Forums » New Strategies for the 2nd Half of 2020

How do we share the station's COVID-19 struggles with listeners?

    • 1367 posts
    July 26, 2020 12:46 AM PDT

    From Thom Moore: We are in a rural market...our Country station has been on since 1949...we ARE a small business....is there a way to let our community of listeners know that we are struggling just like them during Covid and that we NEED advertisers to keep us on the air without sounding self-serving? Some perceive a radio station as "above" the daily financial struggles of other small businesses because radio is media/celebrity,etc...we do a lot of community projects and offer many gratis opportunities to keep our listeners informed during this time and update them on ways to get extra help, etc.....what can we share with our listeners about our struggles and concerns OR should we not do so?  

    • 102 posts
    August 7, 2020 2:21 PM PDT

    Rural markets are so different from bigger markets, so my opinion is based on working for a heritage small town station selling advertising. I believe a rural station has a more personal relationship with it's community and primary service area.

    I think it is fine to gingerly approach the subject. I have no issue telling my clients our sales are off because of Covid-19. After all they share their position with me. I don't push them to buy nor try to guilt them. I simply say if they can allocate some of their budget for radio we'd appreciate it as always, but even more so now. I also back that up with 'how can I help you?'. I tell them our continued success comes by work for your continued success.

    From the standpoint of telling the audience, I would craft a message around asking listeners to support the businesses they hear on our station and that it is more important now more than ever to shop with the local merchant. I'd point out they are your neighbors and friends who could use your patronage. Local businesses mean jobs, I'd point out local purchases mean the county and town get more tax revenue and more comes in from sales tax to maintain and continue to improve the local quality of life. This is the time to unite as a community and give one another a helping hand. You might even say 'we here at your hometown radio station(s) is so tied to the community that when local businesses do poorly, we do as well.