When we start putting together a promotion at the Z, we look for three things…Is it a win for the listener, the station as well as the partner we are working with on the promotion (if one is involved)?
If we can see a win for all three, we start brainstorming and planning. In that session we are looking to figure out not just the on-air piece, but also all the off air components, too. We are also looking at seasons…I’m always trying to figure out and be where she (the listener) is…where is her head at the moment? It doesn’t make sense to try to make her do something outside of the routine she currently lives in.
Whether you are like us wearing multiple hats (Promotions, Social Media, Volunteers and Donor Love are all run out of my department with three full timers including me:) ) or you have multiple people running those departments, I’d encourage you to put everyone in a room together from the beginning of a campaign to create. For us, it’s my team of three sitting in a room with our Mornings Team and separately our Afternoons Team once a week working together to create our promotions and campaigns.
When brainstorming an idea, we’re looking to fill in the following areas with a plan before it ever hits the air: On-air, Social Media, Website, Outside Marketing, Artwork, Events, Donors and Volunteers. Also, there has to be a strategy for what we are doing.
Thinking about each of these pieces from the beginning, we are able to create a promotion that encompasses all areas of the radio station, not just the programming side. The 360 degree approach honestly allows us to work smarter instead of finding ourselves frustrated with trying to fit pieces back into the pie later. This happened a lot before we started pre-planning each piece…we would have donor realize they need something after the ticket count was negotiated or we were exhausted after an event and didn’t have a followup plan for on air or social, so we missed opportunities. All of these extra frustrations could have been avoided if handled from the beginning and pre-planned all at once.
Here’s an example…with summer rapidly approaching, we found ourselves with a lot of great ideas, but how do we execute all of it? We decided to put these ideas together under an umbrella campaign we are calling Ellis and Tyler’s Best Summer Ever.
The strategy is simple…give her a reason to keep coming back to our morning show this summer because schools out, the kids no longer have to be up early and her regular car routine won’t start up again until the fall.
You can check out our summer umbrella campaign for yourself here: zradio.com/BestSummerEver. Below you will find a few pieces of the artwork we used to promote on social and web. We’ve already planned every piece, which made for a lot of hard work and meetings up front, but now it’s off and running and we don’t have to worry about it all. Time to move on to the next campaign brainstorming and planning meeting.
We live in a 24/7 content driven society. I’ve heard many of us say (myself included) that it’s not possible to create that much content with the small staff we have. Our air staff is already creating it, so it becomes much easier to accomplish if we harness their creativity, and turn it into web, social, podcasts and touch points for volunteers and donors from the very beginning.
At the core, we are using social media and all of the tools off air to create relationships between the listener and our air staff. As we have been learning at Momentum and through CMB Summits, it’s not enough to just do radio anymore. We live in a two way communication world, so if we let our listener be part of the conversation instead of just talking at them, they are more likely to keep coming back and turning your radio station on in the car. It’s our way of building brand loyalty in this crazy world that we live in that offers hundreds of billions of options. 🙂 It’s honestly why we spend just as much time creating the off the air elements as we do creating the on air elements. It’s hard to make the switch, but if we start doing this planning from the beginning, it becomes a whole lot easier to achieve.
Hoping that helps change your perspective on how much work we have as promotions people. 😉 Not a lot of people understand, but we have to stick together…there is so much work and strategy that pours into everything we do. I pray daily for everyone who holds the title Promotions Director. There’s never enough time in the day or enough people on payroll. 🙂 I’m also praying that you take the time to start meeting together up front with all departments present inside your building to create some pretty powerful campaigns. I always think of it like this…Separately we are working against each other, but together we are a force. It might feel clunky and a lot of extra work at first, but it’s really worth it in the end. Happy promoting! 😉