by Mark Pendolino on September 13, 2016
KEXP is a Seattle-based entertainment network with listeners around the world (and even in space!). With 40 seasoned DJs, inventive musicians both indie and established, and a focus on providing an enriching experience as a non-profit, they have a big mission and all the tools to achieve it.
KEXP recognized right away that being “just a radio station” wasn’t going to work long-term in a world of streaming entertainment. As early as 2000 they offered high quality Internet radio, and as a result have grown their listeners by 300% over the last 15 years while other radio stations have dwindled. They built strategic partnerships with organizations like Radio New York to produce shows coast to coast, and more recently have signed a long term agreement with the University of Washington to continue championing artists, serving the public, and furthering the cause of musical arts over the airwaves and online for the foreseeable future.
What’s the common thread? KEXP knows how to plan ahead and manage work on the fly. That’s why they choose Smartsheet.
Here’s How KEXP Uses Smartsheet to Keep Everything Live and On Time
Smartsheet is implemented throughout the organization, from project managers and content teams, to sales and software developers. Here are four prominent examples of how KEXP uses Smartsheet to work better:
High Level Content Calendars Keep Everything on Schedule
When you’re going live, you’ve only got one shot to get it right. KEXP uses a sheet in Calendar View to show when each and every podcast, interview, and playlist will run. Project managers and producers can keep an eye on what the content landscape will look like to plan a quarter ahead. It also lets them keep on top of major events they want to comment on, like historical figure’s birthdays and events they’ll be present at. Everything is plainly visible, carries over year after year, and can be collaborated on by everyone who needs it.
Web Forms Help Funnel Requests for Donor List Access
Like any non-profit, donations make up a healthy portion of KEXP’s revenue. This list is meticulously maintained in one sheet, with information like how much and how recently have various donors given. Different fundraising drives and promotional efforts require different segments of their donor lists - endowments for the arts organizations shouldn’t get sales emails targeting private corporations, for example, nor should an individual contributor get a mailer requesting a major donation. Using Smartsheet Web Forms, sales teams can quickly submit a request for an up-to-date portion of the donor list to reach out to, eliminating the need for back and forth emails and requests for additional information.
A CRM Keeps Track of Music Licenses
KEXP’s 40 DJ personalities run dozens of podcasts - like Song of the Day and Music That Matters - and all of them require access to licensed music. With this many people calling on one Media Asset Librarian, KEXP uses a well-crafted Grid View sheet as their CRM tool. The librarian gets a request from a DJ via a Web Form, and can generate a “Podcast License” draft that he can send to the label or directly to the artist. He keeps track of the license status via a drop down column - including No Response, Approved for One Podcast or Multiple, and Rejected, among other options. These updates automatically appear in the various DJs’ individual sheets via Cell Linking, making the process take care of itself.
Interconnected Sheets Update DJs and Producers
As mentioned above, each of KEXP’s DJs have their own sheet to keep track of what licensed music is approved for their shows and podcasts. Drawing from this list, they can create shows around this music, and insert them into their Upcoming Podcast Schedule sheet. All of these get submitted to the content calendar, so the master scheduler can determine what should go where. To keep things on track, automatic reminders are scheduled to ping DJs a week out to let them know they need to select music for an upcoming show. When this is updated, the content calendar sends reminders to blog writers and social media teams to let them know what to write about to post alongside these shows.
Automating Processes So the Entertainers Can Entertain
What could have been 100s of impossible-to-track emails per show has been reduced to a handful of sheets that automatically update each other, automatically remind contributors to fill in information, and can be reviewed by higher-ups with a glance. This is process automation in motion - any company can benefit.
KEXP works better with Smartsheet. See how your organization can do the same, contact us today!
Source: Smartsheet Blog
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