Summer Is Perfect for Crowd-Pleasing Promotions

Warm weather offers opportunities for radio to get front and center in the community

With warm weather finally hitting most of the USA, it’s time to get your radio station brand and personalities outdoors and in front of people.

Let’s spark your thinking with a few proven promotions that are not only crowd pleasers but often attract outside media coverage as well.

Get out your sunscreen and get in the mood by reading this article outside.

WITH THIS BROADCAST, I THEE WED

Everyone loves a wedding! I’ve had the good fortune of marrying a number of couples on the air, and in front of crowds of people on a few occasions, each time coming away feeling as if the station had scored a major win.

A prime example is what Radio 104.5 in Philadelphia is doing this June. The alternative station, owned by iHeartMedia, is planning a really cool wedding ceremony for one lucky couple at the station’s 10th annual birthday celebration at BB&T Pavilion.

To enter, couples are being asked to create and post a video on YouTube, expressing why they want to get married on stage during the festival featuring The Killers, Bleachers, Foster The People, Kaleo, Marian Hill and Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.

A panel of judges will post final contender submissions on radio1045.com. Next, listeners will vote on the final winning couple. While on the website, listeners can also register to win tickets to the show. At the festival, DJ Mike Jones will officiate and the bride and groom will have their first dance while being serenaded by Andrew McMahon.

The icing on the wedding cake is that the new mister and missus will receive an all-inclusive honeymoon at the five-star Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Jamaica.

Kudos to Radio 104.5 for dreaming up such a great vehicle to get in front of a huge crowd outside!

And think of the other boxes they’ve checked off: exposure on YouTube; station website traffic; database collection with contest entries; potential media coverage; and the many photos and videos that will be shared on social media from the actual event. To top it all off, the event has many sponsors.

SUMMER HOLIDAYS, BIG AND SMALL

While it’s too late to plan something for Mother’s Day activities this year, built-in crowds will be attending events in your community during Memorial Day, Father’s Day and the Fourth of July.

If you don’t have the time or staff to plan your own thing, there are certainly local community events that will welcome your offer of on-air promotion, help hosting the stage and possibly even bringing in shared revenue from sponsors.

If you have to pick one, July Fourth is the most universally celebrated event over the U.S. summer and leaves a lasting impression on so many Americans that it is a natural fit for any format. At the very least, enter a float or a station van/truck into a parade.

If you have any energy left over from Independence Day, July 5 is National Bikini Day. This is a natural for any beach community; numerous sponsors who specialize in being near the ocean will no doubt want to participate by showing off their products and services. Swimwear fashion shows (staged on the beach, of course) are always a hit. Include surfing demonstrations, show off new jet skis and boats, and you’ll attract a crowd every time.

Want to capture that small-town feeling? National Watermelon Day is Aug. 3. From eating contests to spitting seeds to growing the biggest watermelons, the fruit that’s 92 percent water is 100 percent fun.

Need more time to plan? There’s no excuse for missing out on Labor Day action. It’s the last big blowout of summer, and people are looking for excuses to join in large outdoor group activities.

Are you hesitant to participate in outdoor activities because most of your talent voice-track the station from somewhere else? Don’t be. For a reasonable talent fee, most talent I know will gladly come to the city they rarely see, because they feel a strong connection with the community. A friend of mine who voice-tracks a lot even has an answer ready for locals when they ask him where he lives. He responds, “Near the airport!”

Get outside and go local!

Find more Mark Lapidus at www.radioworld.com under the Columns & Views tab.



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