Many Happy Returns: Program Promotion

In another section of the MEGS sm Toolkit, we outline ways to build your station's listener loyalty through more effective AQH Maintenance. The focus of that strategy is to encourage listeners to stay tuned for the at least the next 15 minutes of the program.

Our focus here is on same day program promotion or vertical skip promotion as it is also called. This type of promotion encourages listening later in the same day and often in a different daypart. Here are some basic guidelines, tips and audio examples.

PRIORITIES FOR PROMOTION:

When it comes to program/vertical skip promotion in Morning Edition®, two shows are more important than others and should each - at the minimum - be promoted during the 7am. Those shows are:

  1. All Things Considered, and
  2. The program that will air immediately after Morning Edition.

WHY PROMOTE ALL THINGS CONSIDERED?

There are two key reasons to promote All Things Considered: Appeal and Availability.

  1. ATC is similar in appeal to Morning Edition and meets many of the same listener needs.
  2. While some Morning Edition® listeners may not have the opportunity to listen to radio later in the morning and throughout the afternoon, most are available to listen to at least part of the time All Things Considered is aired.

Here are two examples of how ATC can be promoted in Morning Edition

  • Example 1: Short promo recorded by the station's ATC host about that afternoon's show.
  • Example 2: Standard:19 after promo fed by NPR and tagged live by the local ME host

WHY PROMOTE THE SHOW THAT FOLLOWS MORNING EDITION?

You promote that program - whatever it is - because it encourages audience flow and sets the stage for successful midday listening.

Here are two examples of promoting the program that follows Morning Edition®

  • Example 1: Classical Music: Station classical music host promoting what will be on during the 9am hour.
  • Example 2: News/Talk: Station Morning Edition® host promoting the talk show that will be on at 9am.

TWO OTHER SUGGESTIONS FOR STRENGTHENING YOUR PROMOTION STRATEGY:

  • Find the right balance between forward (AQH maintenance) promotion and station program (vertical skip) promotion. In other words, don't run six forward promos each hour at the expense of not promoting anything else on the station - or vice versa.
  • Not every station program promo needs to be 30 seconds or more. When time is tight a carefully crafted ten or fifteen second promo can be equally effective.
  • Remember that the least effective kind of promotion is diagonal promotion - the kind that promotes programs on different days and different times.