5 questions with Wayne Goodwin III
Wayne Goodwin III, 30, is the president and founder of Verge Media Group. He is also the youngest member on the DIFFA Excutive Board.
What do you think is the role of the LGBT community in advertising?
The LGBT marketing universe is changing, a lot. Obviously, you have a lot more people coming out, so you have a larger group to market to. The Arbitron radio survey, which examines the listeners of the nation’s top radio stations, just started to include sexual orientation in its reports. That’s huge.
How will sexual orientation being included in the survey impact our community?
Generally, we want to be counted. We are real. We exist, we have tremendous spending and buying power. I think it’s great that Arbitron took the lead in saying “‘We want to count you, that you are a big segment of the population.’
Your agency does a lot of GLBT nonprofit work. What are some of the challenges facing a non-profit group when advertising?
They have to be more efficient. They have to know who and where to target because you don’t have much money to work with. Plus, the nature of the nonprofit world is that you get some agency to volunteer their services, but that doesn’t mean forever. So you stay until you wear out your welcome, then you find a new agency. That means your look and feel is always changing, but a dedicated agency will overcome that.
You do a lot of volunteer work personally. What moment has touched you the most?
I went over to AIDS Services, and it just breaks your heart to see how these people live. Someone there had not seen a movie since 1974, and a volunteer took him to see “Spider Man 3.” It just changed his life. I thought, “‘Why aren’t there more people out servicing these people?’ He, for example, has a doctor’s appointment, and he can’t afford to ride the bus to it. There is just so much need out there, and I think it’s irresponsible for our community to do or be anything less than actively involved.
Why do you call it irresponsible?
As gay Americans, we want to have a voice. We want to be heard, and we don’t want to be judged. But most of us in the younger LGBT services don’t do anything about it, and it just kind of bugs me. It’s kind of like if you are gay and want equal rights and to be treated fairly, you have to work for that. That doesn’t come free. And don’t assume that someone else is going to do that for you.
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the GLBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, contact staff writer Ben Briscoe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 18, 2007