In conversation with: Will McMichael, Head of Radio Sales, Gulf News

1st June 2016

Jonathan Whately-Smith, Senior Consultant of MCG Group interviewed Will McMichael, Head of Radio Sales at Gulf News. He has had the pleasure of working closely with Will since he arrived in Dubai at the beginning of 2016 and interviewed him regarding his career in Radio and how life has been since arriving in Dubai.


How did you get into Radio?

I was 22 and self-employed in the Australian postal industry…. Needless to say I was pretty keen when an opportunity presented itself to work in radio! After 4 interviews and a bad attempt to “sell something” to the General Manager and Sales Director, I was given a chance as a very junior Account Manager.


How did you get to where you are today?

By taking chances… The more you sit around and become comfortable, the less valuable you are to both clients and your company. There is an element of risk in all change, however making educated decisions and challenging yourself only increases your personal skill set and knowledge, and therefore your worth to any organization (internal or external).


What’s the hardest part of your job and how do you overcome difficulties?

The best part of the job IS overcoming the difficulties. From a sales point of view, we focus on overcoming the challenges a client may face within their business. On a broader business lever, strategies to increase revenue, streamline process or improve the client experience is something which I love working on – this job and this industry give me the opportunity to do that every day.


Tell us about the industry you work in and how this fairs to previous industries you have worked in?

Radio is a fast paced, dynamic and ever changing industry. No two days are the same and as such, you need to continue to develop your skill set. The one thing that has remained constant across all industries I have worked in, is that you cannot just expect things to happen. It takes hard work, training, patience, drive and the ability to take a risk and challenge yourself.


What’s your proudest career moment?

I always enjoy seeing the progress and success’ that people have had after working hard on a plan that we have built together. I think that my proudest moment(s) are when I can see the culmination of this plan and hard work pay off.


Why Dubai?

The challenge! There is a lot of potential in this market from a radio perspective, and I feel that I am able to add value to the radio landscape here. It’s also a great life experience to live in such a diverse country.


What career advice would you offer someone looking to go into Radio?

Don’t think that you are owed anything. Be prepared to work for everything and you will be rewarded with a great income, experience and knowledge within various industries, and a great journey along the way.


If you were to ever leave Dubai, where would you see yourself going next and why?

I have no idea! I never thought I would be working here to begin with, so I would be foolish to assume the next step.


What do you look for in recruitment agencies when starting a recruitment partnership?

A recruiter who understands the industry I am working in, takes the time to find out what I am looking for, and doesn’t spin me any lines. It’s important that I can use the recruiter and their greater company as an extension of our business, rather than another expense.

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