Forums » The Round Table: Brainstorming & Problem-solving

Approaching radio stations with giveaway idea

    • 3 posts
    June 10, 2014 11:00 AM PDT

    I’ve seen some discussions here about promotion managers looking for contest giveaway ideas. I’m coming from the other side: I have a product that I would like a radio station to use as a giveaway, but I am having difficulty finding a station that wants to carry it. It is a digital product, so I am not bound by local exposure. It does take some time to generate the personalized product, so I can’t give it away for free all over the place. Which means that in order for it to make business sense to give it away, I need a radio station in a large enough city that I will get new sales as a result of the giveaway exposure.

    And that’s the problem: when I contact big city radio stations, I either get no response at all (95% of the time), or I am referred to corporate (which is usually Clear Channel). It seems big city station managers do not have the authority to make the decision to give this product away, which I find surprising. And Clear Channel is only interested in giveaways if I buy advertising packages, which I simply can’t afford.

    So my question is: can a micro-sized business with a cool (in my humble opinion) little product break into the big-audience radio contest giveaway concept? And if so, how does one approach the promotion managers to get their attention?

    Or I guess, taking a step back, is this a deal that a large radio station would find beneficial, or am I misjudging the business case from the radio station’s perspective?


    Product background:

    It is a digital 30+ page report about fun and historical facts (#1 songs/movies/books, historical events, births, financial & astrological info, etc) about a person’s day of birth, or a couple’s wedding day (as an anniversary gift). They sell for $15. So it seems to me like a good fit for something like a morning show “call-in for you or your friend’s birthday and win a birthday report” type of promotion.


    Thanks in advance for your thoughts & opinions!


    • 36 posts
    June 13, 2014 8:19 AM PDT


    Respectfully, if you're not a client of these radio stations you're approaching, it's a challenge to ask for promotional time.  Most of the time, at least here, we have enough or more than enough to giveaway on the air working with our loyal clients while still creating the show we want.  Also, just so you know, on our stations (and we're a small market) we very rarely give away any prize valued under $30.  I don't want to sound like "it's all about the money", but at least here, by the time we honor our clients and work hard to support the community and its events and non-profits, there isn't time left to give to for-profit businesses for free.

    Good luck!

    • 3 posts
    June 13, 2014 9:29 AM PDT


    Thank you very much for the feedback. Though it isn't the answer I hoped for, it is indeed what I need to know. It sounds like I have to find another way to promote this product, radio giveaways are not likely to work for me.



    • 6 posts
    September 20, 2014 3:57 PM PDT
    You problem isn't radio. Instead of printing a thirty page "report," create a story and market that. Google can find me a miuntain's worth of line-item facts about any random day in history. But compile a few of those into a story - add value and curate something - and a) you can charge more than $15 for it. And b) radio,stations will be lining up to partner with you.
    • 3 posts
    September 22, 2014 8:16 PM PDT

    Thanks for your reply Dan, an interesting twist in the idea. Can you please elaborate further on what you mean by creating a "story"?