Not A Nielsen Subscriber ... There Are Ways...
January 19, 2016
In our business if it's not #1, it's another ... ratings, budgets, financial projections, payroll, the stock market, or even the number of commercials aired. I can promise you there are always a number of things that could affect the radio world around us.
I took a call from a personality/PD who works in a medium market for a station that does not buy Nielsen and obviously can't use the ratings to sell advertising.
Jock: I have the title of PD, but this is a real small company that has a shoestring budget. I don't have a ton of experience, but sometimes people around here measure how good we are doing by request line calls and pages hits on our Facebook page. Sam, we can't keep a salesperson because this place is hard to sell.
Coach: Without telling me how you know, how well is your station doing in the ratings?
Jock: I have heard we are in the top 10.
Coach: How many minutes or units an hour do you run?
Jock: The max is 15 minutes an hour and we are never even near that. Sometimes we barely make payroll. If nothing else, the company is real honest about our circumstances.
Coach: Does management send salespeople to seminars or belong to the RAB?
Jock: If the seminar is local, yes. With the exception of the Chamber of Commerce or the local Rotary Club, we don't belong to any outside organizations. It's rough, Sam ... how can this place make some money? Our GM is asking all of the staff for suggestions.
Coach: I am not an expert salesperson, but I can tell you some of things non-Nielsen subscribers have done. I remember going to a convention and listening to a guy talk about a non-subscribing station back in the early '90s that put together a 24-page booklet. I think it was called "Our Ratings." The brochure was divided into sections and included station profile, a coverage map (a list of neighborhoods and communities), and quotes from people about the station. They got statements from media people, educators, military leaders, politicians, policeman, business leaders, fireman, artists and entertainers. The station stayed away from comments in certain situations, like charities they had raised money for. The brochure gave a brief description of programming and the rates. The whole idea was to show off how connected the station is to the community.
Jock: Wow, that's cool, how many quotes did they use?
Coach: Not sure, but I would suggest at least 100 and keep the number of words to something people would read. These days not only should you do a pamphlet, but also, add a page to the station's website based on the pamphlet. You can use it with advertisers and agencies. By the way, if you get some of the quotes in person or by phone, record them for promos to use on the air t,oo.
Jock: What about the cost factor?
Coach: These days you can do quality brochures with programs like Photoshop. I am sure you have folks at your station who have Photoshop or know someone who does.
Jock: I know our sales assistant puts together presentations with it
Coach: There you go, so get busy and get with your GM.
Jock: This is cool, I think an idea like this will help us with sales and give us some other ideas how to sell without having access to Nielsen numbers.
I know you've heard it before, but there are never any problems ... occasionally just some barriers to get around. A friend recently said to me, "If you can fix sh#t, you can solve problems and make money."