Forums » COVID-19 Round Table

Friday Poll: Coronavirus Advertising Impact?

    • 3 posts
    March 12, 2020 8:11 AM PDT

    Have any markets seen effects on their station's advertisers yet? Are there category opportunities? Changes in cancellation policies? Additional value-added proposals?

    • 1333 posts
    March 13, 2020 10:23 AM PDT

    Great questions, Jonas! We're planning to make this next week's poll question and will include it in the newsletter.

    • 96 posts
    March 18, 2020 3:10 PM PDT

    We have seen a big impact on advertising here in North Texas. Our small market station relies on a combination of regular advertisers, event advertising and high school sports. Like many areas, high school spots has ceased. Events planned have been cancelled. Like the rest of the retailers, local radio is taking it on the chin.

    To help make up for lost billing, I am focusing on businesses that go on pretty much unaffected by the corona virus. I have pushed restaurants that have carry out and drive thru windows to advertise now. Like other places, home/business delivery by a third party is available.  I have encouraged 24/7 convenience stores to advertise they are open to take care of your needs 24/7. A pharmacy is advertising their drive thru window, curb service, delivery and even mail delivery. 

    The way I see it, a two-prong approach is focusing on businesses that are unaffected and those consumer driven businesses that offer various options to serve customers with minimal person-to-person impact. An emphasis is on easing the stress on families where parents are working and the kids are home. 

    I am encouraging locally owned businesses especially to advertise how they can assist their hometown. I believe this can be a long-lasting positive impact on buying decisions for businesses that provide an ease of doing business with the general public. I am pushing helping local businesses to keep them going through these tough times. I say it's neighbors helping neighbors.

    There is one thing I think we need to communicate: because we have no immunity to the corona virus, if we can limit contact, we can limit the number who get sick at one time. Only by controlling the transmission of the virus can we not overwhelm distribution systems and the medical system. It assures availability of supplies we need and allows those who need medical care to get the quality care they need. For most, it will just be a nasty version of the flu. The 'talk' I'm hearing is one of underlying panic assuming everyone may need a hospital stay to survive. 

    I am telling my clients, "How can I help you" My thinking is if we need to just help without the dollars right now, I think there will be some loyalty when things normalize. I just think that's good business.

    As an update: restaurants and bars in Texas are shut down. I have a short list of restaurants that are known more for their dine in than pick up option. I am suggesting these places advertise in an effort to keep their staff. Workers might be a dime a dozen but a reliable trained good worker is a gem. 


    This post was edited by Bill Turner at March 20, 2020 7:37 AM PDT
    • 1098 posts
    March 20, 2020 6:44 PM PDT

    Minimal cancelations. We're emphasizing the importance of changing copy to reflect the new environment we're sharing, but also of remaining present with listeners during the crisis.

    For example, having lost both college and high school sports (baseball) for the rest of March through May, we've been encouraging sports sponsors, rather than take the last two months' worth of billing as a credit, to keep the billing on the books and accept an alternate (and generous) spot schedule in lieu of the sports broadcasts. So far, all my clients have agreed to this without hesitation.

    I did have a new dentist client put his schedule on hiatus (he's working through an intermediary marketing firm) - I shared my response to his original email in another post in this forum.

    The messages we put on our own airwaves in response to the quarantines and shutdowns can have a big effect on the economic climate in our communities. We can foster encouragement, determination, and innovative solutions to present problems -- or we can stay silent and let the doom and gloom overwhelm us. i vote for the former! How about you?

    This post was edited by Rod Schwartz at March 20, 2020 6:51 PM PDT