About Me – Rod Schwartz

RodSchwartz-BWHi, I’m Rod Schwartz.  Presumably, you clicked the “About Me” link on purpose.  Thanks for your interest. I’ll keep this brief.

I was born and raised in Chicago. For six or seven years I sang in the famed Paulist Choir,  I credit this early exposure to the rudiments of music and strict choral discipline with helping me to acquire a discerning ear – a terrific asset for someone who creates radio advertising for a living.

I was forced to leave the choir when I began to attend St. Ignatius College Prep. Father O’Malley did not care for the Jesuits’ practice of detaining students after school, as it interfered with choir practice.  Hence, few Ignatians managed to maintain dual membership in both organizations.

Chicago was an exciting city to grow up in, but as I got older I became attracted to the quiet beauty and slower pace of smaller communities in rural areas.  Since 1979, the picturesque Palouse region of eastern Washington has been my home.  Still, I reminisce about the Windy City of my youth; discovering the street photography of Vivian Maier has rekindled many memories.

Professionally, I’m a radio advertising writer/producer, a radio advertising sales professional of more than four decades’ experience, and since 1991 the owner/creative director of Grace Broadcast Sales, a firm specializing in the creation and syndication of short-form audio features for radio and television stations. For business owners and professionals, our creative services division, FirstStrikeAdvertising, is available to help you create engaging, effective audio commercials.  

I’ve had the privilege of contributing to radio industry trade publications including Radio Business Report, Radio World, Radio INK, and Small Market Radio Newsletter, and am an administrator of Radio Sales Café, a key networking site and resource for radio advertising sales professionals.

I’ve sold radio advertising for radio stations in Springfield, IL; Winona, MN; and Pullman, WA; trained scores of radio advertising sales professionals, and helped hundreds of business owners grow their businesses through the effective use of radio advertising.  A student of advertising for all of my professional life, I’m indebted to many masters and mentors: Claude Hopkins, David Ogilvy, Bill Bernbach, Al Ries, Jack Trout, Tony Schwartz, Bernice FitzGibbon, Chris Lytle, Jim Williams, Roy H. Williams, Dan O’Day, and Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers, among others.

In 2004, I entered my first advertising competition and came away with the $5000 Radio Mercury Award for best radio-station produced commercial in America for my client Keeney Bros. Music Centers.  Ten years later Dale Keeney is still running radio commercials I’ve created for him.

Here’s the thing: the spoken word remains humankind’s primary form of communication.   Print, in whatever form, is just an imitation of human speech.

Choosing the right words and wielding them effectively to create engaging, memorable, and persuasive radio commercials and campaigns is as exciting a challenge for me today as it was more than forty years ago, when I took on the responsibility of working with my very first radio advertising client.

Although I’ve been at it since 1973, I still feel like a kid in a candy store whenever someone asks me to help them with their advertising and marketing. 

So, enough about me.  Let’s talk about you.  I’d love to hear from you.

Your feedback and comments are most welcome. Feel free to reach out to me by email at rod@gracebroadcast.com or by toll-free telephone at (888) 472-2388.

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