One of the most difficult decisions for programmers, promotion managers and air talent is timing. Since listeners don’t pay much attention, it’s easy to assume a promotion campaign should be longer. But what about fans who listen more? Won’t they get bored? And if it’s a contest, an ongoing game could lead to fatigue, especially for non-players. Promotion length is a key factor.

How long should a campaign last? A weekend? 2 weeks? A month? 13 weeks?

Promotion length often is decided based on subjective feelings on what feels right. It should be long enough to establish roots and get traction. But not so long it starts to get boring.

In the past, radio stations extended promotions over a longer period of time. It was common for a contest to last 10, 12, or 13 weeks. Now, with shorter attention spans and a faster paced society, promotion length must be reconsidered. The ideal shelf life is generally shorter. It’s more typical for a major promotion to run about 6-8 weeks, and many times a campaign is on and gone in less than a month.

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Another tactic is a series of short, connected flights. A contest may be on for 3-4 weeks, take a short break for a week or two, then come back for another month or so. This extends the promotion length but preserves the budget. It also provides listening relief that keeps the contest fresh.

The trend toward shorter, concentrated promotion length is going to continue.

As you plan a promotion, here are six things to consider:

How To Decide Promotion Length

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