Understanding the Power of Building Connections and Showing Appreciation: Callan McClurg, Radio Connection Apprentice

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Callan_McClurgRadio Connection student Callan McClurg has got a personal motto: “If you work hard, good things will happen.” Look closer and you’ll see Callan’s most definitely working hard but he’s also doing a couple of other key things right. He’s constantly connecting with the world i.e. the players and industry people he’s building relationships with, and he’s always appreciative of the opportunities that come his way!

Read Callan’s entries in his Radio Connection Student Blog and you’ll see just how much building connections and sharing his appreciation and enthusiasm are linked. Callan writes about scoring an exclusive interview with Candace Parker, forward/center for the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks: “Through the wonders of technology and social media, I was truly blessed, honored and privileged to be able to check one athlete off my interview bucket list, one of which whose career has been under my microscope since her freshman year at the University of Tennessee.”

Now was Callan nervous about the new opportunity ahead of him? Of course he was! Speaking of the night before the big interview, Callan says, “I was a nervous wreck. I could not fall asleep until around 3:30 or 4 am and the interview was at 8:30 am. This was indeed the most nervous I’ve ever been, simply because this was the first time ever that I’d be able to interview a professional athlete…”

But Callan had already connected with Parker via social media. He speaks on point about this saying, “In a way I’ve built a close knit friendship with [her] over Twitter and Instagram.” Now bear in mind, Callan didn’t hound Parker but rather, he took time to develop a genuine rapport with the star athlete by demonstrating just how much he knew about her career, going way back to her high school and college days at University of Tennessee. Ultimately when Callan did reach out to Parker, asking for an interview he kept his expectations grounded.  He says, “Initially, I wasn’t expecting to hear back from her because of how busy her schedule is day-in and day-out, plus this was a professional athlete that I had reached out to…for a school assignment.”

To his surprise, Candace Parker responded, saying, “Ok let me know when you need it by.”

Callan interviewed Parker for more than forty minutes. They talked about her growing up, her basketball careers in high school, college, and now the WNBA and Women’s International Basketball Tournament. It went viral:

“After the interview was posted later that day, it spread like wildfire from my friends, family, WNBA writers, Candace Parker herself…and even her dad, Larry, also listened and help spread the word about the interview.”

So how did Callan feel about his success? He was deeply appreciative and he demonstrated that appreciation, calling it “the most rewarding and successful day of my young broadcasting career.”

And it paid off–quickly.

Just weeks later, thanks again to what he calls “the wonders of social media,” Callan nabbed another LA Sparks Player for an interview, this time resident San Diegan, guard Candice Wiggins.

And what does Callan have to say? He calls it “the best hour and three minutes of my career spent.” This time around, Callan got really in-depth, offering a forum for Wiggins to share “the stories she had to tell of her relationship with Tony Gwynn … her heart-to-heart conversation with Pat Summit, the story of her father and his professional baseball career” and they also talked about what she sees herself doing in the future.

Callan even earned some hard-won feedback from the pro athlete, who said it was “the best interview she’s ever done in her career.” Hearing this, the determined sports broadcaster admits, “I almost choked up a bit.”

Callan McClurg is using every possible approach to build his career in broadcasting. When he isn’t in-studio apprenticing with his mentor, Chris Torrick at Mountain Country in Alpine, California, he’s connecting with players via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and he’s airing his interviews on YouTube. When he isn’t doing that, he’s writing his blog and did we mention, yes, Callan’s already on-the-air in San Diego! Check him out, Tuesdays on Steve Dolan’s Dugout on 107.9, from 6-7 pm!

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