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Build Your Brand

Thinking about my brand, I’ve focused on doing transportation-related voice work.

Another excellent column by Mark Lapidus (“Take Charge of Your Personal Brand,” Sept. 7).

These days I only work part-time in radio but I’ve been thinking of my personal brand for years, even if I didn’t use that terminology. My big break in radio was when Shadow Traffic came to New York City. In 1979 this was a new idea. I was lucky enough to be on drive-time radio in the No. 1 market at the ripe old age of 23. I didn’t know it then but that decision helped to lead me to my brand today.

After being a traffic reporter on stations such as WINS and WABC I ended up working in the public sector in the transportation world. I wasn’t the greatest traffic reporter, and I certainly didn’t have the transportation expertise of my co-workers, but I did have a unique blend of the two that became my brand.

Twenty-three years later I unexpectedly found my way back on-the-air doing traffic reports. As with many broadcasters I do voice work, but thinking about my brand, I’ve focused on doing transportation-related voice work. Because of that, I’ve been able to land jobs as the voice on the NYC subway, the AirTrain at Newark and JFK airports and radio and TV spots for NJ Transit, among others.

Because of my experience and the connections, I’ve been able to grow my personal brand and enjoy some success. I think nearly everyone should consider their personal brand, whether or not they’re in broadcasting.

Bernie Wagenblast
BW Communications
Cranford, N.J.