Cure Your Station’s Summertime Blues
While summer isn’t here quite yet, most of our
listeners have already made their vacation plans. My wife reserved our summer
beach place with friends all the way back in January. This should be a reality
check for those of us who have not yet planned summer promotions.
Newsflash: Your general manager wants you to
make money from these activities, and your sales manager won’t have a shot at
that unless you clue her in fast about what you’ve got planned.
-Nothing says “beginning of summer” like
Memorial Day. No doubt if you run a music station you’re considering at least
one song or artist countdown that could be sponsored. Many bars and restaurants
celebrate the sun by opening their outdoor areas over this particular weekend.
one of these locales to be a remote broadcast, or at least a cut-in from what
becomes your patio party. For example, any excuse will do to show off the
latest line of swimsuits. You might hold a tastefully done Sunday brunch in the
center court at the mall, thus picking up three clients in one fell swoop: The
store that sells the swimsuits, the mall and a restaurant in the food court that
offers a pre-fixe menu or discounts (mention all three in promos).
-“Daddy, I bought you a tie!” Father’s Day in
June pulls at the heartstrings and gives you another opportunity to get in
front of fans and tug at the purse strings of some clients who need your help pulling
in a crowd.
dad’s big day, run a Facebook photo contest searching for your city’s ugliest
tie. (This is a good co-promotion with a local TV station’s morning news
program.) Have the finalists wear their ties to a show being broadcast on TV
and let people vote via Web or hold an event at a store or restaurant. The
winner of the ugliest tie contest gets a designer tie, suit, shoes; the whole
An old favorite is “The Father’s Day 500,” in
which you have fathers race their lawnmowers. You’ll need quite a bit of space,
a starting pistol, a linesman and some cool handyman prizes from your hardware
store or stores that sell lawn care equipment.
-There’s something for every radio station in
America for Independence Day. From patriotism to commercialism, the choices are
almost as endless as your creativity. I love parades, and a radio mentor of
mine once said, “If you can’t create a parade, at least get in front of
one!”If you do nothing else for the
Fourth of July, your personalities can at least connect with fans by being on a
float with a local club, and helping with public address announcements (if any
Or do call-ins with some colorful commentary
from either from people watching the event, or from someone from your staff, on-air.
Remember that we still have troops all over the globe, certainly from your
hometown, and if you start now you can get at least a few dozen shout-outs from
them to your town — or from your town to them. Yes, these greetings and your
parade coverage could be tastefully sponsored.
-The dog days of August are great, because you
can pick any days you want in that month to celebrate. Because you’re making this
up as you go along, have fun for a week or two, or the whole month. Best “Bark
of The Week,” wins a month’s worth of dog food, brought to you by Pet Giant,
say. Play these barks on-air, put the sound files on your website, and let
You could have listeners submit videos for “Best
Dog Trick of The Week” to win a special treat of ice cream for the entire
neighborhood. Give away hot dogs every day for a week at your local minor
league team’s place for anyone who brings a picture of their dog. Or, as
McGruff says, “Take a Bite Out Of Crime” by featuring photos and stories of
local police dogs and their accomplishments.
-When summer wraps up on Labor Day, award a
down payment on a kid’s college savings plan from a local bank, for the couple
who gives birth first at 12:01 a.m. on Labor Day. This one requires at least a
few weeks of pre-promotion (if not nine months). If a bank isn’t game, try a
children’s medical practice or a specialty store like Buy Buy Baby.
the Gershwin tune goes, in the summertime, the living is easy. So plan large