The benefits of social media and an online presence.

Posts tagged ‘Public Radio’

How to Help Your Pledge Drive Volunteers

Some general tips of how to properly prepare your volunteers with plenty of reading material! Check it out:

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Smart Marketing & Promotion

So you’re promoting your event, product, service, television show, radio hour, one-man crystal ball reading gorilla whisperer. Whatever it is, you need to know how to promote it properly!

The lesson of this blog is that you have to be creative. The key to marketing or promotion is interaction with the target public.

Example time! Delmarva Public Radio recently changed its programming and one of the new radio shows is called e-Town. The show focuses on community, ideas, and music.

With new shows comes new swag. And if you’ve been following my blog, then you already understand the importance of swag. The promotional people over at e-Town sent DPR some e-Town CDs and stickers as well as several e-Town bandanas. Now, the task was to find a way to promote the show and engage the listeners too.

The result? Drum roll please…

We decided to have listeners and staff members at the station take home the bandanas and take pictures of their pets wearing them. I then created the article and Facebook album, “Where’s Your Bandana?” encouraging listeners to pledge now and receive an e-Town bandana. Once received they would take a picture of their pet wearing the bandana and DPR would add it to its Facebook album of pets.

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Jasmine’s e-Town bandana.

Try to find a way to encourage your target public to become involved in the promotion of your event or product. Request that they take pictures with your product to submit. Or plan a contest after which you’ll have fans choose the most creative picture. Whatever it is, just engage them!

In the case of e-Town, If there is one thing that the internet loves more than trolling people, it’s cats.

Good luck!

A Successful Fundraising Drive

"Delmarva Public Radio. This is Michelle! May I take your pledge?"

“Delmarva Public Radio. This is Michelle! May I take your pledge?”

Congratulations to Delmarva Public Radio for raising more than $95,000 during its fall membership drive “The Future is Now.” And all thanks to the listeners!

I was never sure what I wanted to do with my public relations degree when I began school because there were so many different career paths available. However, I know working with a non-profit organization is something I am overwhelming happy to say that I have been able to experience in my lifetime. Delmarva Public Radio is a “listener-supported” public radio station and Delmarva sure proved that during this last drive.

I’m happy to share with you some of my favorite aspects of the fall drive!

1.) The Volunteers: Sitting in the phone room waiting for listeners to call seems like one of the most boring jobs a person could be tasked to do. However, it was fantastic! I was able to meet and chat with listeners, members of the Community Players of Salisbury, Blackwell Library workers and employees for the Siedel School at SU. I established a relationship with several key members of the DPR community and can’t wait to work together in the future.

2.) The Listeners: If you thought sitting in the room sounded boring, imagine answering the phones and recording pledges for the drive. But you guessed it; it was just as great! All of the pledges I took came from loyal listeners or new members who were happy to share their favorite shows as well as how much they couldn’t live without our station. Several times they began their call with a small explanation of how they didn’t have much to give but they would be happy to contribute $30. And I was amazed. Someone who didn’t have much to give still put aside funds and had it in their heart to call and support the station. Speaking with those pledging was a humbling experience.

3.) Pitching: I’m an actress and a huge fan of public speaking so going on-air at the station sounded like an exciting opportunity.  But for the record, it’s terrifyingly exciting. Dead air is the one thing a radio station cannot have, so losing your train of thought or running out of things to say sounded like my worst nightmare. But it felt amazing. I went on to explain the drive hashtag and to encourage listeners to call in their pledges and speak to me. Pitching was a success!

I know working at a public radio station is something very specific and not something that everyone will be able to experience, but I feel great doing it. And I hope that each of you find your niche and have the opportunity to participate in something you enjoy as much as I did this.

The Importance of Swag

Two days to go!

Delmarva Public Radio’s fall membership drive begins on Thursday and there is nothing but hustle and bustle at the station. Especially in the membership department.

And today we learned a valuable lesson about the importance of swag.

Think about all the organizations on a university’s campus. Or the hundreds of charities that you could name off of the top of your head. Now, think of how many of them you learned about because you saw someone wearing a t-shirt with their logo on it.

That’s swag!

Delmarva Public Radio has lacked swag for quite a while. Sometimes the extra push to get listeners to donate to your cause is the promise of some free merchandise. The merchandise we received today just so happened to be bumper stickers! Check them out!

Delmarva Public Radio bumper sticker.

 

If you’re searching for swag to support your cause, here are some great suggestions:

1.) Pens: How many dentists have you discovered because of pens that got passed around?
2.) Lanyards: They’re not just for sports teams!
3.) Keychains: For some reason, no one can resist attaching just one more key chain to their link.
4.) Mugs: I bet if I tell you to picture your kitchen cabinet, you could name for me at least 4 or 5 cups and mugs that you got for free.

Bumper stickers, decals, stress balls, bags, flash drives, notepads…

There’s an entire world of promotional products out there. Go find your swag.

Successful Event Planning: Do’s & Don’ts

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When planning an event that’s a few months or even a year away, it can always be tempting to keep putting things off. Or to have a to-do list and revisit each item in your mind as opposed to actually checking them off.

Right now, I am in the process of planning A Silent Night Out auction with Delmarva Public Radio. So I’ve come up with some basic do’s and don’ts of event planning that directly relate to my experience.

DO’S
1.) What: Do decide what the event will be. What do you hope to accomplish? Don’t just say, “We’re going to have a bake sale!” Is your goal to fundraise or is it to encourage volunteers to help out with your organization? Because a bake sale is a fundraising event. Tailor your event to the needs of your organization and during each step of the event planning process, refer back to your original purpose to guide you.

2.) When: Do establish an exact date for the event as soon as possible. All other elements of the event will revolve around this basic detail. For example, the title of The Silent Night Out auction was chosen because the date, December 8, was chosen first. The winter and holiday theme first the “when” of the event. Find out if other community events or significant holidays are occurring around the same time and schedule around them.

3.) Where: Do secure a location as soon as possible. Venues often book months in advance and, as in the auction’s case, sometimes require a written proposal of what the event will be and how many people are expected to attend.

DONT’S
1.) Don’t confirm until you have confirmed! Twice! Before scheduling or booking something outside of your organization such as a band or catering, confirm the date and time with the venue as well as your own organization. The worst PR is to waste someone’s time.

2.) Don’t wait to promote your event. Once you have the basics confirmed, begin making flyers or posting on social media. Movies send out teaser trailers to peak an audience’s interest. Then later they release the actual movie trailer closer to the release date. You should do the same! Get the public interested and involved. Make sure they have it on their calendars.

3.) Don’t procrastinate. Event planning does not have to be as stressful as we make it. The last week before the event should not be when you are rushing around doing things that you’ve had on your to-do list since the very beginning. If you have small tasks, do them first. If you have to wait for another task to be done before you can get to it, then use that as your motivation to begin on that task instead.

Let’s see if I can take my own advice and make The Silent Night Out auction the least stressful event of my year. I’ll keep you guys updated!

A Public Radio Overhaul: Press Release Chaos

First thing’s first. I recognize that I’m going to be spilling my experience with Delmarva Public Radio all over this blog. You may get tired of hearing about it, but I’m not saying “look at me and my fancy radio position.” Every job is cool and exciting in a different way and I’m just ready to share the inside knowledge of what I get to witness and be a part of as the Membership Assistant.

Moving on! Today was a huge day for Delmarva Public Radio!

After the appointment of a new General Manager this summer, Dana E. Whitehair, Delmarva Public Radio is doing a much needed overhaul of the station. Salisbury University has invested a lot of time and money into sustaining public radio and DPR is doing its part to generate and keep listeners by making changes.

Today, I arrived at the office in a purple plaid shirt and jeans believing it to be a normal data-input/money processing type of day. Boy, was I wrong. My director Angela Byrd receives a telephone call while I’m in her office and she looks at me, smiles, tells the person on the phone that I am there as well as what I am wearing, gives a thumbs up and then hangs up. I had just become the student fill-in for a press release photo op.

After the Public Relations director for the college arrived and I borrowed my boss’s shirt for the photo, we rushed to gather information about the new programming that Delmarva Public Radio will begin airing on Monday. This press release is the first time anyone outside of the station will know that DPR is changing its format. DPR listeners are loyal and eternally supportive, but they are also the majority funding behind the station. The press release had to assure the community that the programming changes will catch the attention of a broader spectrum of listeners and ultimately lead to a stronger station. And it did!

In between photo ops and press release emails, we ran to the publications office to submit work orders for a new logo, bumper stickers, and an updated media kit. Publicity and promotion are no joke! And the public relations world moves faster than you realize.

In the end, Delmarva Public Radio officially announced its new programming schedule. And I finally realized that the real world is just as chaotic as the world of homework and college classes.

Sometimes you just have to wing it!

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Delmarva Public Radio Conquers the Social Media Trinity

The Social Media Trinity is composed of blogs, microblogging, and social networks. This is according to Lon Safko who wrote The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools & Strategies for Business Success. And if the title has the word Bible in it, he must know what he’s talking about right?

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At Delmarva Public Radio, we’ve been able to build at least a small following on each of these social media platforms. Kara Dahl Russell, our classical radio host, who has the softest sweetest voice you could imagine, has been able to manage and maintain a classical music blog for the station. Listeners can interact and ask questions if they would like, but she also shares the newest cds that she receives each week so listeners can know what to look forward to and what period the music hails from. Personally, I am not a huge fan of classical music so I understand it is easy to be dismissive of a blog such as this, but those who are classical listeners take full advantage. Kara spread Delmarva Public Radio’s and WSCL’s name thorough out the digital world with the creation of an easy to use blog.

Delmarva Public Radio also has a Twitter which is used quite often! I am lucky enough to be one of a few staff members who are able to post and retweet information to followers. At the moment, DPR’s Twitter is used primarily to tweet about which musical selections are coming up on WSCL and at what time, as well as links to new articles posted on www.delmarvapublicradio.net. Letting listeners know what to look forward to allows them to tune in to their favorites and journalism posts keep DPR active as a reliable source for news. What we really need to work on is our interaction with followers. I began thanking Twitter users if they followed us hoping to inspire conversations and I tried to start participating in trending topics but it is rare that they apply. Hopefully, we can create our own hash tag for the membership drive this fall and spread awareness through that!

Finally, DPR is best when it comes to social networking. Our listeners are not as active online so it is rare for conversations to begin on our Facebook page, but they are active in viewing and liking posts. On the rare occasion that they do comment or inspire thought, we are at a disadvantage because of the public relations aspect of monitoring the page. We want to encourage thought, but these comments are often made on articles related to political and social issues and we must remain partisan. Over the summer, I created a Pinterest page for the radio station. I have boards such as DPR Events and DPR News to spread awareness of what the station is doing. However, I also have boards for cool tips and tricks and creative ideas. These boards allow Pinterest users who may not even know who we are to find us and repin our content. This social network has been a way to connect with potential listeners through shared interests.

Delmarva Public Radio has come a long way with the social media trinity but there are still improvements to be made. I look forward to making them!

 

 

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