Radio stations generally miss opportunities to win listeners and build fans at promotion events. Stations are out all the time, constantly setting up and tearing down then rushing off to the next event. Each becomes an item on an ever-increasing promotion checklist.
Too often, we view sales promotions, weekend events and charity appearances as an annoyance rather than a chance to meet recruit listeners and influence them to become fans.
Roy Laughlin, former GM of KIIS/Los Angeles, is one of radio’s most quotable people. He once told me:
Radio is the only industry that parks a van in the parking lot, throws up a tent and calls it promotion.
Classic. And true.
How many times have you seen a radio station at an event with a handful of part-time promotion assistants sitting behind a card table under a tent, usually bored and lonely? They’re usually chatting about something irrelevant to the event and the station. Or they’re on Social Media. Or playing games on their phone.
Hanging a banner isn’t promotion. Visibility is fine, but it doesn’t add value. It doesn’t make an impression. It doesn’t drive tune in and it doesn’t enhance your image. And if the team representing the station isn’t excited, it can actually turn listeners off about the brand.
It’s time to change the way we engage listeners at promotion events. There are dozens of ways to do it, and many of them are free.