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OOH Today Champion- Kevin Joyce

Joyce Outdoor for 8 years

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OOH Today features women and men who Champion and define Outdoor Advertising. Sharing the faces and stories behind the names who add a personal dimension to Out Of Home (OOH).  Relationships are still an important part of OOH and is an Industry where the people behind the company, are as important as the company itself.

Our conversation with Kevin Joyce

 

Kevin Joyce in his office with his collection of OOH Imprints

 

Kevin Joyce
President
Joyce Outdoor
Scranton, PA

 

Q and A with Kevin Joyce:

BB: How did you find your way into the OOH business?
KJ: I grew up in the business. As a teenager my father, Jerry Joyce, worked for Park Outdoor as a painter and bill poster. At age 21, he unsuccessfully interviewed for a sales job with Park, but eventually started his
own plant called ‘Patrick,’ named for my grandfather.
I worked in finance until the Great Recession of 2008 and the only other industry I knew was outdoor. It
was our kitchen table conversation each night as my father imparted both creative and business lessons
through the outdoor medium. Perhaps equal parts DNA and Osmosis.
BB: You have been with Joyce Outdoor for 8 years. What has kept you there?
KJ: Survival! I would be out of a job otherwise! On a serious note, since starting Joyce Outdoor Advertising
8+ years ago, my company has been fortunate enough to work with several great clients. Their partnership with my company and overall commitment to OOH has afforded Joyce Outdoor opportunities to grow and mature.
Seeing how OOH has rapidly evolved in the short time I’ve owned my own plant, has been exciting.
Moreover, anticipation of things to come certainly plays a large role in striving to grow my business.
BB:  What is it about OOH you enjoy?
KJ: The juxtaposition. The two primary sides of the business (sale & real estate) share so many qualities, yet offer incredibly different experiences. I enjoy being conversant in these two OOH disciplines. Additionally, I really enjoy the history of OOH and the legacy stories prior to and during the major consolidations of the 1980’s and 1990’s.

 

I always look forward to chatting with legacy, industry leaders such as George Merovich (Lamar), Jim
Johnsen and Gabe Oliverio (Johnsen Fretty Co), Carl Primavera (Klehr Harrison), Larry Krain (Krain
Outdoor), Tom Donohue (Lamar), Tony Cioffi (Adams), Dean Manone (Red Star), Bob Wolfe (Outselling),
Bill Masters (Golden Sign), the Kelly brothers (Kelly Erectors) and Marty Judge (Judge Outdoor). Their
stories of chasing and permitting locations prior to markets being built-out hold my attention for hours. I
owe apologies to all as I am routinely guilty of turning a 10-minute conversation into an hour of historic
industry inquiry. My apologies to them all!

 

BB: What is the most important things a seller should be cognitive of when working with a prospective client?
KJ: Genuine belief in power of OOH and positivism. I highlight what my company brings to the table and I
don’t knock the other guys. If a prospect is already using OOH with a competitor half of the “battle” has
been won. They’ve been sold on both the medium and use case and I ask for opportunities to enhance
their OOH experience.
B: What do you attribute to your personal success OOH?
KJ: The partners I’m surrounded by and fortunate enough to work with; My cousin, Tyler Mulligan being one of them. We have built this plant year over year, and strive to continue evolving as a operators during
the expansion. Additionally, rejection is very motivating as hearing “no” can be very constructive to business growth and strategy.​

 

BB: What have you done for OOH and you are most proud of?
KJ: My home market (Scranton, PA) has inventory that mostly belongs to Lamar, so new locations are difficult to come by. Every successful stage of development can be a proud moment, from scouting a location to finalizing the build.
One benefit of the real estate business process is the ability to forge and cultivate tremendous friendships. The numerous surveyors, electricians, landlords, installers and engineers have all become great friends of mine. Josh & Jeremy Kelly (Kelly Erectors) are two of my closest friends and I have the outdoor industry to thank for that.
BB: Do you have a prediction for the future of OOH?
KJ: Specifically, I’m closely monitoring the fate of Clear Channel Outdoor. On a general scale, programmatic buying has captivated my attention. I feel programmatic is a step in the evolution of how of traditional mediums are bought (OOH, TV, and print). Additionally, the feedback that I’m receiving is that metrics are more important and scrutinized than ever before and measurement of impressions is becoming more finely tuned for buyers. While other mediums may be scrambling as they become more fragmented, OOH is the strongest it has been in years. It’s an exciting time and the OAAA’s “This Ad Is Real” campaign really resonated with me.
 
BB: Is there anyone you most admire or credit to providing significant influence in your Outdoor career?
KJ: In addition to my father and uncles, there are many great leaders that continue to influence me. Dean,
Scott, and Vince at Red Star in Chicago are impressive guys. Being an independent in any market isn’t
easy, and they’ve knocked the cover off the ball…twice! In the #3 market! They sold to Clear Channel Outdoor  around 2006 and started up again the next day. Their inventory is impeccable — clean, uniform, high-profile and they don’t cut corners.
It’s also important to remember that we are selling a visual medium and appearance is a priority, thus
why I admire Lamar’s operation. Everything from the color of their structure to the sizes of their posters,
apron and imprints is uniform. They maintain their inventory so incredibly well. Interstate/JC Decaux’s Chicago digital deserve a great deal of recognition. They were beautifully designed and executed. Foster Interstate in San Francisco has follow suit.
Speaking of Lamar, Ian Dallimore (Director of Digital Innovation) is an impressive guy. I don’t know Ian
personally, but I follow his social media posts and activity. He believes in outdoor and is pushing the
limits on digital’s (DOOH) capabilities. I believe his innovative thinking enhances our industry greatly.

 

BB: If you could change 3 things in OOH Industry today what would it be?
What is your solution?
KJ:  (1) Appearance
As I alluded to earlier, appearance is critical to success. Not only from a sales
perspective, but also a development one as well. For example, a presentation at a zoning hearing can go sideways and the wind can be taken out of your ​sails rather quickly if someone were to display a photo of a rusted out, unkempt and blighted unit. Poor appearance gives the industry a bad name and certainly adds to a stigma that industry outsiders may already have, thus making the permitting process more difficult.
(2) Knowledge
On a local sales level, many buyers believe all billboards are apples to apples and great locations can be penalized from an inaccurate comparison. I’m hopeful metrics will player a larger role in local buys and eventually level the playing field.
(3) Permitting.
In many cases permitting is a harmonious process, but other times it become litigious, and unreasonably so. If more common sense and rational thinking were applied to many out dated or even unconstitutional zoning restrictions, OOH companies and municipalities can work together, rather than combating.

 

 

 

 

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