It is no secret that a radio station will try to monetize as much as it can by turning anything you could possibly imagine into a sponsorship. It is inevitable that something is built to be sold and is not being utilized. Use this to your advantage.
On air sponsorships - News, sports, traffic, weather, studio, temperature: all brought to you by so & so and such & such. Multiply these seemingly endless options to slap a brand on something by several stations operated by the same group and you can almost count on the fact that there is open real estate somewhere. Ask if you can occupy an unsold on air sponsorship and you may get a thank you kiss for the other business that you are doing.
Web sponsorships – Just like on air sponsorships radio stations will try to sell branding rights to their news, weather, sports and countless other pages. With so many options there is likely an open opportunity for you. Remember to think about web and social media pages for their talent. Ask if they will post your logo or include you in their likes.
Bonus spots - The next time you finish negotiating rates with your radio rep cap the conversation by asking what they can do for added value spots. Let them propose the limits, if they insist on direction ask for the best they can offer. Anyone asking this question will expect some 5a-5a rotators but you may actually get a healthy amount of spots in prime instead because you lead by being vague. Whatever the response it never hurts to push back again for something better.
Remotes – Never ask for pricing on a remote, instead tie it to a schedule you already have in place and ask them to come out to help promote an event. You might be able to work out a deal for nothing more than covering the cost to compensate the talent and engineer they need to send out to be there.
Tickets - Radio stations are flooded with tickets to events to be given away to their listeners. It gets people excited and helps with ratings. Tickets are set aside for clients too. Next time you hear a station or radio group you are doing business with promote an event you can assume they have tickets to it that they received as trade. The early bird gets the worm.
Research is essential to making good media decisions. Whether or not there is revenue that can be allocated to research in your budget you can bet that your radio rep has information they can and gladly will share with you. From filling holes in your available resources to getting another perspective, the knowledge you gain by asking for it is valuable. That said remember the data you get tells the story they want, always try to cross-reference with information from their competitor.
Press releases - No matter where you are slow news days happen. When they do a news director will pull an interesting press release for something to talk about. Write and send out a press release for anything interesting you do.
Streaming – True or false, over the air broadcasts and internet streams are exactly the same. FALSE: The commercial breaks on most stations that offer an online stream have entirely different ads than what you hear over the air. This has been done for years and demand continues to be typically low. Why pay five dollars a holler when you can ask for it to be included for free.
Swag - Pens, bobble heads, bumper stickers, you name it. Radio stations like to slap their name onto nearly anything. Ask for some chotchkies to pass out to employees. As funny as it sounds the right item in the right hands will be proudly displayed and treasured. Best of all that warm fuzzy cost you a total of nothing.
In conclusion, just ask and ye shall receive.