The Radio Advertising Bureau and SMRN teamed up to present a Great Promotions Contest. The winners received a subscription to SMRN and a RADIO Radio from the RAB.
ELECTRIC CLASSIFIED. KDUK, Eugene, OR (541-485-1120, fax 541-484-5769) and a local auto dealer group have teamed up to present “Kiefer’s Electric Classified.” This daily report is geared to move cars both new and used. Each day around the 5:00 p.m. drive time, our on-air personality highlights a specific car, truck or van. This vehicle will be described live on the air, and it will have a special Radio Discount that is not available anywhere else.
This is a highly-targeted (qualified buyers 18-40) high-yield campaign that will separate Kiefer’s dealers from all other competitive dealers in Western Oregon. The promotional concept will help move cars because we are talking directly to the people who are actively looking to buy now.
This is a long-term campaign which produces results in a short period of time. A modified, short-term version of this concept has already proved itself successful when used for another dealership.
This concept is so effective because it is so simple: adults 18-40 are not newspaper readers. They are on the move and they get their news and information via electronic media (radio). This demographic is very active and falls into the medium to high income level. The best thing about this concept is that you do not need to create a new budget. Just move some of the client’s classified print dollars to radio.
THE RAIN FALLS MAINLY ON THE GAUGE. KJAM, Madison, SD (605-256-4514) sells rain gauges every Spring; the gauges can be mounted in the ground or on a post, and have a big oval side panel on which is printed, “When accuracy counts, count on KJAM Radio.” The station buys them for $2.37 (minimum 250, imprint included) and sells them for $4.99. In the first two years the station sold 450 gauges—in a community of 6200 people—and netted $1,183. According to KJAM Promotion Director Rod Goeman, “The profit can be used for a Christmas party or some other office project.” (Editor’s Comment: It can also be used to pay the bills.)
The promo: “Rainfall can vary from farm to farm and yard to yard. Now you can know exactly how much rain you receive with an official KJAM rain gauge. These durable, shatter-resistant rain gauges are inexpensive and fit on a post or in the ground. The KJAM rain gauge is only $4.99, or send in an extra dollar and we’ll mail you one for just $5.99. Stop at KJAM radio today to pick up your official KJAM rain gauge. Another shipment of rain gauges has arrived. When accuracy counts, count on KJAM Radio!”
SUPER BOWL PROMOTION. We gave away $1,000 for a Super Bowl promotion because our retailers were not too anxious to advertise.
We signed up $4,200 worth of new business to give away a thousand dollars. Quite a simple promotion: You have people register their guess who will win the Super Bowl, and take a registrant from each store with his/her guess of Green Bay or Denver, so you have one possible winner from each location. The drawing is held the day after the Super Bowl, and we get our entries in just before game time, because some of our stores had a Super Bowl sale until 5 p.m.
We had five banks, a clothing store, a furniture store, a farm elevator, a farm service station, a telephone company, a small gift shop, and a grocery store. We netted $3,000 after expenses (posters and registration slips), but had we not done it, we would have been woefully short.
As far as telemarketing programs go, I am not sure how all these GMs and Sales Managers make up their revenue when business is at an all time low, at least in most Kansas communities, but without telemarketing we would be scr**ed.
Our telemarketing gal found a Soil Conservation Banquet that wouldn’t be held until February 9, but we started running a schedule promoting the event, and you would not believe the number of banks, elevators and service stations—even the ASCS office—that spent $75. I even got the bank that spent $500 sponsoring the dinner to spend $75 more telling farmers he was sponsoring the dinner. We generated over $2,000 in two days with a Salute to Soil Conservation.
I am sorry, and maybe we don’t know how to properly sell retailers, but they are not knocking on our door; we have to have something to sell. We are making a profit every year, and Small Market Radio Newsletter is making the difference. We could not do it without your help. I bought Bob Doll’s telemarketing book and it’s the best $100 I ever invested.
On the Super Bowl promotion, did the stores profit? I guess! For every visit a customer made to a participating store, he/she got a free registration slip; for every $10 purchase he/she got an additional ticket. The clothing store had a better sales week this year than last year, and he knows where it came from; he will sign up again next year.
Jay, thanks again for printing the best idea bank in the country. It does help us smaller broadcasters, and maybe someday the nay-sayers will wake up and find that $5,000 is possible in a week, even in a small market of 4,000 people.
—Wayne Grabbe, KRSL, Russell, KS, email@example.com
BUNNY TIME. This year, WDTL-FM and WOHT-FM will conduct our Sixth Annual “Color The Easter Bunny Contest.” We had a local artist draw a bunny and printed it on over 4,000 11×17 Easter Bunny posters that are distributed through local schools and at participating sponsors. Sponsors get a coupon on the poster plus a spot schedule. The contest is open to all kindergarten through sixth grade students; first, second and third place cash prizes are awarded in two categories (K-3 and 4-6). We involve the sponsors in the judging, which is done the Friday before Easter.
Anyone wanting a reduced-size copy of the poster, fax or e-mail me your fax number.
—Larry Fuss, Delta Radio, Inc., Cleveland, MS, 601-846-0929, fax 601-843-0494, firstname.lastname@example.org
PATROLS. This one was brought up by RAB VP/Membership Ron Ruth during the Small Market Advisory Committee meeting in Dallas last month. We included it in our notes from that meeting, but in case you didn’t see it we’re going to repeat it here. According to Ron, this is “the best radio promotion I’ve ever seen, but it’s not always done by a radio station”
The idea is to work with local retailers and businesses to designate special parking spots close to the entrance—near the handicapped spaces is usually the best. The two “patrols” that are usually done are. . .
- Stroller Patrol, reserved for women with kids under the age of three
- Stork Patrol, for pregnant women
Each designated parking spot has a sign referring to the “KXXX Stroller Patrol” or “WYYY Stork Patrol,” with a message like, “RESERVED for members of the KXXX Stroller Patrol. Parking with sticker only.” The station charges 50Â¢ per month for the stickers—which of course also bear your station’s call letters—with all of the money going to a local charity.
—Ron Ruth, email@example.com
COOKING SHOW. WLBK, DeKalb, IL, does a Homemaker Cooking School each year. The show features appliances provided by a local store, and the station sells co-sponsorship packages to other merchants (which include a pair of tickets to the event). WLBK sells reserved seat tickets to the event for $5.00 apiece; they are sold at the box office of a local theater. (This year, all 1000 seats sold out in an hour and forty-five minutes.) Listeners are given opportunities to win free tickets to the show in the weeks preceding the event.
—Dianne Leifheit, WLBK, DeKalb, IL, 815-758-8686, fax 815-756-9723
THE SHAPE OF CD’S TO COME. You may not have immediate need of this information, but it’s good to keep in mind in case you ever find yourself producing a Compact Disc—a station demo or a compilation of local artists, for example. There is a company called Shape CD, Inc., which will produce a die-cut CD in virtually any shape; don’t worry, it is playable on any CD player! (As long as the largest part of the CD is no larger than a regular CD, the thing will play.)
If you’re looking for something truly distinctive and attention-getting, this is it! Contact Jeff Miller, Account Manager, Shape CD, Inc., 875 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 1811, New York, NY 10001; call 212-279-2929 or fax 212-279-0909.
MEET THE BEATLE. Editor’s Note: The following success story was submitted by James A. Bowman, CRSM, Pottsville Broadcasting, Pottsville, PA, 717-622-1360, fax 717-622-2822.
Client: J. Bertolet Volkswagen
Objective: To introduce the new 1998 VW Beetle, to create public awareness, to draw traffic to the dealership
Stars of the Show: The ‘98 Beetle, the T-102 FM Breakfast Crew
J. Bertolet VW chose Pottsville Broadcasting Company (PBC Radio) to advertise and promote the arrival of the new ‘98 Beetle. Three of PBC’s radio stations, with a wide overall demographic spread, were used for two weeks prior to the Saturday kick-off of the Beetle. OES-type schedules were run on all three stations for two weeks prior to the event, along with extensive use of live liners and promos during the week prior, to promote a live remote on Saturday, March 7 featuring WAVT-FM’s Breakfast Crew.
Results: Before the kick-off day even arrived, listeners were calling the dealership by the hundreds wanting more information about the ‘98 Beetle. People wanted to buy them sight-unseen! (Bertolet VW took orders for more than 20 new Beetles prior to kick-off day.) On Saturday, March 7, over 2000 people showed up at the dealership to see the new Beetle!
You have to understand that this is a small, family-operated dealership. They usually have room for only three cars in the showroom. The entire sales staff consists of Jack Bertolet, Sr., his sons Jack, Jr. and Blaine, and one other. They wrote orders for about 40 new Beetles and actually ran out of order forms. They were positively overwhelmed!
We didn’t have to convince Bertolet VW about the kind of results radio can deliver. They have been believers for years. And the new Beetle has had great press and reviews over the last several months, so it should come as no shock that the public responded well to the announcement that the new cars were actually here at Bertolet VW.
What is noteworthy is that 99% of the advertising and promotion for this very successful event was done using radio. It is highly unlikely that any amount of print advertising could have produced the results we did. In 25 years of broadcasting I’ve had hundreds of success stories, but this was without a doubt one of the best.
What’s next? We’ll be taking the new Beetle on the road to area malls, a local Dunkin’ Donuts, and even the parking lot of a large industry in the area. We’ll broadcast live and offer listeners the opportunity to see the car all America is talking about. Hundreds more will be able to see the car this way than ever would if it were confined to the Bertolet showroom. We’ll spend a few hours displaying the Beetle over the next two weeks and hopefully sell a couple of dozen more!
PARK-IT MARKET. In Sioux Falls, SD, a gentleman operates a “Park-It Market” which entails leasing a little-used portion of a ShopKo parking lot near a busy street. He offers ShopKo a few dollars a week for each parking space, based on inventory. He then rents the space to the public to display their own cars and vans and pickups. He gets $18.50 a week per vehicle and maintains at least 100 vehicles each week. That’s $1850 a week in gross revenue. He also runs an ad in a local shopper promoting the inventory.
This business operates only from May through October, due to South Dakota snowfall. It grosses over $50,000 each season. The expenses: rent to ShopKo, the shopper ad, and printing for window displays, contracts, and so on.
How can we in radio capitalize on this idea? Check your Kmart, Wal-Mart, ShopKo, Target or other big retailer parking lots. Usually over 50% of their lots are never used, except maybe at holiday time. Find a couple of stores that have the highest traffic counts. Arrange to lease a portion of their lot nearest the street and farthest away from their store.
You can probably negotiate with the store to pay them $5 per week; you may be able to trade this out. You can set your rental price at around $20 a week.
The way the Park-It Market guy does it, he is on the parking lot every Sunday evening between 5 and 7 p.m. only, signing lease agreements with displayers and collecting the $18.50 from each person for each space. There’s no reason it couldn’t be Monday or Friday evening—your choice! On his lease it clearly states that if your vehicle is on the lot past seven days, you are obligated to pay for another week.
Using the power of radio, what would happen if your radio station ran ads each week promoting the “Park-N-Sell sell-it-yourself classifieds” (“Park-It Market” is a registered name, so don’t use it)—with the ads listing the ever-changing inventory of cars, vans and pickups. That takes the place of the shopper ad, and it costs you nothing! The weather in your market will determine how many months you can operate each year.
Minimal printing costs include a two-part lease agreement, and bright window posters with two-sided tape that can be attached to the inside window of the vehicle, displaying the owner’s phone number and details about the vehicle. The Sioux Falls Park-It Market also uses colorful banners attached to the light poles in the ShopKo parking lot. For added effect, attach little streamers to the vehicles’ antennas.
Since recent studies indicate that fewer people are trading in their cars and more are selling them on their own, your car-dealer accounts should be okay with your plan. After all, the easier it is for their customers to sell their old cars, the sooner they can buy newer ones.
—Rod Goeman, KJAM, Madison, SD, 605-256-4514, fax 605-256-6477
FREQUENT-USER COUPON BOOK. Here’s an idea that can generate lots of revenue for your station and create more and better radio advertisers:
The station designs a coupon book for advertisers to redeem with the station’s salespeople.
The coupons offer discounts or value-added for advertising time; examples: 10% off on any schedule of $250 value or higher; buy a remote, get a discount on a weather dominator; sponsor a newscast, get a schedule free
The salespeople sell these coupon books for one day only for $299 (or whatever works in your market). The book is promoted as, “Get $1500 worth of KXXX advertising for just $299.”
If you have ten salespeople and they each sell four coupon books, that’s $12,000 in sales in one day. More sales are booked when advertisers redeem their coupons.
This is a great way to upsell current advertisers, and to get new or light advertisers to become more frequent users of radio.
—Barb Salz, KGLO/KIA-FM/The Fox, Mason City, IA, 515-423-1300, fax 515-423-2906
PROFESSIONAL SECRETARIES WEEK. This is a “message” telemarketing campaign with a twist. Go to local businesses—don’t forget your nontraditional advertisers—and offer them the opportunity to recognize their loyal, hardworking secretaries and executive assistants during Secretaries Week. Sample copy: “John Smith of The Smith Company would like to salute Betty Brown, Ed Green and Thelma Blue for their invaluable contributions to our success. . .” We sell the salutes at $40 for five announcements on our FM and five on our AM, saluting up to three employees; additional messages by the same company, saluting up to three additional employees, are $25 each.
Now for the twist: on Secretaries Day, we will draw the names of three secretaries mentioned in the salutes (only one per company); each will win a floral arrangement, a dinner for two and a box of candy, all contributed by participating merchants in return for promotional mentions.
We were originally going to do a registrations-and-promos type contest for the secretaries, but realized that would only be tapping the same old retail base one more time. This way we can involve a lot of the industrial and service industries in our town, as well as the retailers.
DAILY FAX. We publish The Daily Fax five days a week. We fax it to about 700 numbers overnight—mostly businesses, governmental offices, schools, etc. They have a one-page summary of the news on their machines when they arrive at work each morning.
Now that we have e-mail capability, we are building a list of people who want to receive it by e-mail. We have about 50 on our list so far. It’s great for folks who do not have a fax machine, but do have a computer with access to the Internet. Also, it’s great for people who are from the Athens area but are now living somewhere else. We e-mail it each evening.
We also have The Daily Fax posted on the Internet at http://www.mcminn.net. There’s no charge to receive it. We make our money by selling ads in the squares and in the “Restaurant Spotlight.” (The first thing people do when they arrive at the office each day is discuss where they’re gonna “do lunch.” Now they have easy access to the daily specials at some of the popular eateries.)
We’ve been doing this since June first. We’ll never get rich on it, but it’s a good way to bring in an extra two or three thousand dollars a month with virtually no expenses. SEE A SAMPLE
—Bob Ketchersid, WYXI, Athens, TN, 423-745-1391, firstname.lastname@example.org
TWO FOR THE COMMUNITY. WZEP AM 1460 has had two events recently to demonstrate the reach of local, involved community radio. WZEP hosted their fourth annual Homemakers School, boosting sales in February. More than 500 attended, with 15 local sponsors providing ad support and getting display space at the event. A local group sold refreshments. The event provided community support and served the community and station well.
In April, the local American Cancer Society had a $20,000 goal for their Relay For Life. The event raised over $40,000, with much credit to WZEP’s involvement. Local radio continues in DeFuniak Springs, FL!
—Art Dees, WZEP, DeFuniak Springs, FL, 904-892-3158, fax 904-892-9675
THE ULTIMATE LISTEN-AT-WORK PROMOTION. Last fall, WHPO morning personality Becky Buss and sales manager Kay Eisennmann came up with the idea to have area farmers listen to 101 Country while they harvest. Farmers were asked to call or fax us the number of the cellular phone they carry in the combine. Becky would call a farmer every morning on the air; if they answered with, “WHPO is going to bring me lunch,” we did.
Over 150 area farmers registered their cell phone numbers with us. Over 20 area restaurants participated.
The promotion created a lot of talk—everybody wanted to win. Soon other farm-related businesses wanted lunch, too!
Becky did a live break right from the farmer’s field, sometimes in the combine itself. She interviewed the farmer, asking him how it was going, what kind of production he was getting, what kind of equipment he was using, and to whom they fed lunch. She gave the winner a 101 Country hat, magnets and pens.
This year we plan to sell the promotion to a cellular phone company. A bank is interested, too.
As an added interest-builder, we scheduled our Farm Safety messages during the promotion, encouraging farmers to be careful, and encouraging others to watch for slow-moving farm vehicles.
We had two one-sheets out for this promotion:
One was the sales sheet directed to the participating restaurants, saying, “Join all the favorite restaurants in the 101 Country listening area in a fun advertising promotion for the Fall harvest. . . You supply lunch for four hungry farmers, your choice of menu. WHPO supplies promos and name mentions of your business and menu—and potential new customers.”
The other sheet was the entry form for farmers to fill out, headed with, “WHPO Is Going To Bring Me Lunch. Listen to WHPO at 8:45 a.m. during harvest, and when your cell phone rings, say, ‘WHPO’s going to bring me lunch.’ And that is exactly what we will do, from a great restaurant near you.” Below the blanks for name and address, the form concludes with, “Becky and Kay will deliver four hot meals to the field, so fill out your number and get it in. Don’t forget: ‘WHPO’s going to bring me lunch!!!’”
This is a good promotion for us—easy, fun, involving our core listeners and the farming community. The response was great! Everybody wanted to know where we’d be going next. Every call we made except one answered their phones with the right phrase!
—Gary Voss, WHPO, Hoopeston, IL, 217-283-7744, fax 217-283-6090
REBATE PROMOTION. The sales flyer announcing this sales promotion reads:
With all the income tax refunds and the car dealers offering rebates plus everyone else offering rebates, so will we at WXXX! We will offer you a rebate on all your advertising that will run during the month of March or April.
Here’s How It Works
For every $500 in advertising, you’ll receive a crisp $100 bill.
For every $900 in advertising, you’ll receive two crisp $100 bills.
Sound good??? Schedule your additional advertising on WXXX now! Spend your rebate for vacation, extras, or however you choose.
—Judy McClintock, KGRN, Grinnell, IA, 515-236-6106, fax 515-236-8896
SUMMER COVER-UP. Again, from a sales flyer:
Join us for an excellent opportunity for your business in the months of June, July and August. We will feature your business exclusively for four full days during the “WXXX SUMMER COVER-UP” for giving away to lucky listeners free tee shirts with the WXXX logo on the front and your business logo on the back. On those days, your business will be the only business for which we give away tee shirts. Winners will pick up their shirts from your business.
Plan A: Sixty (60) thirty-second advertisements to be used any time in May, June, July or August. Receive 24 tee shirts with your logo and ours. Your business will be featured for four days during the “WXXX Summer Cover-Up” to give away tee shirts to listeners. Investment: $â€“ per month, May-August.
Plan B: Forty (40) thirty-second advertisements to be used anytime in May, June, July or August. Receive 24 tee shirts with your logo and ours. Your business will be featured for four days during the “WXXX Summer Cover-Up” to give away tee shirts to listeners. Investment: $â€“ per month, May-August.
Benefits: Your business will receive top of mind awareness with the featured promotional announcements daily throughout the promotion, giving listeners chances to win free tee shirts from WXXX and your business. Your business takes advantage of a valuable marketing investment. And you will benefit from the “walking billboard” logo tee shirts!
—Judy McClintock, KGRN, Grinnell, IA, 515-236-6106, fax 515-236-8896
BOWLING TO THE OLDIES. Here’s an entry that is client focused, station focused and listeners have been having a ball! The client is AMF Seaway Lanes Bowling Alley. After analyzing their needs, I discovered that although their “Rock and Bowl” promotion was successful, the crowds attracted were, to quote the client, “less than desirable.”
So I called RAB and they sent me a ton of information on bowling alleys and the newest trend of “Theme Bowling.” Since our station had a popular Friday Night Oldies Show, I pitched the idea of “Bowlin’ to the Oldies.” Every Friday night, a station representative is at the bowling alley, handing out tee shirts and other prizes provided by both the station and bowling alley vendors. Our station is played over their PA system and we do live cut-ins. The bowlers love to request songs on the air, and simply enjoy bowling to the oldies music. The mood of the place completely changes as soon as the radio is turned on.
We promote the event all week, inviting listeners to “dig out those bobby socks, toss on the love beads and go Bowlin’ to the Oldies.” The alley is booked up by Wednesday for Friday nights and they have had to turn people away. And the crowd has been just the people my client was looking for: families. We have everyone from age 10 to 70 show up for this. On the 13th (and last) week of this promotion, we will have a costume contest for a bigger prize. The client is ecstatic, and AMF will be adopting this theme nationwide.
—Christine Sharlow, WOTT, Watertown, NY, 315-782-1240, email@example.com
MOTHER’S DAY CONTEST. We put out postcards three weeks prior to Mother’s day. On the postcard is a space to say why your Mom is special. Then, the two weeks prior to Mother’s day, we read off a postcard and give the family 10 minutes to phone in to instantly win a small prize, and to get Mom qualified for the grand prize drawing: one year of free housecleaning, $500 in furniture, a two-night stay at a resort, free candlelight dinner for two, a day at the spa, and a dozen roses.
We trade all the prizes out, sell out 15 sponsors, and the postcards roll in! Not only that, but 85% of the names we read respond in 10 minutes. At one point we had 15 straight qualifiers, and we only try once every other hour from 6 a.m.-6 p.m.!
It works well for our clients who see the listeners come in to their business and it has created a ton of excitement in the area! Now this isn’t too timely for this year, but for those who plan well in advance like we do, now is the time to add it to the 1999 promotional calendar!
—Brian Bissonette, KKBJ FM-AM/WBJI-FM, Bemidji, MN, firstname.lastname@example.org
LIVE IN IT AND WIN IT. The question was asked to listeners of WNKS-FM, “What would you do to win a brand new Honda CRV?” And “KISS 95.1” received over 500 faxes and letters from some real characters.
In the end, four lucky and brave listeners won their chance to “live in it and win it!” A group of four individuals piled into a Honda CRV at the LaPointe Honda dealership at Carolina Place Mall, where they remained until one of them emerged the winner. Unfortunately for the contestants, the prize (Honda CRV) went to the one who could stand the surroundings the longest. KISS 95.1 was somewhat generous during the promotion. They allowed contestants 15-minute breaks every three hours to “take care of business.” In addition, BellSouth Mobility donated DCS phones for promotional consideration for all four contestants to use during this unusual time.
The station also started kitties for each of the contestants that would benefit their favorite charities. Shoppers donated money to the favorite charity of the contestant they thought would last longest. Charities included Charlotte Fire Fighters Burned Children’s Foundation; a homeless children’s benefit organization; and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which helps cancer patients.
One of the contestants had to bow out after eight days due to a family emergency. After the other three spent 21 days in the car, KISS 95.1 called it a push and held a drawing for a winner. Consolation prizes were given to the two runners-up—$500 in cash and a BellSouth Mobility DCS phone. Contestants overcame many obstacles to make the promotion a success, such as spending Thanksgiving together, lack of sleep, lack of heat at night (after the building turned off its heat), questions from curious shoppers and enduring three hours without a break!
—WNKS, Charlotte, NC, 704-399-6195
VEHICLE SPRING CLEANING. I heard a promotion being done by a car dealer in Omaha geared to attract women: every new car purchaser received a free “Spring Cleaning” from Merry Maids. It’s something that can be run up to the first day of Summer. We tried to make it go at one of my client stations but it fell through because we couldn’t find a maid service to do it.
Even so, the car dealer we took it to was willing to commit to a $2,000 ad schedule—he only spent $250 in the same period last year! It proves that a good idea will overcome objections and budget limitations—a good lesson for the staff, since they got to see it work! The thing the car dealer liked the most was that it was geared to the woman, and the latest statistics show that the majority of car-buying decisions are actually made by women.
—Sandy Johnston, Sandy Johnston Management & Sales Systems, 402-932-0525
NURSES WEEK PROMOTION. I went to one of our local hospitals with the idea that they should pay tribute to their nursing staff by way of radio. The hook for them was they could utilize this tribute to build their image as the local facility that provides the utmost patient care but also is dedicated to taking care of their own team members.
There are a total of 1,326 people that fall into the RN category at this hospital, with a total of 35 Nurse Managers to whom they report. Each of these 35 Nursing Managers are doing testimonials that highlight either one particular nurse in their department or the department as a whole, at their option.
The strategy on the schedule was that one week prior to National Nurses Week we begin an awareness campaign that simply points out that “Next week is National Nurses Week,” along with some imagery stuff about the hospital itself. Then every day of National Nurses Week we air a testimonial spot. We play each manager’s tribute twice during the week; over the course of seven days the hospital gets 70 spots. I’m utilizing my primary station, a Country format, as well as one of my sister stations in the market, an AC format; both them skew females but maintain mass appeal.
The hospital Executive Board Members who gave us the thumbs up on the promotion are now thoroughly excited about this tribute, because. . .
It’s never been done before in this market.
Each RN that is highlighted also receives a 3-day/2-night California vacation of their choice.
We utilize local companies to sponsor each department, so there are absolutely zero out-of-pocket expenses for the hospital. All 1,326 RNs receive some type of gift (station clients and sponsors were eager to supply dinners, massages, and so on).
From the RN’s standpoint, this is sure a lot nicer pat on the back than the generic hospital table clocks each has received over the last three years.
Obviously, there is a little more to the promotional idea than just the tribute to RNs. I was able to show the hospital that by exposing this tribute to the entire Valley they will build the image that their facility really stands behind each team member. This sets up our next campaign that will begin immediately after Nurses week: a very extensive employment recruitment campaign (there’s a huge nursing shortage in this area) that creatively falls in the same lines, including testimonials from the Nurses about the benefits of being a team member at this facility.
—Tim Hill, Pac-Star Broadcasting, Modesto, CA, email@example.com
SENIOR OF THE YEAR. Who has the most time to volunteer? Seniors are a tremendous asset to this nation in terms of volunteer hours and experience. The “Senior of the Year” award promotion was created to recognize individuals in the community, and to generate revenue from sponsorships as well. Requests are made for nominations through radio promotional ads. Forms are picked up at sponsor locations. Nominations are deposited with sponsors or mailed to the radio station. A committee reviews and selects. Winners are recognized with a small cash award, a plaque and a ceremony at a station event.
SENIOR TIPS. There is a great deal of information available for and about Seniors. We found a sponsor to bring this information to Seniors on the radio. The sponsor buys a two-minute ad that consists of a live open with sponsor ID, commercial, recorded tip, and a live close. We invite experts to record the tips, and we have used this as a reason to develop stronger relationships with non-traditional advertisers.
—Kathleen Wille, CRMC, KFDI, Wichita, KS, 316-838-9141, firstname.lastname@example.org
PRIZE MOUNTAIN. This has been a 13-week Spring-book bonanza for 96 Lite FM. The first thing we did was secure a grand prize, which in our case was a $5,000 hot tub; the sponsor got probably $20,000 in free on-air promos, newspaper, etc. Everyone who plays the game, win or lose, is qualified for the grand prize. Based on 15 qualifiers a week times 13 weeks, that’s roughly 200 qualifiers total, so there’s a real good chance to win big. Once the grand prize is secured we start two heavy weeks of pre-promotion, selling “the sizzle”—one promo per hour 24/7!
While the promos are running heavily, the sales execs are on the street lining up prizes and schedules. Clients buy an ad package and give prizes of equal value. The best prizes are small but substantial, like a $30 gift certificate for a nice meal, theater passes for four, amusement park family four-packs, and so on. The key is to make the prizes for the whole family.
We play the game once a daypart, weekdays only. We solicit caller x into a commercial break. After the break, we take the caller on the air to play live, including a short :15-:30 live spot for a sponsor. The listener then gets to pick Door #1, 2 or 3. Random wins and losses are carted up on each cart. If the listener wins he/she gets the prize or prizes; losers are still qualified for the grand prize. We also had small consolation prizes for people who lost. Spice up the “doors” carts with sound effects, applause, “bonks,” and so on. Make it fun!
Losers can play again, if they can get through; this encourages them to keep trying. But if they win, they’re out for 30 days. If a player loses, that set of prizes moves to the next giveaway, thus building on the “mountain” theme. The prizes continue to build until someone wins.
After the final week of contesting we’ll spend the entire week promoting our grand prize drawing during a remote the following Saturday. The winner doesn’t have to be present to win, but we’re going to have some accessories for the hot tub if the winner is present, along with other door prizes. The grand prize sponsor has told us that this was the most professional promotion they’ve ever done. The sponsors love it because of the buzz we create for them.
—Consultant Michael J. Langevin, 218-722-4321, email@example.com
JULY SLOW? Here’s an idea for some quick money: One of my clients just bought an AM and changed the format to Classic Country a week ago. In discussing ways to get attention, I thought of how “American” country music is; the phrase “American as apple pie” went through my head.
So I suggested that the client put up a table with a banner in the local park where the 4th of July festivities are taking place. Trade out apple pies and for an hour or so give free slices of pie away. Each time you hand someone a piece, say, “KICS, as American as Apple Pie.”
Hokey, yesssssssss! But do I care, if it gets the message out? Noooooooo. For that time span the station will also play patriotic music on a boom box at the booth.
Now, where do the $$$$ come from? Sell it to just a couple of sponsors who want to be “patriotic.” It gets the station some $$$$ and makes us look like we’re being supported by a couple of major players in town!
—Sandy Johnston, Marketing & Sales Training, 402-932-0525, firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ROLLING REMOTE. Here’s a great “budget” promotion. We do a different town each Thursday of the month.
Got a tight budget? Think you can’t afford “live on location” coverage on Power 94.3 WZKB? Well, now you can. . .
The first Thursday of every month, Power 94.3 WZKB will come by your business in the afternoon and do two live on location reports, promoting your products and services to our listening audience, with a media investment of only 50 bucks a month.
Every business on your street can promote and increase the business in your area. With Power 94.3 WZKB your advertising message reaches Duplin, Pender, Onslow, Sampson, Jones and Bladen counties. There is no better media investment in the Southeastern United States!
Remember, there’s power in numbers. You can build those numbers for your business, because there’s great power with Power 94.3 WZKB.
Your media investment is only $50.00 per month for a minimum of three months, for a total of $150.00 over a three month period.
—Mack Jones, WZKB, Wallace, NC, 910-285-2187, fax 910-285-6166
MINI-TOUR GUIDE. We in small market radio are constantly searching for additional avenues of income; our Mini-Tour Guide helps pay a few bills around here.
The Guide is 22″ wide by 17″ deep, folding down to 5Â½” x 8Â½”. We print it in one color on white stock. The ads are roughly 13/4″ square; they ring the border of the main information page. This year’s Guide has 28 ads, one of them a double; we could get up to 38 ads on the page.
The mainstay of the Guide is the complete listing of every festival held in our parish (what we call “counties” around here), with telephone numbers. The singer Irma Thomas says we will celebrate anything: “We will celebrate the fact that your brother’s wife is pregnant—or we’ll celebrate the fact that she isn’t.” I guess that’s why we have so many events!
We also have welcome letters from the mayors of our cities and from the parish Tourist Commission.
We do the guide annually; we try to have it out by the first of June. The ads are $199.75 each, or a double for $375. We include fifteen 30-second sales messages on the air with each ad in the guide, which makes it a real bargain. It brings us an additional gross of $5,000-6,000 each June. We will probably do it on computer starting next year to cut costs.
If we did not include any sales messages on the radio with the Guide, we could avoid BMI and ASCAP fees on non-broadcast revenue.
—Wandall Allgood, KSLO/KOGM, Opelousas, LA, 318-942-2633, fax 318-942-2633
DRIVE-BY DATING. Have we become such a fast-food, sound-bite world that we must resort to drive by dating? John Lander says he’s just trying to make the morning commute a little more interesting for the Mix 98.5 (WBMX, Boston, MA) female listener.
Friday, July 24th, from 6-9 a.m., Lander hosted a “Mile of Meet” on Route 9 Eastbound. Beginning at JoAnn Fabrics, Lander co-host Lynn Hoffman and “Dirt of the Day” correspondent Amy Doyle were on hand to instruct the Mix 98.5 eligible bachelors to don numbers and form a line down Route 9, allowing passing female commuters to “view the goods,” so to speak. When a female listener was interested in one of the male mile markers, she called Mix 98.5, where Lander and Crew did their best to make a “love connection.”
The men of the mile were chosen after submitting to a rigorous screening process. (Okay, they just had to fax a photo and talk to Lander on-air). Natick Police were on hand to handle any traffic delays, and Dunkin’ Donuts handed out free coffee and donuts.
“Women are busy,” says Lynn Hoffman, “we’re just trying to streamline the dating process. It’s all in good fun, anyway!” Does that mean the next step is drive-through dating?
—Anne-Marie Strzelecki, WBMX, Boston, MA, email@example.com
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. We have a local client whose radio ads are so awful. So I made an appointment with their ad buyer to make suggestions on making her radio dollars go farther, more efficiently and effectively; she received my comments very positively. (She spends a lot in the paper and I bet her radio bucks are about a tenth of that.)
She candidly told me she agreed with me about the radio spots, but the powers that be liked them. I offered to go with her to the powers that be with some new efforts. Well, my attempts were really liked (with some corrections and additions). . .and they said with this new approach, they would consider spending much more in RADIO since they didn’t know radio could be so creative!!!!
Anyway, I stand to have my budget doubled for my efforts, and all the other radio stations in the market will gain from the spots we did. I feel good about this; I wonder if it’s happening in other places. Just because stations are “on the buy list” with pre-produced spots doesn’t mean they can’t increase the buy with a bit of creative effort and honesty. (Since these weren’t produced at an ad agency, no creative egos were bruised.)
—Rick Sellers, KMRY, Cedar Rapids, IA, firstname.lastname@example.org