by Carlota Hufana Ader
In this day and age, social media is a vital tool in today’s highly competitive business world. Billions of pairs of eyes constantly scroll through apps and computer screens for bits of information and services.
Surprisingly, the good old-fashioned radio station is still one of the most effective ways to market your product and reach both new and existing customers. With 92% of Americans tuning in to AM/FM radio stations, one is still able to get the message to a very broad audience. Radio stations are cost-effective, a proven and valuable local resource, absolutely vital during emergencies, and accessible 24/7.
Award-winning entrepreneur Imelda “Emmie” Collado Ortega Anderson launched 104.7 FM in April 2023, joining a very short list of Filipino ethnic radio stations. It is currently the only station that plays Filipino music.
A former Mrs. Hawaii Filipina Pageant winner, Anderson founded Pinoy Power Media in 2007. Her business acumen and drive to succeed led to her receiving several impressive awards. In 2009, she was recognized as one of the Twenty Outstanding Filipinos Abroad (TOFA) and one of the 100 Most Influential Filipinos in the U.S.
In 2017, she received the Tally Award for Excellence in Cultural Broadcasting. In 2022, she won the Gawad Award in Business and Entertainment, which was presented by the Philippine government.
Hawaii Filipino Chronicle was granted an exclusive interview with Anderson. The following excerpts have been edited for space and clarity.
Q: What made you decide to join the radio station industry?
A: Radio is a powerful tool for Filipinos to express and verbally share their voices which all too often go unheard. Radio is also an effective vehicle for overall community empowerment.
Q: What is the purpose of your radio station?
A: The mission of this radio station is all about the 5 E’s—Enriching, Enlightening, Educating, Entertaining and Empowering the Filipino community. And to always give respect and listen to what our listeners have to say. We will always play good Filipino music and entertain with good shows and programs.
Q: What kind of Filipino music will you be playing? Will it be mainly songs in Tagalog? Who is your target audience?
A: We want to appeal to and attract a wide range of listeners from all types of ages and backgrounds, but mostly those who originally hails from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. We pride ourselves in playing hit songs and well-loved OPMs (Original Pinoy Music).
Q: How many employees have you hired? What are their job titles? If any or are they independent?
A: We have about 20 dedicated and loyal DJs and programmers. Our youngest DJ hails from Laoag City, Philippines and is in his 20s. His name is Francis Dy, a teacher by profession. He has the ability to wake up listeners and uses his energetic and powerful voice to report the very latest headline news, current events, hottest showbiz updates and political coverage. His unusually jovial laugh is quite infectious.
Q: Are you familiar with FCC rules and regulations that govern your radio station?
A: We are quite familiar with FCC rules and regulations. We remind all of our DJs and programmers to comply with Ethical Broadcast standards and to refrain from expressing any radical or extremely biased views. They must be able to back-up and identify the source of their articles, stories, and topics.
Q: What are some of the most important qualities a radio station manager should have?
A: He or she needs to be able to lead effectively by being transparent and having a good reputation. A radio station manager needs to be able to instill a sense of fairness and balance among the staff. They should never be biased or one-sided. Most importantly, a leader must have unshakable integrity and credibility.
Q: What previous experience do you have in the radio station business?
A: I’ve been in the radio industry since 2007 when I founded Pinoy Power Media. I have also been a DJ and programmer. As the CEO of this network, I managed and monitored all the DJs and their productions to make sure that we were within FCC rules and regulations.At KPHI 101 AM, we were the only Filipino radio station that was geared to play Filipino music and programs. And at KPRP 1040 AM, we received the Tally Award for Excellence in Cultural Programming. People from other ethnic groups appreciated our broadcasting style, programming, and variety of Filipino music from latest hits to present favorites. We gained a number of foreign advertisers because of how well we projected our station to our listeners.
Q: Describe your management style. How do you deal with a difficult customer or client?
A: I believe in managing my staff by setting examples. As I mentioned earlier, credibility is important. I also lead by example and show my team that I’m willing to go the extra mile to get the job done. In everything that I do, I am “all in.” I don’t give a half effort—I give it my all.
I also stress compassion for others, open and honest communication, and transparency. This allows for team building. No individual is more important than the other. There is no backtalk because it affects unity. I always encourage my team to be cheerleaders and to work together to resolve any problems.
Q: How do you plan on generating revenue for your radio station?
A: We look at different strategies to increase revenue. We approach new businesses that could benefit from advertising and also tap into other ethnic groups besides the Filipino community. It’s also important to go back and revisit old clients who may need customers to know that they are still open for business.I’ve learned to focus not only on larger businesses but to also remember smaller businesses. I consider both to be the bread and butter of our industry. We also try to secure support from the private sector as well as federal and government funds.
Q: In your opinion, what is the most important aspect of running a successful radio station?
A: For me, the most important aspect of any business is leading from the heart. If your heart is aligned with the basic principles of life and guided by God’s commandments, then everything will fall into place. Integrity and keeping my promises are key factors. My word is my bond. When I make a promise, my conscience will not rest until I deliver on that promise.
You also need to stay focused and never deviate from solid principles that are essential to team building and continued success. Never allow “crab mentality” to enter your mind. Do something for others every day—although it may seem small, it is significant for others.
Q: What is your vision for this radio station?
A: My vision is to continue forging ahead and hopefully by the examples I set, someone will be inspired and enlightened. My desire is to continue empowering others. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is my purpose in life. I want to etch an indelible mark and impression in my listeners’ hearts that all things all things are possible if your heart is in tune with God.
Q: What are your plans to engage your listeners and the Filipino Community?
A: My plans are to fulfill the mission goals of this radio station, which are to enrich, enlighten, educate, entertain and empower. I also have fundamental principles that I live by, which include keeping an unwavering faith in the Lord, staying humble and always keeping my family close to my heart. I would like to share a quote from James Edward McCulloch that says, “No amount of success can compensate for failure in the home.”
by Carlota Hufana Ader