Welcome to part two of ‘How To Get Free Radio Advertising’. In part one we investigate how to get in touch with the radio station manager and how to broach the subject of acquiring free on-air radio advertising. If you have not yet read it, please look for ‘How To Get Free Radio Advertising – part 1’ on this site.
Doing it this way makes saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ very easy for the manager, because his only decisions are whether he trusts you and whether he can fit you in or not. If the manager agrees to give your suggestion his consideration, put all your material in a package with a covering letter reiterating what you said on the phone, a photo of or a free copy of your product and your advertising copy.
Send it off or deliver it immediately. Include a stamped, self addressed envelope, if you want a written reply or your material returned.
If your proposal is rejected, send him a ‘thank you, perhaps next time’ note and move on to the next name. If you are rejected frequently, perhaps you ought to sweeten your offer a little by raising their percentage of the cut or increasing the price of the product. You will have to do some research there too, if you do not get it right first time.
Doing business such as this is traditionally done using the phone and the postal service, because radio managers are usually hard-pressed for time. However, it would be feasible to do all this over the Internet, except sending samples, naturally, if the manager is comfortable using the Internet.
It always surprises me how many people there are out there in business who do not use the Internet very often because they do not understand much about it.
You could propose using the Internet for sending your material over but do not be pushy about it, because the manager might be a little embarrassed to admit that he cannot use the Internet. It could also be faxed over, but faxes often come out looking shabby and that might damage your chances. If in doubt, just post it.
If you get a green light to your application, be ready to act quickly, so always have your stuff bundled up and ready to go. Never give them time to forget who you are or ‘go off the boil’.
You will have to have written your commercials first, but how long should they be? This is a tricky one, so ask the manager in your initial discussion, whether they have an advertising policy or preference for the length of slots.
It could be thirty seconds a slot or sixty seconds (a double slot). As soon as you know, you can write your ads: two different adverts for each length of slot.
If you want to be totally pre-prepared, you could write two fifteen second, two thirty second and two sixty second ads before you even ring anyone. And do not forget to read them back out loud several times to check them for length. Try getting a few friends to read them back to you as well.
The radio station will require you to sign a contract and you should have a simple contract drawn up too showing your payment policy, returns policy, dispatch policy, et cetera, et cetera.
In summary, your P.I. Advertising Package should contain the following: 1. a cover letter 2. a sample or product literature 3. two thirty second and two sixty second adverts 4. your P.I. advertising contract 5. a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
In conclusion, I want to offer a couple of bits of advice. Whilst you are writing your commercials, try to incorporate a catchphrase of some sort so that you can use it in your off-air advertising to remind people that your product has been advertised on-air. Spend a lot of time composing your advert: radio station managers are busy, professional people and they cannot afford to waste valuable air time on non-earners.
If your product sells and makes money for them, you will be welcome back, otherwise you will be ignored. Put a few ads in the paper and fliers through the doors to pre-warm people to your up-and-coming radio advertising campaign.