In today’s radio landscape getting marketing dollars to increase your cume is a major challenge. I think it’s ironic that most radio companies put added pressure on the sales staff to get more advertising money from clients, yet marketing money to promote the station is always one of the first lines cut.
I’ll assume you don’t have any marketing money and have been tasked with increasing cume. One of the easiest ways to do this is to be proud of your station. Wear your colors everywhere. I remember a few years ago at CRS someone was giving Tony Thomas from KMPS/Seattle a hard time about Tony always wearing station shirts. Without missing a beat, Tony replied “how can I expect listeners to be proud of my station, if I’m not proud enough to wear the logo.” Nicely said. Be proud of your station.
I’ve always had a rule at any station I’ve programmed. I call it the “Twenty-Five Logo Rule.” At any remote or appearance, there better be at least twenty-five logos up in highly visible places. The van counts, banners count, staff sporting logos on their shirts count. At one remote in Buffalo we even had logos above the urinals in the men’s room. It was perfect placement for a rock station. Be proud of your station.
Pay attention to the details. Park the station van in the most visible spot possible. It’s amazing how many vans I see parked in a regular parking spot nestled nicely between civilian vehicles. During the appearance ask the store manager if you can park somewhere where everyone will see you. Use the van as a billboard. It will benefit you and your client. Oh yeah, make sure the van is always clean and freshly washed. What kind of message does a dirty station vehicle send to potential listeners? Be proud of your station.
Be outgoing and accessible at events. Most of the guys who would hide behind the station van and smoke cigarettes during a remote are no longer in the business, and probably for good reason. Shake hands, look listeners in the eye and be interested in what they are saying. Think like a Politician asking for their vote. When listeners meet you, make sure they walk away thinking of you as their friend. Loyalty is very powerful. Be proud of your station.
Say yes to as many events that require you to emcee as you can. This is a great way to get in front of a lot of people, give back to your community and personally get out and meet current and future listeners. When you are meeting new people be proud of you station.
Finally, always talk about your station with pride. Don’t expect everyone you meet to know about you or your station. When you meet someone who has never listened, invite them to tune in. Personally inviting someone to listen is very powerful. What do you think would move the needle more, a TV commercial talking to the masses (that will most likely not be seen due to a DVR) or the morning personality shaking hands, looking them in the eye and asking them to listen tomorrow? Be passionate about where you work and what you do. Again, like Tony Thomas said, “how can you expect listeners to be proud of your station if you aren’t?”