And The Winner Is…

And The Winner Is…

Familiar scenario: Your morning team comes to you asking for more prizes to execute their on-air contests and games.  They say it’s the only way to generate callers to participate on air.  This type of reasoning is common among today’s morning shows.


What’s another option – if you don’t have cash or prizes?


On social media many of your friends may share the results they get when they answer a quiz of their knowledge on a variety of topics.  They even challenge their friends to beat their score. We now hear that listeners like to hear their name and the names of their friends, co-workers and family on the air, according to a recent NuVooDoo study.  For years, Who’s Who has released a directory of names where the people listed would buy the directory.


One advantage of radio is that the station offers its listeners stardom – the ability to give them notoriety.  Make the listeners stars, and they will love you forever.  It’s true that you don’t have to award a prize to get participation.  Your station offers a platform where listeners can garner recognition – “bragging rights” among their friends.   You have a powerful vehicle in securing “brand ambassadors” who can market your radio station to their network of friends and co-workers simply by saying their name on the air.


Here are seven ideas for securing more brand ambassadors using this name recognition power:


  1. Salute contest winners.  Congratulate them on-the-air not only after they won, but also in other dayparts.  Post their name on the station website.
  2. Recruit listeners to provide feedback on traffic, news, weather, good deeds in the community, reviews of concerts, reviews of movies, etc.  Credit them on the air.
  3. Listeners who have personality or are great storytellers may be used as morning show contributors.   Your morning show could make them a recurring character on the show if they possess the talent.
  4. Recruit listeners to be on your “Listener Advisory Panel.”  List member names on your station website.  Credit individual members if they offer an idea you use.
  5. Utilize the station’s social media in recognizing listeners as well.
  6. Establish a database of listener birthdays, find out when they listen and when their birthday occurs.  Have your air talent give them a “shout out” during the time they listen.
  7. Establish a “Good Deed” program where listeners nominate friends for a monthly, quarterly, or annual award by the station.  Programs honoring community leaders, educators and charity organization leaders have been very successful.


So when the morning team asks for prizes, tell them the real “prize” is being on the air with them on their show.