Career Capsule: Crystal has been learning about radio from a young age, with her father having been in radio since he was a teenager. She started listening to Christian music early on (on cassette since there was no Christian radio in Canada yet) and has fond memories of early Geoff Moore, Steven Curtis Chapman and dc Talk. Crystal took Advertising and Marketing at college and worked in marketing for a restaurant and an electronics company before joining the “family business” and taking a full time job as the Promotions Manager at LIFE 100.3, Christian Radio in Barrie, Ontario, Canada in 2016. She has been married to AJ (a former DJ at LIFE 100.3) for 12 years and they have two children: Kyler (7) and Dallas (3).
Crystal, tell us what’s new at LIFE 100.3, new with you etc… ?
This is a big year for us as 2019 marks LIFE 100.3’s 20th Anniversary! We’re celebrating with a big party/concert on August 17 with 7eventh Time Down and bringing back former staff from the last two decades. We also just wrapped up our 2-day Sharathon fundraiser at the end of March, which brings in about 1/3 of our budget for the year. We reached 96% of our monthly goal and 98% of our One-Time goal which is amazing, but we also got to hear so many amazing stories from listeners about the life change God has brought about because of Christian radio. It’s always a really encouraging couple days that reminds us why we do what we do.
What are the 3 main ingredients to make a promotion successful?
First, I would say planning. You can’t just throw together a great promotion, you need to have a vision and then work that through all the details. Second, don’t complicate it. If listeners have to work too hard, you’ll only get a fraction of the participation. That doesn’t mean every contest should be a “caller 7 to win,” you can create really fun but simple promotions. Finally, have your team on board. Make sure the announcers understand the contest or event and can communicate it clearly and enthusiastically to the listeners.
What is the best promotion advice you’ve been given? The worst?
The best came from a long time Canadian Christian artist, passed on through our Station Manager. He said “make it easy for people to get on board by removing all the obstacles.” I think this can apply to any position, but for promotions, that means finding out why you’re getting a “no” and figuring out how to turn it into a “yes.” For example, we were planning a youth concert and having trouble getting youth groups on board. We figured out that it was too much work for the youth pastors to organize and promote it. Our morning show guy, Steve, had a great idea to create a package for them that included posters, handouts and free tickets for youth leaders when they bring their students. And more youth groups showed up.
The worst advice: concerts are a great fundraiser. They are not. At least not in Canada. But we produce several concerts a year anyway, because bringing Christian music to our audience is part of our vision, especially creating fun faith-based events for youth.
Regarding your career, what are you most proud of?
I’m proud that I have been able find a career where I can use my talents for ministry. I certainly believe that you can be a light in secular job, and have tried to do that in the past, but to have a job where I can plan events, which I love, and promote Jesus is a really cool honour.
What is the one thing YOU must have to do your job every day?
My to do list. It’s typed and updated every week and by the end of the week it’s covered in notes and scratches. It keeps me on track and allows me to focus on a task without having all my other goals on my mind.
In your opinion what makes the ideal station promotion?
Anything that gets people talking. We always want to generate buzz about any contest or event, for people to tell their friends and be excited.
Regarding social networking and promotion, what have you had the most success with?
I love Facebook events. It’s such a simple thing to create, but it’s gets great reach. When someone says their interested or going to your event, it posts to their wall and tells their friends. You can add the venue or sponsor to the listing and reach anyone who is following those pages as well.
How do you measure the success of a great promotion?
Ultimately, we want people to tune in to the radio to hear songs and teaching programs that point to Jesus, or to come to events that point to Jesus. That’s hard to immediately measure, so we also measure based on participation and buzz generated. Last year we did a Scavenger Hunt contest that had people collecting items and bringing them to the final Tally Party to win the grand prize. One item was a Blockbuster uniform – people ended up finding them at a store in Alaska. Another item was the business card of a former DJ – people contacted nearly every former staff member looking for this card and even found the DJ himself and brought baked goods to trade for the card. The buzz was even more than we anticipated and it was definitely a successful (and fun!) promotion.