Welcome to November and the start of radio’s busy season. Advertising rates will rise as holiday retailers lock in schedules, making media inventory scarce.
So what if you’re not yet ready (or able) to lock in your November/December schedules? What are you options when your boss calls you in on Black Friday and says “We need to be on the air next week?”
Stay calm. You have options. Some will be reasonably-priced while others will carry a premium. Let’s look at your best opportunities.
1.MAKE YOUR INTENTIONS KNOWN TODAY. If it’s likely you’ll be a buyer, but you’re unable to pull the trigger, let your media reps know what’s happening. Flag them to tell you when the inventory’s almost gone. And ask them to quote-and-hold your rates today. It may not happen, but it certainly won’t happen if you don’t ask.
2.LOOK BEYOND SPOTS AND DOTS. Consider program sponsorships. Feature sponsorships. Promotions. Anything that weaves your message into programming.
3.AVOID JINGLE BELLS AND SANTAS. Don’t blend in with the 1,001 fake Santas crowing “Ho Ho Ho” in their radio commercials. Use a St. Patrick’s leprechaun. Or a talking Ground Hog. Or anything that’ll get your ad noticed above the din of Mr. & Mrs. Claus and eight talking reindeer.
4.USE SATELLITE AND STREAMING – While many local markets will run out of inventory promoting local retailers, there should be sufficient national inventory available on SiriusXM or streaming platforms like Pandora. If you’re seeking sales and couldn’t care if the calls come from Seattle or South Beach, national media could be your best bet.
5.CELEBRITY PODCASTS – There’s no better, low-cost, point of entry to celebrity-voiced commercials than the world of podcasting. For instance, who better to pitch a shopping mom than Kathie Lee Gifford on her own podcast? Whatever the demo, whatever the area of interest, there’s a podcast and a media budget available to match your needs.
6.REMNANT – There’ll be less of it available, but somewhere, someone’s got distressed inventory to sell. Leverage all available resources to get the best deals and to be the first one called when an advertiser cancels their schedule.
Sure, there’s a Santa sack full of land mines involved in getting a good deal in November and December. So call or write us if we can help you place your final push in 2014.