First-Quarter Promotions

calendarJANUARY: CHRISTMAS IN JANUARY. If you’re thinking about throwing a holiday party for your advertisers, why not make it a “Christmas in January” party, when you and they aren’t so busy?

JANUARY: GUILTY PLEASURES. Most people feel guilty about spending too much money and eating too much food during the holiday season. So in January it’s a good idea to target groups like weight-loss and smoke-ending programs, self-help books and tapes, and other such organizations and activities.

JANUARY: HALF PRICE CARNIVAL. Set up a special trade show to which each participating merchant brings only items to sell at 50% off list price. This is good for clothing and other soft-goods retailers in January—one of their slowest months.

JANUARY: ONE TON CLUB. Since losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, have your morning show recruit a group of listeners to pledge collectively to lose a ton—2,000 pounds—by March 31. This is a perfect tie-in for a local weight-loss center. Each week they check in and report, and the jock totals the pounds lost on the air. Everybody reaching the goal receives a certificate of merit for new clothes that fit the new body. If the group reaches the one-ton goal, throw a party catered by the sponsor, or give away trial memberships at a fitness center.

JANUARY: PHOTOGRAPHER’S SPECIAL. Suggest to a local portrait studio that they offer a special Valentine’s Day price for portraits—if the sitting takes place in January. This is promoted with a schedule on your station, of course!

JANUARY: SNOWBLOWER CONTEST. Work a deal with a local dealer for the use of a snowblower for a morning; say that only the motor will be used for an hour or so—the unit will show no signs of wear. When the forecast calls for a big snowfall overnight, pick up the snowblower. On the morning show, start the snowblower on the air and invite listeners to call and guess the exact time that the thing will run out of gas. The personality can do frequent “gas checks” throughout the show to prime the pump for more guesses (and the motor will be running in the background whenever the personality opens the mike). The closest guess wins a snow shovel, also donated by the dealer.

JANUARY: SUPERBOWL PARTY. Invite listeners to attend the event at a local sports-watching venue. Have station party favors, contests, appearances by your air talent and perhaps local sports figures. Tie in lots of advertisers for revenue, prizes and participation.

JANUARY: WINTER LIQUIDATION. Stores are clearing out snowblowers, shovels, winter clothes, winter implements. Help them!

JANUARY-FEBRUARY: CABIN FEVER GETAWAY. Arrange a cruise on a riverboat for two. Place registration blanks and point of purchase displays at participating sponsors. Feature discounted items from sponsoring businesses to generate traffic.

JANUARY-FEBRUARY: NICKEL SPOT SALE. Schedule this for the last two weeks of January and the first two weeks of February—for each extra ad the advertiser buys, he or she gets the second for five cents. To promote it, send a direct mail piece with a nickel; copy: “WXXX is having a 5-cent sale. We’ll buy your first nickel spot.”

JANUARY-FEBRUARY: WINTER CARNIVAL. Advertisers who buy a January-February schedule get tickets to the “Winter Carnival,” a dinner party preceded by a prize giveaway. Everybody wins: There are balloons for all participants; everybody picks one, punctures it, and finds the name of his/her prize inside. The prizes are all nice, but they vary in value.

JANUARY-MARCH: ALWAYS BUY [YOUR AREA] MONTH. Coordinate with companies that are owned and operated in your region to present a salute to local products and services. Run a trivia contest about the region, with the prizes supplied by these local businesses.

JANUARY-MARCH: EXPO SHOWS. Now is the time to plan one or more revenue-generating shows—Bridal Fair, Fitness Fair, Home Show, Outdoor Expo, Farm Fair, etc. Sell booths and line up entertainment (jugglers, magicians, mimes, etc.) to add to the atmosphere.

JANUARY-MARCH: GOTCHA CARD. Give this to any business “caught” listening to your station. It’s a coupon good for $100 in radio advertising.

JANUARY-MARCH: HOMEMAKERS SCHOOL. Held at a high school auditorium, the event features free admission, new recipes, on-stage promotion and hundreds of dollars in door prizes. Related sponsors set up tables and booths to display their products and services.

FEBRUARY: LOVE CONNECTION. For Valentine’s Day, work a deal with the local phone company to set up telephones at a high-traffic location, and allow listeners to place three-minute calls for free.

FEBRUARY: VALENTINE GREETINGS. Set up an answering machine and let listeners call in dedications for playback on Valentine’s Day. The outgoing message on the machine can include a plug for a participating sponsor, who also gets mentions on the promos. Turn this into a contest by awarding some of the callers prizes appropriate to the day.

MARCH: SPRING CLEANING. Callers register for a chance to win a free deep cleaning for their home or business, provided by a local sponsoring janitorial or housekeeping service.

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