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  • Writer's pictureDrake Donovan


Tracy Johnson published a great article based on research done by NuVoodoo that a majority of radio listeners are doubtful that contesting is legit because of a lack of transparency.

You can read his thoughts on the study and the original blog by Leigh Jacobs at NuVoodoo here:

Tracy Johnson Media

Leigh Jacobs of NuVoodoo

The problem seems that we as radio people fail to follow up. (Just ask any job applicant how many PDs let them know they DIDN'T get the gig!) We tease contests and prizes leading up to the actual contesting period, but rarely put equal effort into promoting the results on the back end. I was fortunate to have worked with a programmer who insisted that we always "take credit for our good works" and make sure that winner promos were ready with reaction audio. I learned that post-promotion was just as important as pre-promotion. But running promos is only one action to take in proving the transparency of your contesting.

Since I study a lot of video work by radio stations it seems that this is a perfect application for a short video, especially for the myriad of "text-to-win" and "enter online" contests that radio does today. Doing the grand prize drawing via Facebook live is a way to use video and social media. Promoting it can help drive traffic to your Facebook page and afterward, the winner can then share that video and tout to their circles that they are the grand prize winner of the Kenny Chesney signed guitar or whatever it was you were giving away.

Heck, even just tagging winners on social media or taking the time to do a brief shout out can go a long way to increasing the engagement to show that our contesting is on the up and up. Because that's what it really comes down to, engagement...answering the phones, liking, commenting, retweeting, favoriting. Show the audience that real people are behind the disembodied voices they hear and floating heads they see in profile pictures.

You could even great a graphic or gif that can live on your website or as the banner for your Facebook or Twitter page for a week showing a photo of the winner (and of course tagging them so they can share it!).

One of the items in Tracy Johnson’s article was that radio should consider delivering prizes instead of making people come to the station. This is another great opportunity to get video, audio and photos of an excited winner.

I remember as an intern at B94 in Pittsburgh, getting to take the “B-Van” home to my neighborhood while on a station errand run. It was an awesome site to see that van in front of the house that I grew up in listening to that station as a kid. And I worked there! Now imagine the optics of taking your station vehicle to a listener’s home and creating a “Publishers Clearing House” moment for them!

The takeaway is that radio needs to be more proactive in proving to our audience that what we do is legit. It's also a way to show that the experience of radio is something that can't be had by listening to Pandora or other pure play platforms.

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