CPR Promotional Check-Up - Jan 11, 2013
January 11, 2013
Cold Weather Promotions, Contests, Stunts, Bits & Accoutrement
I figured that early January is a better-late-than-never time for sending this out. With the exception of maybe the stations in Florida, LA and Honolulu, most of you can expect a good blizzard or two, or, at the very least, a paralyzing ice storm.
With that said, here ya go and file for a snowy day.
Tube 'casts I took the Paigette's to a ski area near my place that also has a great snow tubing area. It was a sunny, reasonably warm (15) day in February. And there were like 3000 people there. If 3000 people are anywhere so should you. Which I lobbed at KDWB and of their own free-will, no buy attached, Dave, Steve and Lena started going out to a different local ski place every Saturday for a few hours. Hands were shook. Photos were snapped. Call-ins were called. They sounded like a Twin Cities radio station in Winter. You can't beat stations that go out and do the groundwork like this.
Heat & Greet Coordinate with a charity that help seniors and low income families keep their gas on for the Winter. Do a raffle. Buy a ticket and be entered for backstage passes to meet an artist. (Coordinated by the charity)
Chance Of Accumulation Wired in Philly had one of the best web guys in the business. Dude was MacGyver. I ran this past him and he said it would be a snap. And then he got hired away. Heavy snow day? Have snow start building up on the bottom of the screen. Slowly rising until, about once an hour, a hand with a scraper reaches in and clears it off. At the very least, cascading snow flakes would be appropriate.
Snow Patrol Vancouver is surrounded by ski resorts. So they (like any smart station) know where their listeners are. And go there. And like any smart station, they've monetized it. Sample attached.
Mood Music My attitude is that if your entire market is iced inside their homes, then they sure better be listening to you. It goes without saying that there's a whole lot of canoodling going on during these storms. As evidenced by the population explosion nine months later. "The Cabin Fever Mix" would be one way to blow up the format in the evening. "Between The Sheets" could be a post-midnight feature of music. Barry White. Bolero. Even boom chucka chucka wow wow music. We're not telling people to find alternative ways to stay warm...we're just acknowledging that it might be happening.
Who Doesn't Love A Snow Job What is the best prize you could ever offer a listener? Getting them out of their driveway so they can get to work and not get fired. Peak in Boise has done this. WPXY in Rochester has done this. Hook up with a plow service. Run some spots for them or give them an ad on the website. And on the morning after a big blow, go out and plow out listeners driveways. Leave a sign on a stake in the drift that says "I Got Plowed With (Station)".
The 106 Days Of Winter If your competition does this as a summer umbrella, on really wintery days parody all of their imaging and promotions.
School/Business Closings In the 80's my station in Minneapolis prayed for big storms, because we would pull massive numbers. Why? We were the only FM station in town that did closings. You could listen to the octogenarians on 'CCO or hear hit music and still get your info on WLOL. The 21st century version of this is done by stations like KRST in Albuquerque. Sign up for text alerts and all you have to do on an icy morning is roll over in bed, check and then go back to sleep.
Ski Bus I've always drawn a circle around whatever market I was in. Say, 150 miles. And everything within that circle is open to promotions. Casinos. Concert venues. Whitewater rafting. Theme parks. And ski areas. I love busses because you can take lots of winners and the DJ's HAVE to interact with them. Or lock themselves in the bathroom. A lot of stations do these busses as a series. The Zone in Sacramental did one up to Tahoe every Friday afternoon. And they are very very sponsorable.
Bed Races For the umpteenth time, Cities 97 in Minneapolis is arguably the coolest station on the planet. And as a charity fundraiser every Winter, they do Bed Races at Buck Hill. Offices of listeners ride mattresses down a ski slope. Followed by a show in the lodge. It's really just an excuse to hang out with your co-workers, raise funds for a vibing charity, and drink.
HD Books On Tape My kids love books on tape. And on a snowy day in a farm house on the tundra of Minnesota, you can quickly start running out of things to keep them entertained. Which is why it might be good to take one of the channels and use it as a Snow Day resource.
Snowboards To have some for giveaway would make you uber cool. To have a graphic artist logo them, would be even cooler.
Swag Check with the lovely folks at Win Win Radio and see if they can supply you with Chapstick and Kleenex and even hand moisturizer. You'll want stuff to hand out at the slopes. Ditto with a big urn and hot chocolate. Like what stations have done by going around and hitting work zones and seasonal employees with popsicles.
The Station That Gives You Wood I drop several hundred dollars a winter on wood for my stove. If a station was to giveaway a year's supply of firewood, THAT would get my attention.
When You Need To Raise Money FAST The best quick cash hit charity thing I know is when a DJ locks themselves in the studio and plays a really really annoying song over and over until a goal is reached. Channel in Wichita? Got $10,000 in pledges in 90 minutes when they played "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice. And what better time to do it then during a blizzard and for a charity that helps heat homes for low income families.
Press Universal #43 There are certain things that, if you do them, you will get press. On literally my first market visit for Clifton, I went to Jamz in Greensboro...and they got NAILED by a blizzard. 10 inches. It was the apocalypse (by NC standards). So I took all the DJ's who could get out of their houses to a bar, bought them massive amounts of alcohol and since most had never seen snow, did a snowman building competition in the bar parking lot. And it got a photo in the paper. Get a couple of hundreds kids on a snow day, building snowmen? You might get some press.
BYOR You know how, on really really hot days the fire department will open a main and give the kids a shower? Think the opposite. Where is there a good flat surface that you could quickly lay out a perimeter and have the FD flood and turn into a rink? (This is obviously for the Richmond's and Nashville's of the world where there aren't already local rinks)
Snowplow/Zamboni Idol Think "Drivers Ed". Get several of the local drivers and have them drive a course, avoid hitting the mannequin of the child, and finally parallel park. THIS will get you TV.
Pitch A Tent For The Homeless The teens at a church in one of the Minny suburbs do this (under a different name)(sadly) every December. They live in cardboard boxes on the lawn of their church to call attention to the plight of the homeless in this market. Great bit. And something that should have been done a DJ.
A Million Hit youtube Video In "A Christmas Story", Ralphie's mom was terrified of plunging icecycles. Lots of parents are. So...get a child's mannequin, fill its head with red dye, and in slow mo drop a huge 'cycle on it's head. BOOSH. Why? Ostensibly as a safety reminder. But really? Because we can.
Gloovivor Very simple. Build an igloo. Stick four listeners in it. Person who lasts the longest wins a trip someplace warm.