In radio, a lot of times we think small when it comes to the things we can share with our audience, so we fall prey to cheaper printable items like pens, and keychains and bumper or window stickers and when those get low, we re-order, but by doing so, have we fallen into a trap of ineffectiveness or are we truly doing the best to buy the right items to most effectively market our ministry?
Even if we thought strategically, we could potentially come away with and believe that personalized lip balm would be a smart buy for our ministries, because it targets females, and for the most part, lip balm is needed year round in extreme warmth and sunshine and in colder times too.
And for a base product, I do think it’s one of the best products you could put your logo on, as its personal, and the end user will keep that with them for a long time, weeks, months, even perhaps years, or until they accidentally keep it in their pocket and let it go through the wash and dry cycle. But even with lip balm, buying the base product will end up in the garbage, because your listener expects it to be like Burt’s Bees, or Chap Stick or better and when it’s like candle wax, they would rather spend a dollar and seventeen cents and buy one that is worthy. So, if you are getting the lip balm, pay the extra for the good stuff. It’s still a product that comes in under a dollar.
But, we’re a ministry and so far, we haven’t thought like a ministry with our giveaways, instead we’re thinking the same way our industry thought in the 60’s and 70’s, pens and stickers and some shirts.
MARCONI INVENTED RADIO; THEN THE RADIO T-SHIRT
I believe in stickers, and I believe in shirts, but your sticker stops are good for meeting the six listeners who stopped by to say hi, and picked up the window sticker, and meeting the listener is important, but of the six who came by, it is likely that the amount of them that actually took your sticker and applied it to your window is a whopping zero.
People love what you do. They love God even more, but putting your sticker on their car doesn’t get them to heaven; that has already been taken care of, so your sticker becomes a toy for their three year old to stick on a bag or a box, and even more likely, ends up in the local landfill, making old Native American men on horses cry.
And for t-shirts, you take your logo and make it as big as you can and put it on a Gildan 50/50 or 100% cotton shirt and you’re just certain when you give them away, you’ll start seeing them on people as you’re shopping at the local grocer, but years of t-shirt giveaways and so far, the only time you’ve seen yours being worn is on the day you gave it away, or by a staff member.
Shirts are personal too, and your audience would love to wear your shirt but you made it for YOU and not for them, and they don’t want to wear your logo across their chest, but had you designed a GREAT shirt, with a creative word and/or design, including your logo, but small and non-conspicuous, she may have given it a go. But she doesn’t like the boxy 50/50 shirt, she likes that soft cotton, like the ones Centricity sends out for Christmas, soft enough to wrap your new baby girl in when you bring her home from the hospital.
MAKE A T-SHIRT BIG ENOUGH TO FIT OVER AN ENTIRE CAR
Now, here’s an idea. If you want to see stickers on cars in your town, then merge the last two ideas. INVEST in this process of designing a NICE shirt that they would wear, and then hold an event where you would have done your sticker stop, but bring 100 shirts in a variety of sizes, and get your entire staff to come out, and let your audience know for the next two hours we are HERE, and IF YOU LET US put a sticker on your car, we’ll give you a shirt for everyone in your car. You can limit that to four.
So Becky shows up with her two kids, and you meet her get the three shirts ready and with her entire family you walk them back to her minivan, ask her where she’d like the sticker, and with a wet rag you will clean that place on the window, bumper, or wherever, and then you will apply the sticker. From there, you will hand her kids a shirt and her a shirt, and then you will ask them if they have any prayer needs, and they may say no, and then you can still say a quick blessing over their family, and then be on your way back to your table to meet the next family.
Becky will leave and forever they will remember when your morning show, or your afternoon show, or your mentoring staff took the time to walk with them, talk with them and pray with them, and their kids will wear their shirts when they sleep, but one day, Becky may surprise you and go shopping in her new wardrobe, but if that never happens, and even with a soft shirt and creative design there are no certainties, but this is guaranteed, you will start to notice more than you ever have your own logo on cars all over town.
100 shirts on this day, 100 shirts on another day, wash, rinse, repeat, and before you know it, people will want your sticker to put on by themselves to be a part of this new club they see others proudly being a part of, maybe…hopefully; fingers crossed.
LIFE EVENTS LEAVE OPPORTUNITIES FOR MINISTRY
There are many great moments in the lives of our listeners, but none greater than a new life in Jesus, when someone gives their life to Him, and then begins making our radio station an integral part of their daily walk. For them, the new believer, we could have ready-made, a leather bound bible, with our logo embossed on it. As a ministry we could have a yearly goal of how many new lives we honor with our bibles, and whatever that number is, is how many we order, and then the next year, we order more.
Another life event for our listeners that we could be ready for, is the announcement of a baby on the way. The exterminator that we use, Moxie, called to do the quarterly spraying and I canceled the visit because my wife is pregnant and we didn’t want to chance the chemicals injuring our burgeoning child, so unexpectedly, in the mail we got a onesie from the company with a note that said, “we heard about your upcoming addition to your family.”
If the bug company can express their joy over the new addition of someone else’s family, how much more could a radio station that stands for LIFE itself?
And lastly, here’s a ministry you can have called SAVE IT FOR A RAINY DAY, which would be used a ton in the Northwest, but would fly anywhere, even in Southern California where it seldom rains.
Umbrellas, yes, with your logo on them. When the rains come your staff goes out in the vans, looking for people braving the elements without umbrellas at the post office, grocery store, wherever, and your job is to give them one, and help them get those groceries to their car while you’re at it. Spend a little money, get a good umbrella, otherwise, after one windy rain, they will end up in the same landfill as your stickers.
And, oh yeah, the bibles, onesies and umbrellas…don’t make mention to those on air…just let it be a real ministry, where you bless someone who you meet, who meets that need at that time, and watch God bless the work of your hands with excited long term listeners, and new members to the club called ‘Heaven bound’. He most certainly will.
For help with promotional item ideas, call Christian-owned Advertising Authorities at 864-220-0000. Ask for Hal Rice or go to www.advertisingauthorities.com
Since 1991, Rob Wagman has been known first by his faith, and then by his skills in the secular side of this Industry, and now is known by his versatility, having succeeded in both radio and records in multiple formats from Christian Contemporary, Rock, Alternative, Top 40, Rhythm, Urban and Hot AC, in various roles from On Air to Programming to Marketing and Promotions.
Wagman has worked in all of the Top 3 markets, LA, NYC and Chicago, and returned to LA in 2012 as his entry way into CCM, in PM Drive at KFSH, 95.9 The Fish before becoming the Network PD for WAY-FM.
In 2013, Wagman launched Straight Path Media + Entertainment, a consulting firm which hyper focuses on talent and each station’s greatest need for growth, supplying a la cart programming services for branding, from music strategies, promotional and marketing think tank brain storming, promo and imaging creative, talent coaching and airchecking. Wagman presently coaches 27 air talents, consults 13 stations plus 4 clusters.
Contact Rob Wagman at StraightPathMandE@gmail.com