Okay, I know this is going to sound cheesy to a lot of you, but If you target women, a themed promotion campaign to create (Your Show) recipe books is a winner. It could even be a series of promotions organized by season and turn into a collection.

This article explains how recipe books can be a great promotional idea for radio shows. Including: 

  • How to execute a crowdsourced promotion for recipe books. 
  • Options to accept entries and include user voting.
  • Creating and publishing the recipe books.

Online Recipe Books

I know it doesn’t seem all that exciting, but it works! It’s best if the promotion is led by a woman on a station targeting women. But as long as you’re passionate about cooking, this will work.

The key is that there is a theme. It’s much more promotable and far more unique when the recipes are organized.

For example:

  • Original recipes about cheese or smoothies.
  • Secret family recipes for Christmas.
  • Shortcut lunch ideas.

Be creative. A morning show I work with created a book of healthy lunches kids can make themselves. I also know of a sports talk station that published The Ultimate Guys Guide to Game Snacks.

Here are some options and variations to do this on your own:

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Entry Forms

Set the campaign up to accept entries with an online entry form. Include plenty of room to write instructions. And it’s very important to require a photo (or photos) of the product! Recipe books (especially digital ones) are much better with pictures.

Be sure to add a disclaimer that grants permission to publish and promote the recipe if it’s chosen for the book.

The next step is a bit tricky. Listeners will be passionate about their recipes and disappointed if they aren’t chosen. Decide in advance how to narrow the entries to appear in the book.

Options include:

  • The show decides.
  • A panel of judges chooses the recipes.
  • User voting!

My favorite option is to put the recipes up to a vote. This is a little more work but it gets the audience involved. And those who have entered will get their friends to participate!

Voting Tips

  • Display all entries on the website, and allow listeners to comment on the entries.
  • Categorize entries and allow users to vote for their favorites in each category.
  • Don’t start the voting process immediately. Collect recipes to build interest before putting them online.
  • Pro tip: When voting opens, more recipe entries will come in. So you may want to jump-start the campaign by putting a few recipes up even before it begins.
  • Important: Do not include the full recipe in the voting. Just show the final creation and include a brief description.
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The Books

Once voting is complete, produce the book. It’s much easier to offer a digital book as a .pdf But don’t discount the value of printing a few physical books, especially if sponsors are involved. It also makes inexpensive and valuable prizes.

There are several ways to distribute books:

  • Offer them free as a digital download. This becomes a great promotion for the show.
  • Sell them as a fundraiser for a cause or charity.
  • If publishing physical copies of the book, be sure to print give a free copy to all those who have a recipe published in the book.


This campaign is a tremendous opportunity for advertisers and sponsors. Cooking classes, kitchen supply stores, and cooking schools are ideal candidates. At the very least, this can offset the costs of production. And it provides another source for promoting and distributing the book.

If this is an ongoing campaign (ideal) with multiple books in the series, start a food/cooking/recipe blog featuring a new recipe each week. Include comments, results, etc. This could extend your brand and attract new listeners to the show.

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Have Fun With The Recipes

Personalities should try the recipes, especially if cast members are great or terrible cooks. Make a video of the process. It’s a fun way to promote the recipes and talk about the book.

to really make some noise, turn the book launch into a party:

  • Offer samples of each recipe, provided by the person who entered them.
  • Hold the event at a client location.
  • Offer classes on how to prepare the most popular dishes in the book.
  • If public classes are too difficult, set up demonstration videos featuring your personalities. Here’s how to set up an inexpensive video studio to make it happen.


Here’s an example of a recipe that ignited on social media.

This is Angie Poirier of the Stu & Angie morning show on Majic 100/Ottawa.


You can probably think of many applications for this idea. Try not to use them all in the first book.

Keep the themes focused. That way, there will be more great ideas for volumes 2, 3, and 4!