Radio & Not For Profit Organizations

I am particularly fond of radio. I have been passionate about it as long as I can remember and remarkably, it is doing better than Marconi & Rogers thought possible. Entertaining, informative programming and an interactive component has allowed radio to become even bigger than life giving it many ways to reach audiences, on air – on line and on the street.

According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, the radio industry had another year over year increase in revenue with more people listening to radio than ever before.
The continued stellar increases in revenues and users of radios digital sector underscores the fact that the Radio industry is finding additional ways to monetize these streams and that advertisers as well as not for profit organizations, perhaps your charity, are taking advantage of these new platforms to reach our listeners.

The various “parts” of radio provide more opportunities for you and your organization. Coverage could include your event being part of a news item, a passing comment in-between songs, an interview, a formal on air “schedule” with recorded public service announcements and/or perhaps be part of the outlets internet and social media presence in a number of different ways. This begs the question of who is looking after your media strategy?

A great idea is contagious and it can be shared with people in hundreds of different ways. We like it when don’t have to do all of the work. Even better when it’s a unique idea that really targets our audience and perhaps allows us to “own it”, especially if it is an annual event. You are only limited by your imagination so please give some thought to your “big idea” and where it fits best, what kind of attention it could attract and perhaps sponsors that would like to be a part of your organization and/or event.

I heard a clever promotion with our local symphony promoting attendance and fundraising by having their member musicians play “hit” songs on our radio station that listeners had to identify to win tickets to their next performance. We loved it as it was a fun way to bridge different genres of music and perceptions as well as allow the orchestra to reach a new audience. I hear attendance is up. Coincidence?

This is pretty simple stuff. The local church bake sale is not likely going to get the same mass media attention that Ride for Dad, Relay for Life, the Symphony or other significant events will. It doesn’t mean the bake sale isn’t important, it just won’t put you at the front of the line with media and you will have to rely on a more street level approach with posters, tent tops, community bulletin boards, event calendars, your internet site, and social media.

To be heard or seen on line, your organization may want to consider the need to purchase advertising. Most electronic media offer excellent not for profit rates that make promoting your event affordable and guarantee that you will be on the air! Otherwise, while we do our best and help as much as we can, you could be standing in a very long line with other organizations.

Orson Welles was a big fan of radio and used to refer to the “magic” inside that little box!

So, sit down with your team, your media partners and lets make magic!