family struggles daily. Her dad is a single parent and can't keep a job; her older brother and sister have been in and out of foster care, secure detention and have multiple arrests. By contrast, almost every day for the past four years, Nicole has come to the Club to do her school work, spend time having fun with friends, talk with Club staff about her future and eat a healthy meal. She has set goals for herself and worked consistently to achieve them so she can be the first in her family to go to college. She wants to become a police officer and have a family of her own. Without the Club in her life, it would be easy to follow the same path as her siblings. With the Club, Nicole has the support she needs to help her work toward a healthy and productive future. 
     
    You can help

    Your contribution can help the 250 -300 kids who attend our three Club sites daily

    • $500 sponsors 25 Club memberships for 2013
    • $250 provides dinner for 75 kids for one night
    • $100 supports homework help for 100 kids for one week 
    • $50 provides safe, free after school transportation for 40 kids daily

    To include the Boys & Girls Club in your year-end giving you can donate online at bgclub.com or by mail to P.O. Box 2386, Wausau WI 54402-2386.

     
    Thank you,

      

    Brian Stezenski-Williams
    Executive Director
    Boys & Girls Club of the Wausau Area
     
  • Terry's Ad-Vice: Your Favorite Band Will Sue You

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    TERRY'S AD-VICE

    Terry Stevens is a professional radio advertising copywriter and radio host for Midwest Communications in Wausau, Wisconsin.  His copywriting and production work have won several awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association over the years.  The following opinion does not necessarily represent that of his employer.  However, seeing as they've made plenty of dough from Terry's work, they may be inclined to agree with him.

    Your Favorite Band Will Sue You

    Gangnam Style.

    You know it.  You love it.  You don't understand a damn word of it.

    It's the hottest song in the country, nay, the world right now.

    But wait!  What if you took the song and changed to the lyrics from "Opa Gangnam Style" to "Opa Tavern/Chevy/Wausau Style"?

    How catchy!  How clever!  How very illegal.

    Psy's song is copyrighted material.  In fact, virtually every artist's songs are copyrighted material.

    If you want to use them in your advertisement, you have to pay a licensing fee to the owner of the copyright.  These fees can range from hundreds to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the copyright holder.

    Even if you're a bar or nightclub that pays ASCAP/BMI fees for the music you pay in your establishment, those fees do NOT cover using the artists' music to advertise your business.

    At this point, you might be thinking, "Come on T.  What are the odds that some artist is going to hear my business using their song in a radio ad broadcast in the middle of Wisconsin?"

    The odds are actually, pretty good.  Ask any tavern who's ever been busted by an ASCAP/BMI sting.  Ask the car dealership in a tiny town in Indiana how it felt to pay 30-grand because a relative of a certain artist was driving through town and caught their advertisement on the air.

    There are a lot of vacation properties around here.  Some lawyer from Chicago stands a pretty good shot of hearing your business use his or her client's work without permission.

    Even if you change the lyrics to make a parody of the song, you're still not covered.

    "But Terry, isn't parody or satire covered under Fair Use Laws?"

    There's no such thing as a Fair Use Law.  Fair Use is a doctrine, or legal arguement at best.

    There are very limited circumstances under which you can use copyrighted material and have it considered Fair Use.  The following is taken directly from the U.S. Copyright Office's official web site:


    Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research...

    The distinction between what is fair use and what is infringement in a particular case will not always be clear or easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.


    Criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and research?  Covered under Fair Use.

    Radio/TV/Internet commercials?  Not covered.

    Note that second bit one more time:  There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission.

    There is no 5-second, 10-second, or 30-second rule regarding how much of a copyrighted song you can take.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is a danger to the financial well-being of your business and should be disregarded.

    Don't make the VERY expensive mistake of taking something that isn't yours.

    After all, if a musician came in to your business and took something of yours without paying for it to support his or her musical endeavors, you'd probably be more than an little incensed, no?

    Our Production Department has a library of background music that is licensed for commercial use.  We can give you the musical feel that you're looking for in your ad without risking your fortune in a lawsuit.

    For a free advertising consultation for your business, feel free to contact me at 715-842-1672, or via e-mail at terry.stevens@mwcradio.com.  Our converstation will be kept completely confidential.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Terry's Ad-Vice: Your Business Needs An Electric Chicken Plucker

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    TERRY'S AD-VICE

    Terry Stevens is a professional radio advertising copywriter and radio host for Midwest Communications in Wausau, Wisconsin.  His copywriting and production work have won several awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association over the years.  The following opinion does not necessarily represent that of his employer.  However, seeing as they've made plenty of dough from Terry's work, they may be inclined to agree with him.

    What's So Special About Your Business?

    That's the number one question you need to answer before you're going to have an ad that works.

    What's so special about you?  Why should the person on the other side of the radio give a rip about what you're doing?

    Simply being on the radio with a message isn't enough.  You have to have a relevant message.

    The easy way out of this is to advertise a sale or event of some sort.

    "OMG!!!  STOP IN THIS WEEK FOR 50 PERCENT OFF!!! OMG!!!"

    There's one business that I write for that is constantly in sale mode.  Every month, there's a different sale.  What's so special about their business?  They're constantly having sales.

    Trouble is, a lot of businesses in the same product category also have sales.  A lot of sales.

    All of a sudden, "We're constantly having sales!" isn't so special anymore.

    A lot of businesses fall into that pattern.

    So how can your business stand out in the land of "The Neverending Sale"?

    Advertise what's really special about your business.  Let me give you an example.

    Wilichowski Realty and Auction is, surprise, an auctioneer and real estate company.  They're not the only auctioneer and real estate company.  So what's so special about them?  What makes their ads stand out?

    This:

    That, my friend, is an electric chicken plucker.

    When we sat down to work on an ad for Wilichowski Realty and Auction, we asked them a lot of questions about their business. 

    "What makes your business so special?"

    "What do you offer that others don't?"

    Now of course, we got the usual, "We have great customer service," and the like.  Trouble is, everyone has "great customer service."

    Then we asked, "What's the weirdest thing you've ever auctioned off?"  That's when we heard about the electric chicken plucker.

    Now, in every single Wilichowski ad, we mention the electric chicken plucker.

    There are plenty of auctioneers in Central Wisconsin, but Wilichowski Realty and Auction is the only one who's auctioned off an electric chicken plucker. Kind of makes you wonder what kind of other wild stuff you'll find at their auctions, no?

    Nikki Montgomery and I voice the Wilichowski radio ads.  I can't speak for her, but I get A LOT of folks saying, "Hey T, seen any electric chicken pluckers lately?" 

    The ad sticks in people's heads due toa client who found something unique to say about their business.

    We can do that for your business too.  You may not deal with electric chicken pluckers in your line of work, but there is something about your business that seperates from the others.  If you don't know what it is, we can help you find or develop it.  Then we can help you advertise it.

    For a free advertising consultation for your business, feel free to contact me at 715-842-1672, or via e-mail at terry.stevens@mwcradio.com.  Our converstation will be kept completely confidential.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Terry's Ad-Vice: Is Your Business Breaking the Law Pt. 2?

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    TERRY'S AD-VICE

    Terry Stevens is a professional radio advertising copywriter and radio host for Midwest Communications in Wausau, Wisconsin.  His copywriting and production work have won several awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association over the years.  The following opinion does not necessarily represent that of his employer.  However, seeing as they've made plenty of dough from Terry's work, they may be inclined to agree with him.

    Is Your Business Breaking The Law Pt. 2?

    We have a recurring issue at the station wherein some businesses want to use professional sports teams or athlete's names in their ads.

    This is a big no-no, as you'll learn in the following video:

     Big thanks to Sean Bowers and Brad Ludwig for their respective camera/production and acting talents.

    If you have any questions about the legality of your advertisting, feel free to contact me at 715-842-1672, or via e-mail at terry.stevens@mwcradio.com.  Our converstation will be kept completely confidential.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Terry's Ad-Vice: Is Your Business Breaking the Law?

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    TERRY'S AD-VICE

    Terry Stevens is a professional radio advertising copywriter and radio host for Midwest Communications in Wausau, Wisconsin.  His copywriting and production work have won several awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association over the years.  The following opinion does not necessarily represent that of his employer.  However, seeing as they've made plenty of dough from Terry's work, they may be inclined to agree with him.

    Is Your Business Breaking the Law?

    "Of course not!" is your response.  After all, you do things on the up and up.  Integrity is the cornerstone of how you do business.

    With that being said, even the most honest person in the world can break the law without even knowing it, all thanks to a single, very common promotion.

    Let me know if this sounds familiar.

    You've managed to land a nice prize, Green Bay Packers tickets for instance.  You think, "I could drum up more business by having a contest where customers can win these tickets!"  You're right.  That's a good idea.

    Then you think, "What I'll do is give everyone who spends 20 dollars or more with me a chance to win the tickets!"  That's a good idea in theory.  In practice, it's VERY ILLEGAL.

    The following is copied and pasted from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection's website:


    What Is An Illegal Promotion?

    A promotion is not legal in the state of Wisconsin if it involves three elements: prize, chance and consideration.

    Prize is obvious, since it is the reason that consumers enter promotions.

    Chance means that the winner is chosen by the "luck of the draw," with little or no skill or ability involved.

    Consideration means anything that is a commercial or financial advantage to the promoter or a disadvantage to any participant. For example, if a purchase or payment must be made by the entrant in order to participate. The following methods of entry are not consideration:

    • The price of postage necessary to mail entries.
    • The price of gas used to visit participating stores.
    • Promotions where entrants must visit a store, or other location, as long as no purchase or admittance fee is required. For example, consumers may have to go to the store to pick up game tokens, match numbers or obtain entry blanks. These promotions are not illegal provided that free game pieces are available as an alternate means of participation.
    • Furnishing proof of purchase if the required proof consists of nothing more than all or part of the container of any product or a facsimile. The law requires that facsimiles be accepted in order for the promotion to be lacking consideration. This provides individuals a way to enter without spending money.

    If prize and consideration are present, a contest is still illegal if the outcome is determined essentially by chance, even though it's accompanied by some skill. For example, if the skill required in a contest involves simply guessing which word from a provided list of possibilities is the correct answer, the contest would be illegal.


    Basically, the second someone has to pay money to enter your contest, consideration comes into play, turning your fun sales promotion into an illegal Lottery.  Under Wisconsin State Gambling Laws, you're not allowed to run your own Lottery.

    "No prob!" you say.  "I'll just let people enter for free, and then if they buy 20 dollars worth of stuff, I'll give them additional chances to win."

    Again, if someone can increase their odds of winning by paying money, consideration is back in play, making your promotion into an illegal lottery again.

    Not only that, but according to State Law:


    "Those who enter lotteries which violate the gambling statutes could face potential criminal liability for aiding and abetting the conduct of an illegal lottery."


    That's right.  Your customers could be fined, and possibly arrested just for entering a contest.

    This law is why you hear and see lines like "No purchase necessary.  See store for complete details," at the end of every contest.

    Hang on.  I know what you're going to say next.  "But, but, but, I see and hear other businesses do this sort of thing all the time!"

    Some businesses run promotions like this without getting fined by the state.  It's true.  They didn't get caught.

    With that being said, you've read the news about Wisconsin's State Budget woes.  Do you really want to risk being hit with a massive fine from a state that REALLY needs the money?

    Play it safe.  Don't run "pay to play" contests, and everything will work out fine.

    If you have any questions about the legality of your promotion, feel free to contact me at 715-842-1672, or via e-mail at terry.stevens@mwcradio.com.  Our converstation will be kept completely confidential.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • WE HAVE WINNERS!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    I GUESS I'LL JUST HAVE TO GIVE THESE TICKETS AWAY ON MY BLOG

    Thanks to everybody who entered my Blog contest over the last few days.

    Congrats to our winners who were selected at random as detailed on my Facebook Page.  (BTW, please give my page a "Like" while you're there.  Thanks.)

    Pam Heiser of Merrill and Linda from Hatley each won a pair of tickets plus admission to see Neal McCoy at the Central Wisconsin State Fair in Marshfield this Thursday!

    Ladies, you'll need to contact me via terry.stevens@mwcradio.com to claim your prize.

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Terry's Central Wisconsin State Fair Freebie

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    I tried knocking...

    I TRIED KNOCKING

    I tried to see if there was any movement through the peephole...

    I LOOKED FOR MOVEMENT THROUGH THE PEEPHOLE

    I even tried the doorbell:

    I EVEN TRIED THE DOORBELL

    Alas, you weren't home.

    I guess I'll have to give these tickets to see Neal McCoy at the Central Wisconsin State Fair in Marshfield away on my Blog...

    I GUESS I'LL JUST HAVE TO GIVE THESE TICKETS AWAY ON MY BLOG

    Here's how we're going to do it. 

    Step 1:  Put your name and where you're from in the comments section found below, but don't hit "POST" until you...

    Step 2:  answer the following question:  If you were a candy, what candy would you be?

    One winner will be selected at 5pm on Monday, August 27th.

    Hey, I ain't proud.  I'll bribe you for page views or web hits or whatever.

    Good luck, and as always...

    Be Cool,

    TS

     

     

  • Gone Fishing Pt. 2

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    GONE FISHING BY LIVING OS.  USED UNDER CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE.

    As mentioned yesterday, I'm out on vacation.  I'll be back soon.

    Greg Adams and his Funny Farm will be filling in for me.  I've left him a reminder to give you plenty of WDEZ/Kocourek Subaru Club Keywords.

    I didn't want to leave you hanging on TTPK stuff while I'm out, so here goes...

    The answer to Friday's TTPK is "hot".  hotline, hot potato, hot shot. 

    The answer to Saturday's TTPK is "cam".  webcam, camshaft, camel

    The answer to Sunday's TTPK is "pink".  hot pink, pink slip, pinkeye

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Gone Fishing Pt. 1

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    GONE FISHING BY LIVING OS.  USED UNDER CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE.

    I'm cashing in a few vacation days.  I'll be back soon.

    Greg Adams and his Funny Farm will be filling in for me.  I've left him a reminder to give you plenty of WDEZ/Kocourek Subaru Club Keywords.

    I didn't want to leave you hanging on TTPK stuff while I'm out, so here goes...

    The answer to Thursday's TTPK was:  "out" outlaw, outside, outdoors

    Your hint for Friday's TTPK is:  Some like it.

    Your hint for Saturday's TTPK is:  You may need to ask a mechanic.

    Your hint for Sunday's TTPK is:  Red and White

    Be Cool,

    TS

  • Terry's Wisconsin Valley Fair Freebie Winner is...

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    So I figured the fairest way to determine which comment on my blog would be the winner of those Wisconsin Valley fair tickets would be to blindfold myself and throw a dart at the screen.  Wherever the dart landed, that's who would win!

    BY YOUNG THOUSANDS

    Obviously, I didn't think this cunning plan through...

    Then I realized that asking one of my co-workers to pick a number between 1 and 72 was probably the safest bet.

    Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

    Congrats tooooooooooooooooooooooooooo....

    Michelle Goman from Stevens Point!!!!!!!!

    Michelle, e-mail me at terry.stevens@mwcradio.com and I'll let you know how to get your tickets.
    Thanks to everyone for playing and listening!
    Be Cool,
    TS
  • Terry's Wisconsin Valley Fair Freebie!

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    So earlier today, Nikki Montgomery handed me these:

    THOMPSON SQUARE TICKETS

    And these:

    OAK RIDGE BOYS TICKETS

    and these:

    RODNEY ATKINS TICKETS

    Normally, I'd give these away on the WDEZ/Kocourek Subaru Club.

    However, they  changed the way the contesting system works, and well... I'm too dumb to figure it out.

    TERRY'S KINDA DUMB

    So instead, I'm going to give the tickets away via my blog.

    Simply leave a comment below with your name, what city you're from, and your favorite song by each of this year's Wisconsin Valley Fair country artists and you could win a pair of reserve seats plus admission to ALL THREE SHOWS!!!!!

    One winner will be selected at 5pm on Monday, July 30th.

    Hey, I ain't proud.  I'll bribe you for page views or web hits or whatever.

    Be Cool,

    TS

     

     

  • Random Photo Story: "Seeds"

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    I'm going to try something different in my blog today.  I went to Creative Commons and picked a random photo.  Then I wrote a short piece based on that photo.  Today's "Random Photo Story" is fictional:

    PHOTO BY VERY QUIET

    SEEDS

    by Terry Stevens

    URK!  HRK!  HORK!  PA-TOOEY!

    Ugh.  Thought I'd never get rid of that one.  So thaaaaaaat's six.  Yup.  6 oranges.

    Let that be a lesson to you kids.  Never swallow orange seeds, or you'll end up just like me.  Some poor schmuck with a citrus tree permanently bonded to his stomach lining.

    Thank God I always remembered to spit out watermelon seeds...