2018 Station of the Year – LARGE MARKET Submissions

Below you will find a series of tabs which includes the LARGE MARKET station entries. Inside each tab you will find the information submitted by the station to be reviewed by you. Once you have reviewed the information, you will then score each station using the forms located at the bottom of each tabbed page. *Note: each station will have it’s own form. Please verify as you are filling out the scores that you are scoring the correct station.
There is also a comment section for each station. Please feel free to comment on particular strengths or weaknesses you see in the station. These will be passed on after the awards are announced, however, the person commenting will not be identified.
CATEGORIES 
Audio Elements – 40 pts possible
1. 15 minute scoped aircheck from any locally-originating daypart(s)
2. 5 minutes of production / promotion / public service
Community Involvement / Kingdom Impact – 40 pts possible
The station should highlight original/locally oriented events, promotions and/or news coverage that display exceptional service to their community and responsiveness to the needs and problems facing their market and defined core audience. Also, the station may submit examples of how they are helping to make other Christian music stations better, such as mentorship programs. Stations may use analytics to support their submission.
Digital Media – 20 pts possible
The station should show what they have done through various digital platforms to move their station forward and increase their listenership. They should give examples of how they utilize other media across their digital platforms – including (but not limited to) website, social media, email and podcasts. Stations may use analytics to support their submission.
CALL LETTERS/Name
KJNW/Life 88.5
Market
Overland Park, KS
Market Category
Large
Web Site
http://life885.com/
Supporting Pictures & Videos
The station may include a link to a page with supporting pictures & videos. Please note: they were not required to include this, so if this is blank, it shouldn’t take away from their score.
http://life885.com/cmb-pictures-and-video/

AUDIO ELEMENTS

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT/KINGDOM IMPACT

Holiday Heroes —
This was year 4 Life 88.5 partnered with KVC giving individuals, families, businesses and churches the chance to make Christmas wishes come true for children in foster care housing in Kansas City. In 2016, we were able to provide over 1,400 kids with Christmas. In 2017, KVS partnered with another organization and a record 4,700+ children were in need. So we prayed for a LOT of Holiday Heroes, and let the Life 88.5 listening family know the need. God moved and they stepped up in a big way, breaking the record, fulfilling the wishes of all 4700+ children AND over 600 more added their names to a waiting list to fulfill Christmas wish lists for kids entering the system all the way through Christmas Day!

Great Garment Giveaway –
So many times they go unnoticed pouring their lives into providing for their kids while working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Life 88.5 connected with Fellowship Greenwood to show love and care to single moms. While on site moms had a chance to have their car’s oil changed, get a free haircut and choose up to 12 items of new clothing out of a selection of over 10,000 items. Each mom also had a chance to hear the gospel during the event and Pastor Chris Williams said, “some incredible relationships were formed simply cause moms had a chance to been seen.”

Peanut butter (Winter)Jam time –
For the second year Life 88.5 partnered with FaithWork to fill backpacks that are distributed to kids in need through out KC schools. At WinterJam, Life 88.5 listeners brought 885 jars of peanut butter, which represents over 13,275 meals! The total nearly double what was received last year. Dee Dickey, Program Director of FaithWork said, “The peanut butter couldn’t have come at a better time. With Spring Break here, kids will definitely benefit from these backpacks over the break.”

Night to Shine –
“As a parent, there’s nothing I want more than for my son to have a good time just like every person gets to. This night is so very special,“ said Gail Schmitt. It wasn’t just special for Gail’s son but for more than 340 other individuals with special needs who had the opportunity to attend the Night to Shine prom event as part of the Tim Tebow foundation. In Life 88.5’s first year partnering with the event the number of individuals who signed up to volunteer almost doubled and for the first time ever volunteers had to be wait listed. Charles Beeghley, co-director of Night to Shine KC said, “There are thousands of special needs persons within KC and I think this really draws attention to how awesome of a group this is.”

Kona Ice truck serve –
In an effort to show appreciation to our public servants, as well as, build bridges in our community, Life 88.5 partnered with Fair Trade Services and rented a Kona Ice truck on a 96 degree day in July. The plan was for MercyMe (who was performing in KC that evening) to accompany the Morning Team to the KCK police department and serve our men and women in blue. Following that, the police department mascot and community service team paraded with the Life 88.5 team and the Kona Ice truck to the local Boys and girls club. There the team handed out lots of free stuff like sunglasses, beach balls and badges played games and cooled the kids down with Kona Ice…and made lots of new friends! The only hitch was a huge storm in Nashville the night before which delayed the arrival of Bart Millard and MercyMe. Even so, the mission was a HUGE success and received local news coverage.

Other Community Engagements –
Life 88.5’s 4th birthday bash – Over 1,300 celebrated with a free concert with Ryan Stevenson. Merritt Vaugh was the ‘celebrity’ of the day. He was also celebrating his 4th birthday. Having arrived from China months before with his new forever family this was his first every birthday party. Brave Merritt, who had already been through a couple of surgeries for his cleft palette got on stage for the birthday song and to blow the candles out.

Casting Crowns concert, May the fourth — Invited attendees to dress in Star Wars for a chance to be bumped up to the front row and encourage Mark Hall in his cancer walk.

Mom rally event – with Lisa Trkyrsa

June sticker stops – Gave out free stuff, stickered cars, prayed with countless and heard amazing Wow, God stories

VBS Carnivals and Kidz Fest

Evangel Fireworks – Provided music and fun for over 5,000 at one of KC’s largest fireworks events

Angel tree summer camp – Listeners provided $200 per child to make sure 100% (all 78) local kids eligible for Prison Fellowship summer camps were able to attend and hear about Jesus

Back to school bash & Day of Compassion – 2 separate events that provided school supplies and more

Merry Monday’s in October – stickered more cars and gave out limited edition Life 88.5 Ugly
Christmas Sweater T-shirts. Prayed and listened and shared.

Holiday Mart – Provided bags and loved on over 23,000 women while also providing Christ-centered Christmas music throughout the Kansas City Convention Center.

Imperfectly Brave Weekend & Inspired for Life Women’s conferences

Lighted Christmas Parade – The Life 88.5 Morning Show emceed the parade

Christmas tree lighting – Celebrated with real Christmas music

Be an Olympian – Gave listeners a chance to experience the Winter Olympics by trying curling with the morning team

Easter Eggs Hunts and outreaches

Greater KC Day – Baseballs opening day is a big tradition in KC with charitable outreaches and competitions between the media

Our volunteer Life Support Team (LST) helped serve with Variety KC

Noah’s Crown Town 5k

Sold out MercyMe/Tenth Avenue North concert in 25 days added second show

DIGITAL MEDIA

WEBSITE —

The digital reach of Life 88.5 continues to grow. The purpose of Life885.com is not just to stream the station or further promote what’s happening on the air, it also informs our listeners and provides them the tools they need to deepen their faith and strengthen their families. In one year more than 81,000 users visited Life885.com for one of those reasons.

One of the most popular features is the VBS Connection which provides listeners the opportunity to connect with a church in their neighborhood that is providing a Vacation Bible School. Last year more than 150 churches and 8,100+ individuals used this resource page and to date more than 30,000 users have searched through the page.

Prayer matters at Life 88.5 and each weekday throughout the school year listeners are given the chance to pray for metro schools and to submit their school for prayer. Throughout the day we feature the Life 88.5 School of the Day and in the past year 186 schools were featured and prayed for. More than 3,300 users visited the School of the Day page to pray for area KC schools. Amazingly, when events would happen at schools, such as student deaths or even state tournaments, schools reached out to us for prayer knowing Life 88.5 is the station that prays for schools. Listeners are also given the opportunity to encourage each other through PrayerWorks at Life885.com. During the past year 612 prayers were posted on PrayerWorks with over 3,628 individuals offering prayers.

Working to build community is another big priority for Life885.com. Throughout various times of the year we provide resources to connect with Kansas City area fall festivals, trunk-n-treats, Easter performances, 4th of July celebrations and other activities through the Life 88.5 events calendar resulting in more than 10,000 combined unique users.

Sharing her personal journey with her daughter’s diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes, Melony McKaye along with TJ Jackson of the Life 88.5 Morning Show spend time each November to focus on National Diabetes Awareness month. Life885.com becomes a huge resource for people to learn the difference between Type 1 and Type 2, symptoms to watch for, healthy lifestyle changes for management or prevention, interviews and more. A powerful conversation with Bart Millard of MercyMe sharing his battle with Type 2 and his son’s living with Type 1 was also shared there. Plus, there’s a simple diabetes assessment test for listeners to take throughout the month to find out if they are at risk for Type 2 diabetes. Over 335 listeners took the test in 2017 and also got registered for a chance to win tickets to our Christmas concert. Mike stopped by a station event months later to share with us that after taking the test he realized he was at risk. He began to follow the lifestyle changes and had lost 80+ pounds reducing his cholesterol, as well as, his pre-diabetic diagnosis.

As a way of taking listeners deeper in their faith Life885.com is full of blog posts, podcasts and resource pages covering culture, family, finances, health, marriage and parenting which saw 23,000+ views. Individuals can find resources from experts, pastors and authors.

OTHER DIGITAL OUTREACH —

As technology changes and listeners enjoy more ways to consume and listen to Life 88.5 we continue to work to meet them where they are. Our web streaming of Life 88.5 through our updated app and website saw a growth of 109% in monthly tune in hours in the past year. Life 88.5 also has an Alexa skill which makes it easier for listeners to stay connected to the station by simply saying “Alexa play Life 88.5”. One of the large pushes to expand the impact of this feature and create new listeners was through the “Dot a Day in May” giveaway. It was the largest online promotion with more than 1,000 individuals registering (4,200+ web page visits) and giving Life 88.5 yet another way to connect more listeners with the unconditional love of God.

In just under five quick years the growth and impact of the Life 88.5 Facebook page with more than 282,000+ followers has been tremendous. In a way to deepen our connection with listeners the morning show hosts a “Weekly Wednesday Wake Up” Facebook live video. It offers viewers a behind the scenes look at the show, insider concert announcements and information, devotions, personalized prayers and more. In the last year, posts on the Life 88.5 Facebook page have had a cumulative reach of almost 31 million users with lifetime post total impressions of 319 million. In addition, more than 1 million users have engaged with a post from Life 88.5 in the past year (2,789 per day).

Life 88.5 is also very active in reaching out through Instagram and Twitter. Anytime there is a major event or concert in KC TJ Jackson, Community Engagement Director, will spend hours searching all platforms to respond to photos and posts about the event and interacting with those who were involved.

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CALL LETTERS/Name
WAYF/88.1 WAY-FM
Market
West Palm Beach, FL
Market Category
Large
Web Site
http://wayfm.com
Supporting Pictures & Videos
The station may include a link to a page with supporting pictures & videos. Please note: they were not required to include this, so if this is blank, it shouldn’t take away from their score.
http://www.wayfm.com/cmb-station-of-the-year-submission/

AUDIO ELEMENTS

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT/KINGDOM IMPACT

Hurricane Irma, September 2017

South Floridians are accustomed to dealing with tropical storms and hurricanes, but late summer brought with it a challenge that few in the community had ever encountered. On August 31, 2017, Hurricane Irma formed in the Atlantic basin. It would grow to be the strongest hurricane ever recorded outside of the Gulf of Mexico or The Caribbean Sea. At its largest, the storm’s surface area was 300,000 square miles, or about the size of the state of Texas. After plowing through the middle Florida Keys, the storm made a second landfall on September 10 near Marco Island, then pushed northward through the Florida peninsula.

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, WAY-FM staff members were left with two objectives. First, those that had evacuated needed to return and secure their homes, repair damage and make sure their families were safe. Secondly, we needed to enlist help for those in our community that were impacted by the storm. Working with area churches and relief organizations, WAY-FM led a relief trip to the Florida Keys to help residents begin the long recovery process. Once there, WAY-FM partnered with Home Depot to provide gift cards for tools, and building and cleaning supplies for those impacted most by the devastation. We worked shoulder to shoulder with families who were trying to recover once the storm surge subsided.

Urban Youth Impact’s Christmas Store, December 2017

Urban Youth Impact is an inner-city organization that provides outreach to at-risk youth and adults. WAY-FM has partnered with UYI in many different projects and initiatives through the years. During the 2017 Holiday season, WAY-FM promoted and participated in Urban Youth Impact’s Christmas Store, which offers parents the opportunity to “shop” for gifts for free to give their children toys, tablets, and a bicycle on Christmas Day. While the parents “shop”, their kids have fun in the Christmas Village with many community partners and volunteers. Beyond the shopping experience the toys are gift wrapped, families receive a bag of groceries, a Bible, and prayer. Prior to the opening of the Christmas store, WAY-FM put out the call to our listeners to bring toys to our 10th Avenue North concert on December 15. Then, WAY-FM participated in the event the day that the store opened, recruiting listeners to come help with the logistics of distributing 5400 toys to 1800 thrilled children.

Parkland School Shooting, February 2018

There is nothing that can prepare a community for the kind of unspeakable tragedy that occurred on February 14, 2018 at Marjorie Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, FL. A gunman took the lives of 17 of his classmates that day, and forever changed our corner of the world. South Florida was again thrust into the international spotlight for all the wrong reasons. And it was time for local radio to do what it can do best: engage and serve.

In the days following the heartbreak of the shootings, the need was to provide a forum for information for the community. Traditional marketing wisdom says to “find a parade and get in front of it.” But that approach in the wake of a tragedy is the height of insensitivity. That’s why you did not see a WAY-FM logo or branding anywhere near the aftermath of this heartbreaking event. We broke format. We prayed on the air – often. We calmly and solemnly let our listeners know how they could help, where the prayer vigils and memorial services were being held, and most importantly, how God still loves them, even when evil invades our comfortable surroundings.

WORLD’S BIGGEST SMALL GROUP

In October and April each year WAY-FM has a 15-day study and invites listeners to sign-up for video, audio and written content done by WAY-FM DJs, artists and well-known Christians. In October, the WBSG was “The Jesus I Wish You Knew” and in April it was on the topic of “Fear.” Over 10,000 people in the West Palm Beach area signed-up and were a part of both studies

Throughout the year WAY-FM raises awareness and funding for other non-profit organizations. Here are those outcomes:

MAY 2017: BLOOD WATER FUNDRAISER
“Bringing you into the story of Uganda”
$411,000 was raised to provide clean water for families in Uganda.

SEPTEMBER 2017: WAY-FM’s FALL PLEDGE DRIVE -3rd PARTY INCENTIVE
WAY-FM did not hold a pledge drive in South Florida because of Hurricane Irma impacts. Instead, working closely with Feed the Hungry, WAY-FM committed to giving a portion of proceeds to South Florida Hurricane relief.

Here is note from FTH President Stefan Radelich:
The latest ministry-metrics received from partner churches state 9,600 people who made a verbal decision to follow Christ or rededicate and renew their relationship with Him and the Church.
84 tractor-trailer loads of hurricane relief and recovery supplies have been sent to churches in TX and FL (approximately 3 million pounds).
4 ocean freight containers were sent to churches in San Juan and Toa Alta, Puerto Rico (approximately 80 tons)
4 ocean freight containers have been sent to the island nation of Dominica (approximately 80 tons)
2 ocean freight containers have been sent to a partner church in St. Croix (approximately 40 tons)

We would not have been able to respond with such intensity and volume if Christian radio groups like WAY-FM had not decided to jump into the fray to help the victims of the hurricanes.

DECEMBER 2017 – WAY-FM’s YEAR END PLEDGE DRIVE -3rd PARTY INCENTIVE
Year ends gifts to WAY-FM also helped provide food for 2884 malnourished children, through Compassion International.

January 2018 – COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL FUNDRAISER
The WAY-FM DJs traveled to Ecuador and came back to ask our listeners to help kids in poverty. Over 2600 kids were sponsored through Compassion International during this FIVE DAY on-air event.

APRIL – WAY-FM SPRING 2018 Pledge Drive -3rd PARTY INCENTIVE
For every $30 a month gift, a pair of shoes were provided for a child in Honduras, from Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls. Over 5000 pairs were donated.

DIGITAL MEDIA

Off the air, WAY-FM’s ministry continues to grow and move the ministry forward using blogging, podcasts, streaming, video, e-mail, WAY-FM’s Prayer Wall, and the World’s Biggest Small Group.

WAYFM.COM
This year on wayfm.com, 150 blog posts were written by our on-air personalities, letting listeners go deeper with the fun, encouraging content and personalities they hear every day.

Radio streams on wayfm.com and the WAY-FM app are up 47% in the past year!

Each show has become even more accessible through daily or weekly podcasts and WAY-FM’s mobile app, letting listeners experience ministry whenever they want and wherever they go.

PODCASTS:
For example, WAY-FM’s morning show (The Wally Show) releases 2 podcast episodes per day: one is that morning’s full radio show, the other is original content exclusive to the podcast. They release around 400 podcast episodes per year, averaging 36 minutes per episode. They have a dedicated following with an average listening time of 37 minutes!

WAY-FM’s Night Show (Justin Paul) has produced a weekly podcast called “More Than the Music,” featuring in-depth artist interviews. The Afternoon Show (CJ & Joy) recently revamped their weekly podcast, including highlights from the show.

APPS:
WAY-FM also has 3 unique apps. The WAY-FM app streams our on-air format and encourages interaction through actions like posting messages, rating songs, and entering contests right from the app. Two other apps allow listeners to explore the same uplifting messages, but in different music genres. WAY LOUD, your Christian rock station, has fostered a whole community of Christian rock fans who interact on the app. WAY New offers fresh, positive, hip-hop and pop music.

VIDEO
In the past year, video production has skyrocketed at WAY-FM. We hired a full-time video producer, got tons of use out of the video studio we built the year before, and have started construction on a larger, brand new video studio to match the quality and quantity of our content team. We produce everything from high-quality live performance videos to fun, out-of-the-box games with artists to serious or heartfelts stories about facing fear and growing in faith. A lot of talent, time, and creativity goes into our video production and it shows! Overall video views are up 24% over the previous year.

WBSG:
One of the deepest digital engagements we’ve seen happens in the World’s Biggest Small Group. In the past year, we’ve produced and facilitated three online video series. The team produced 14 videos on fear, 24 videos on who Jesus is, and 7 videos on strengthening marriages. That’s a total of 52 videos with pure ministry value we were thrilled to produce!

Members sign up at worldsbiggestsmallgroup.com and are sent daily Scriptures and videos featuring our on-air personalities and Christian artists. Over 10,000 South Florida listeners participated in these studies. We saw our number of comments and prayer requests go way up during these studies. We watched these messages strike a chord with our audience.

As illustrated by the World’s Biggest Small Group, e-mail has been a huge part of WAY-FM’s strategy, engagement, and growth as a ministry. A weekly e-mail called “What’s Trending” is sent out every Monday. It features the best videos, blogs, contests, music, and podcasts from wayfm.com. Over 21,000 South Florida listeners receive these weekly content e-mails from WAY-FM!

SOCIAL:
Social media remains a great way to not only engage and converse with listeners, but to move people to a deeper level of engagement with WAY-FM’s ministry. While likes, shares, and comments are important, we see real success and deeper engagement when social media acts as a channel, moving users from just a Facebook “like” into engaged users on our other platforms. The end goal is to serve them better with encouraging, ministry-oriented content through our e-mail list, website, app, podcasts, World’s Biggest Small Group, local events, and other ministry resources.

Facebook has also proven to be a place where marketing and ministry can go hand-in-hand. For example, Facebook ads inviting listeners to join our World’s Biggest Small Group series on “Fear” were targeted to people in South Florida. These are people who have an affinity toward Christian music and culture, but had not yet discovered WAY-FM.

Not only did these ads get an incredibly positive response from people who needed the encouragement, but the end results included hundreds of new people on our e-mail list. They were sent a personalized e-mail engagement series, full of encouragement, introductions, and more resources to help them grow spiritually.

PRAYER WALL:
Our prayer pastor has been working over time. 1,137 prayer requests were received on WAY-FM’s online Prayer Wall this past year and 12,903 prayers were said on their behalf. Each person submitting a prayer request received e-mail or text notifications when a WAY-FM staff member or listener clicked the “I prayed for this!” button, providing even more support throughout the day.

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CALL LETTERS/Name
WCVO/104.9 The River
Market
Columbus, OH
Market Category
Large
Web Site
http://1049theriver.com
Supporting Pictures & Videos
The station may include a link to a page with supporting pictures & videos. Please note: they were not required to include this, so if this is blank, it shouldn’t take away from their score.
http://1049theriver.com/104-9-the-river-station-of-the-year-submission/

AUDIO ELEMENTS

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT/KINGDOM IMPACT

This past year has been one for the ages. There was tremendous change and positive momentum within our organization. Not only were we able to promote from within for key positions, but we have seen our young leaders step much more into the forefront. Impacting our community is the reason we get out of bed each day. It’s the fabric of who we are. We attended more than 275 events this past year!

When thinking about what to talk about for this submission there were a number of incredible events that were worthy of going into detail on, however I’d like to whittle that down to four and take a deeper look. The first event was our first city wide “Women in Ministry” event. This event was a night for us to honor the women who serve either full-time, part-time, or on a volunteer basis in any ministry capacity. We genuinely wanted there to be no strings attached, meaning it had to be a FREE event. Our promotions and sales teams knocked it out of the park, raising enough money through sponsorship to create an incredible experience. The moment women walked in the door they were greeted with a free gift of a beautiful bag from vendor Thirty-One Gifts to take around fill up with goodies from more than 30 vendors! Dannah Gresh (Founder of Secret Keeper Girl) was the keynote speaker and delivered a message of hope and encouragement, while comedian Dave McCreary provided the laughter that many women badly needed. It’s true that laughter is some of the most healing medicine for the soul. At the end of the evening over 450 women walked away loved on, and encouraged to continue impacting the world around them.

The second event I’d like to mention is “River Day” at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium’s water park Zoombezi Bay. This event provides such a “WOW Experience” for listeners. The typical cost of admission for the water park is $29.99 per person. On River Day our listeners get in for only $10.49 (104.9)! In addition to getting a huge discount on admission we have Christian Recording Artists perform on a stage by the massive wave pool. When the artists are not playing we are blasting music from 104.9 The River and our HD subset TheVibeHD. This was the largest crowd of the year for the park (over 11,000 people in attendance). The comments we got afterwards were amazing. Families who otherwise would not be able to treat their kids to a day at a waterpark because of the financial implications are able to do so. It’s amazing how much one day of fun can make for so many who are hurting and have no clear-cut view of an end in sight any time soon.

Christmas Gifts is a promotion that many radio stations do, and yet we believe it’s still one of the staples of who we are. Christmas is a time of great joy for many, while also being a time of pain for others. Our desire is always to let those who are hurting know that we see them, and are here for them. Christmas gifts allows listeners to nominate someone who is in need to receive items that they don’t have the means to get on their own. One twist we put on this is that we also surprise and delight the person who nominates their friend or family member with something as well. In many cases the person nominating has unmet needs of their own, however they are so “others focused” that they tend to ignore their own needs in hope of helping someone else. A brief video is attached from one of the families helped this year. It’s impossible to communicate with words alone what happens in that moment when someone is surprised with something they badly need.

The last thing we’d like to mention is something we’re really hoping to encourage other stations to do as it creates an intimate experience for listeners with our artists. We have decided to take the opportunities we get with artists who come through on tour, or just for radio visits, and create VIP events in our building. This past year we partnered with Chick-fil-A, Schmidt’s Sausage House, and even had our own team whip up dozens of pancakes to provide lunch (and breakfast on one occasion) for 100 people along with a mini acoustic concert. This year we were able to have For King & Country, Elevation Worship, Mosaic, and Passion. These, of course, are free, and are designed to simply surprise and delight people with the chance to be up close up and personal with our artists in a way they wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

What we love about each of these community engagement opportunities is the “ripple effect”. When people are encouraged, they tend to encourage others. Our goal is to throw the rock in the pond and watch it ripple. While we have been blessed to have a large circle of influence, we recognize that our efforts are multiplied 100 fold if we can be a catalyst to move others to action.

When we talk about “Kingdom Impact” that’s what we believe our role is. Our role is to use every resource, every tool in our tool belt, to energize, and mobilize people to join together and make a difference.

We don’t do what we do so that people will pat us on the back, but it’s extremely encouraging to have the community take notice. This year we received recognition from the following businesses in our community:

Starbucks – The Give Good Award

Longhorn Steakhouse – Excellence in Community Service

These awards were both for recognition of our organization’s contribution to the community. We take great pride in these awards because it reflects the effectiveness of our efforts. Not only are listeners noticing, but the corporate world sees it as well.

DIGITAL MEDIA

We are incredibly passionate about the direction of our digital efforts. This past year, and the next year moving forward we will have championed digital initiatives that we are confident will take us into the new wave of how radio and media will be done.

We start in the area of video where we leverage our morning show with Mary and Josh in as many places as possible. They are the brand’s “character” to the public so we want people to be as connected to them as possible. This shows itself not only in produced videos such as the silly skits we do (one available to watch in the link below), but also in regular Facebook live videos that average 3,000-5,000 views each. We decided this year that we wanted to connect our artists to our listeners in new ways as well so we have begun a series of original, comedic video content such as “Beard Hair” with David Crowder. The goal is to get away from the typical interview with artists, and present them in a way that allows the listener to really understand they are just like us.

Our website supports listeners, donors, and advertisers by providing details to events we are involved with in our community. An event like River Day at Zoombezi Bay for example requires not only for us to provide information, but also do create and display a digital coupon that the listener redeems for the massive discount at the park. Every on-air promotion that we’re a part of tells the listener that more info is available at 1049theriver.com.

Another massive part of our ministry is our prayer page. Listeners regularly post prayer requests on our prayer page, and as a team we get together weekly to pray for them. Having these prayer requests constantly in front of us keeps us strongly connected to the needs of our community, and the challenges listeners are facing. Seeing those needs gives us insight on content, and also shows us where to invest our time, energy, and resources. This year for example we saw people consistently requesting prayer for family members addicted to drugs. From that we decided to make a local faith based rehabilitation center that is seeing UNPARRELLLED success the recipient of our “first fruits tithe” from our fundraiser. From that we were able to hand over a $12,000 check to COMO Recovery. Afterwards we found that the people who run that program were running on empty financially, and that contribution kept them going. So because of our prayer page not only was the awareness level raised towards the opioid epidemic in Central Ohio, but a ministry that’s badly needed got the funds they needed to continue in their good work.

We’re very excited to see our blogs continue to grow and gain traction as well. We have DJ’s participate in writing blogs about life and faith. Blogs like “Mary’s Easy Potato Soup Recipe” got 1,591 views (within 4 months), and even more difficult blogs to address like “When Singleness Feels More Like a Curse Than a Blessing” got over 500 views (in just one month).

We like to think about being so close to our listeners that we start to weave into one another like fabric. That means we want to be where they are and love what they love. So this past year we entered the world of smart audio and intelligent personal assistants. We now have an Alexa skill for both 104.9 The River and our HD Subset TheVibeHD. We are new in that space, but are confident moving forward that we’ve only scratched the surface of its potential. Additionally our digital department started an online apparel store where people can buy t-shirts and sweatshirts that spread hope around our city even when they’re not listening to The River! We also created a lock screen for them to put on their phones with Bible verses and hopeful phrases to keep them encouraged on their devices.

We have also been blessed to have a full time social media director who has built an AMAZING community for our listeners. Our Facebook page has 245,000 followers, and gets stronger engagement each week than even the big country and pop stations. We simply give our listeners what they want. We don’t muddy up Facebook with ads, we only allow the content which we see the listener connect with. We see this as an area that we can give back as well, and our social media director is always trying to help other stations, and businesses in the community learn how to grow their social media presence.

Another area we gave back this year was by having our engineer lend his expertise to other stations. This past year he helped a small non-comm Christian station (WLRY) do an antenna upgrade that dramatically enhanced their coverage. He also drove out to Joy/Boost in St. Louis and did a major upgrade to their processing. When he left town they were the best sounding station in the market. A few months later they Hit #1 in their demo.

Because we’re a music station we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our streaming media. We currently have options on our mobile app and website to stream 104.9 The River (our CCM station), The Vibe HD (positive hip-hop), and O’Rock (positive alternative). We added one other resource this year to enhance the listener experience, a product by Futuri called #engage. This allows the listener to sign up for text alerts to find out when their favorite songs are playing. It also has voting sessions that allow the listener to “vote up or down” on songs. Another tool is that it took our “recently played” to a new level allowing the listener to play a clip of recently played songs! We’re excited about where technology is moving, and want to lead the charge in our industry to ensure stability for our station and industry!

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Wise, Weird & Welcome: Learning and Leading with the Lepers and the Locust Eaters

We’ve all read the same books about teamwork, leadership, communication, and culture that everybody reads. We’ve mastered Maxwell, studied Sanborn, Sinek, and Sun Tzu, and liberally cribbed Collins in aborted attempts to go from good to great, but…

How’s that working out for you? 

What if you left St. Louis with an entirely new lens through which to view and act upon improvements in:

Let’s examine how this all connects together, but approach it from an entirely different angle. Don’t just think outside the box. Kick the box to the curb and start at zero.

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