Local Link

This page is for sharing the great ideas, campaigns, proposals, audio, commercials, sales tips and experiences of Connect member stations.

We know that out of our hundreds of member stations, thousands of proposals and campaigns, sales tips, ideas, commercials are being successfully run each week: here's where we'd like to hear about and share these stories and ideas with other stations, to work together to make the industry as strong as possible.

If you've run a campaign - for any kind of advertiser - that has worked, let us know.

If you've created a commercial that got a great response, let us know.

If you came up with a programing idea that sold locally and got results, let us know.

If you have a tip on managing sales teams, getting the best out of sellers or handling your sales manager - let us know.

The more we can share our ideas and resources, the better of we'll all be and the better prepared we'll be to survive and prosper through the next few quarters.

Submissions we receive will be posted up to this page. Users will also get a chance to leave comments as well. (For a full set of legal stuff about submitting your ideas / content, click here)

To submit any kind of content or idea, just click this link. Don't forget to:

a) include your name, your title and your station call-sign
b) include the script for any commercials you send us as a Word or text document if you have it.
c) include any information you think is relevant about your submission - who the client was, how you came by the idea, who was involved, what the results were; the more useful info the better.

The ARIA Team.

Has Your Station Delivered Results?

Has Your Station Delivered Results for Chiropractors, Attorneys, Realtors?
As professional services make up an ever larger percentage of the job market, they become a larger and larger source of revenue for radio. We have received a number of requests for advice and testimonials from radio stations on stories of success they've had with these types of clients.

That's why we're asking for your success stories.

Help Us Help You Help Them

We'd like to hear about examples of successful campaigns that you have run - campaigns that have helped increase business in your market for service professionals - particularly those not immediately associated with radio advertising.

Have you managed to sell airtime campaigns on your station to:
Health Service Professionals
Senior Care Residences?

Fight Those Yellow Books

As the Yellow Books desperately attempt to maintain their share by increasing the number of books in a zip code and by employing harder and harder sell tactics, many traditional yellow book 'advertisers' like those above are becoming wary and are looking for viable alternatives. This is a great opportunity for local radio.

Let us know about your success stories. We'll compile them as stories in service categories and make them available for free in ARIA Connect - to be shared by any station trying to do the same thing; and include them in our updated "Phone Book Buster" kit available in early December.

Just email us here or contact us directly via the "Feedback" link at the very top of this web page: let us know your station name, market, market size and format. Then tell us just a little about
the client & service type
what they were trying to achieve & how you satisfied them:
a) length and structure of campaign
b) frequency of spots
c) if relevant something about the commercial content. (You can even attach an mp3 of the commercial that ran if you wish.)

Not For Profits Making You Profitable

As you prospect for new clients, are you looking at not-for-profit organizations? One of our Account Executives did just that and developed just over $38,000 in new business in three months. As the economy groans and contracts are your people looking in areas where the competition fears to go?

One of those not-for-profit businesses was the local blood center. Our Account Executive met with the Director of the local blood center and quickly found their pain. They did not have a cohesive marketing strategy that reached the local community and surrounding areas. With the help of our Creative Services Director, the Account Executive was able to diagnose and create a strategic marketing plan to bring all the key areas of the blood center together, and to create key strategy words. At the end of every commercial the words are always the same: “One hour…. Every two months. That’s all. Not a big deal for you but for somebody else… it’s life”. It is then followed by their name, website and tag line: “Please, give what’s in your heart”.

The Account Executive created a hybrid marketing campaign. The brand based schedule has a frequency of eight commercials each day Sunday through Monday over a twelve month period. Those commercials talk about how easy it is to donate blood and relates it to volunteering your time. The direct response portion of the campaign consists of remotes to help promote local blood drives. They also created thirty second commercials that address the urgent need for each blood type. These commercials were recorded over the phone so that it sounds like the blood center is calling in at a moments notice. All the blood center needs to do is call the station when there is an urgent need, and that commercial will be put in rotation for a very short window of time. The thirty second commercials have the same ending as the brand based commercials.

The Account Executive and Creative Services Director are also working with the blood center to help them with the strategy for their television production to ensure the message stays consistent.

Each month the Account Executive and the team from the blood center are tracking donors at area blood drives and the donor room. They have set the benchmark for success and will continue to monitor those results each month.

You can download the commercials by right-clicking here and here and choosing 'save link as...' or 'save target as...'

Dave Doetsch

Building a Vertical Schedule with the Right Hook

I did a time out call with a client of mine, a small local insurance agency, last week to check on the success of their radio campaign. Each time we meet my client says the same thing, people tell us they hear us on the radio all the time! We chuckle between ourselves because they aren’t.

The insurance company started advertising in August of 2004. They are a small agency and did not have much budget to work with. Their budget would not allow them to have a solid horizontal schedule, so we took what budget they had and built a vertical schedule. Their schedule is simple, 12 ten second ads that run between 6am and 6pm each Tuesday.

The right hook of the campaign is one simple word “really”. The name of the agency is Waterman-Neely Insurance. So we always say, Waterman-Neely Insurance, Really! This has not changed in five years. We have been able to create an associative link between the name of the business and one simple word.

We meet once a month to review how the campaign is working and I always hear the same thing. We are so busy we can’t keep up. When I ask them to increase their budget and add another station or increase their frequency on their current station, they always have the same answer; no, we can’t handle more business. The key to their success has been to find the right hook, a consistent schedule, and maintain the frequency.

In the last four years the agency has had to remodel to take on the additional business, add another agent, and a customer service representative. In the next two years they are looking at purchasing a larger building and adding additional agents, really!

It just goes to show that the smallest of schedules can have a huge return with patients and just sticking to the plan.

You can download the commercial that worked in this campaign here.

Dave Doetsch, Springfield, IL

Local Pharmacy vs. Big Box Stores

The Medicine Shoppe is a local pharmacy that is a traditional pharmacy as well as a Naturopathic Pharmacy. Dave Mikus works as a traditional pharmacists as well as a naturopathic pharmacist. The pharmacy provides services such as supplements, Ion Cleanse (detox), massage, saliva testing, compounding and traditional pharmacy.

The Medicine Shoppe found their sales decreasing and the big box stores starting to take over their market share in 2004. The pharmacy is located on the north end of town and within a few years three big box pharmacies built stores within a few blocks of this 25 year business.

In 2004 The Medicine Shoppe reviewed their business proposal and found that their sales were declining and they knew they had to compete in the market. They started working with our radio group to determine a marketing strategy that would allow them to compete.

In 2004 the strategy was to incorporate the tag line “going well beyond your traditional pharmacy”. With the big box stores moving in we needed to be more aggressive in the campaign. In 2008 we incorporated Dave voicing his own commercials, and adding the following strategy wedge; "I’m Dave Mikus from the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy and Wellness Store and I want to be your personal pharmacist and health care advocate". I was also able to convince Dave that we needed to incorporate a jingle in his campaign. We began using the jingle in January of 2009. We are also rotating two commercials at all times. One commercial focuses on traditional pharmacy and the second focuses on naturopathics.

Since starting their campaign in 2004 their sales are up 29.3% over the four year period. For fiscal year 2008 to 2009 their total sales are up 33.8%. While their traditional pharmacy business struggles to remain profitable on a consistent basis, they continue to see continued growth in three different areas of the business. In 2008 over the counter medicines were up 48%, natural products were up 24% and compounding was up 39%.

They have been running the following on WNNS 98.7 which is our Lite Rock station; since 2004 they have run three :60 commercials per day that run between 5:30am and 9pm, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. In 2008 they began running 12 :10 messages one day per week on WMAY 970am, the Live Talk station of Springfield.

Please click on the commercials below and see how a small local pharmacy can compete and win against the cold and impersonal chain pharmacies. To download the files, right-click on the inks and choose "Save target as..." or "Save link as..."

Commercial #1
Commercial #2
Commercial #3

Dave Doetsch, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, Springfield, IL

Getting Attorneys On-Air

I have a criminal attorney that only runs on payday weeks starting on Wed and running thru Sunday after 3:00 pm and at night. He tried me for 3 months just signed another 3 months. I asked him how it was working and he said "Kim I don't know I am so busy", which was good to hear so I guessed it was working for him. I stopped by this week to service the account and his wife stated that they have spoke to other attorneys in our area and they were not busy at all, but my client was swamped, hence they are going to keep running even after the renewed 3 months just signed. So I am not real knowledgeable about total radio yet, but remember to work out a schedule to suit your client. Thanks

Kim Johnson
Account Executive
Sherman, TX 75092

Weaning Attorneys Off The Yellow Pages

John Kerley had spent a large sum of money in the yellow pages, into his website, and dabbled a little in radio, using a Christian based station, sponsoring the weather on WIBI. Though he poured a lot of money into his advertising he did not feel that anything really tripped his trigger. Like most attorneys he spent a large sum in the yellow pages listing every service and putting his picture out there but not getting the response the was looking for. On top of all that, the yellow pages ended up renewing his contract without copy approval and demanding payment. This upset & frustrated John.

Working with MWFB:

He started branding November 3, 2008 on Lite Rock 98.7FM (WNNS) and 92.7FM The Rock Station (WQLZ). These two stations did not have ANY attorneys on so he wanted to own them!

Monday 3x Tuesday 3x Wednesday 3x Thursday 3x Friday 3x Saturday 3x Sunday 3x

The Message:

John wanted to let people know that he can relate to you; he has been there too. He was an attorney for the insurance companies so he knows how to handle the other side. He also was involved in a car accident where he had some of the same feelings his clients might have had. He wants people to know that he is on your side and he will fight…he won’t take NO for an answer. John’s voice is used in all of his messages and now we tell stories of some of the cases he is working on. We are “attacking” the competition right now by letting people know that he will take a second look when other lawyers don’t think you have a case, and meet with you based on your schedule.

The Results:

Though he has been branding 7 months with the set expectation of building awareness with no return, he has had a steady number of calls and questions as well as 4 cases he can attribute directly from radio. One of the four cases is a really big one he says that deals with a “pretty important person.” He still hears people say they heard his ad and that they like it. John is happy with the response and results and is glad he jumped off the cliff to do radio!

Click here for one of the commercials he ran.

Dave Doetsch

Re-Discovering Your Local Downtown

Here's another real-life example of radio getting the job done! The concept of the campaign was designed to focus on bringing life and traffic back to the downtown area. The campaign was not designed for tourists, but for the community to support its local downtown businesses. The campaign was framed around what is available in the downtown area.

Downtown Springfield Inc. covers businesses in a twenty block radius. The local perception is the downtown area businesses only consist of about a six block radius. One of the biggest obstacles for downtown businesses is the perception of a lack of parking. There are four parking garages within a six block area. However, with Springfield being a smaller city, customers want to park right outside of the business.

The global advertising campaign was funded by a grant from the city. With this grant, Downtown Springfield Inc. purchased two kiosks that will be placed downtown for shoppers to find local DSI members. A website was also created to list the local merchants by category with links to their websites, as well as directions to the business.

The goal of the radio campaign was to use three of the four radio stations and create enough frequency to have an impact over a three month period. The radio station is also a downtown member and has a local studio within the downtown area, so there was a commitment to work with DSI and provide added value to the campaign.

The campaign included an editorial from the radio stations' General Manager addressing the importance of shopping in the downtown area and supporting the local merchants. A link was placed on the three radio stations' home pages to the Re-discover Downtown website. The radio commercials were built as donuts with an intro and exit on the campaign. The middle of the commercial was inserted with a local merchant talking about their business. We rotated the commercials to offer equal exposure. In addition, the radio stations offered an opportunity for DSI members to do free interviews on the station of their choice over the course of the three months. This was a huge success and many of the businesses chose to participate.

An ad-lib package was built to gain additional revenue during the campaign. The merchants had the option to purchase one ad-lib, or could purchase them in groups of three. A local popcorn shop chose to buy adlibs on all three stations and used them to promote their popcorn Easter Bunnies as a test. The previous year they sold 300 and this year they had orders for 1,100. This is an advertiser who did not previously use the radio stations, and is now working with the station to create an annual campaign.

The response from the merchants who participated has been tremendous. They report seeing an increase in traffic during the campaign and gave the radio station high praise for their partnership.

Dave Doetsch

Finding the Niche in Dental Services

Advanced Dental Care opened in 2004 as a new practice. The Dentist had an established practice in another area of the state, and relocated to the area and started with no patient base. He does full service dentistry, but focuses his practice on sedation dentistry and dentures. He is the only certified sedation dentist the metro area. The clinic has made it convenient for patient scheduling; Monday and Tuesday they are open noon to 8:00pm, closed on Wednesdays, Thursday 9am to pm and Fridays 7am to 2pm. Patients can also go to their website and request an appointment on line and download all the forms prior to the appointment.

Since opening the practice in 2004 his marketing strategy was buying huge ads in the yellow pages and direct mail. He has also done an excellent job of making his website an educational tool for his patients or prospective patients. In today’s world a businesses website has really become their front door. More and more people will research health care providers before they actually make the appointment. So, the better the website the better the impression it makes.

In 2008 Advanced Dental Care started advertising on radio. We worked with him to create a custom jingle and built a strategic marketing plan for the year. We uncovered that the highest profit margin for his clinic was sedation dentistry followed by dentures. So instead of advertising the entire practice, we found the niche and focused all the radio advertising on those two areas. He rotates two ads, one focusing on dentures and the other on sedation.

He started in January of 2008 on the Lite Rock station and then added the am Talk Station in April. His schedule is simple, three :60 commercials each day that run between 5:30 and Midnight, seven days a week, over the course of the year.

Since beginning his radio campaign he has had the following results:

* 27 new patients from the Lite Rock station, resulting in $38,000 in total gross sales with an average customer worth of $1400.
* 20 new patients from the am Talk Station, resulting in $21,000 in total gross sales with an average customer worth of $1000.
* Since January of 2008 he has had a 1x return on his investment.

His ROI has been limited due to patient capacity of the practice. He doubled the square footage of his practice this year and is working on being able to increase throughput and the size of the practice even further. At one point it was taking several weeks to see a new patient. With the new space and additional staff, he will easily solve this problem.

His average customer worth from yellow pages is $700. As a result of this, he will be reducing his yellow page budget for 2010.

A pair of very nice commercials was produced for this campaign. You can hear the first one by clicking here, and the second by clicking here.

Making Tourist Attractions Local

Our sister stations in LaCrosse, Wisconsin have designed a new promotion off an old idea that has gotten them solid sales from both local advertisers and local listeners.

They live on the Mississippi River, and there are cruises available on a daily basis. As is the case in most towns, people come from far away to take the cruises but local folks don’t tend to do so because they live there. So, the radio stations designed a promotion where they would get 100 tickets for a cruise and then have their local talents host the cruise for that morning!

They took a percentage of the tickets and used them for giveaway from 5 local businesses sold at $995 per package. All sold out making them $4,975!

Plus they have sold 50 tickets at $15 each, making them $750. This brought their sales total to $5,725. Since this is a morning cruise the local cruise line was happy to barter the tickets for promotion at a time they don’t typically do cruises, which is the morning. A simple fun idea that worked!!!

But what if you don’t have river cruises? Almost every town has some sort of ‘touristy’ type of thing they can attach to an idea like this!

Dave Doetsch, Director of Sales
Mid-West Family Broadcasting - Springfield, Illinois

Buy Local Campaign: LaCrosse, Wisconsin

Here's an example of a local radio station who created a 'buy local' campaign and ran it free, in support of local businesses. The reaction was extremely positive and has lead to an increase in sales as well as benefiting the community and the local economy. This kind of campaign can also be run in conjunction with our 'Free Plug Friday' campaign, which you can get from the Creative Proposal Workshop inside Connect. Here are the details:

The Situation: At the turn of the year it was evident that the economy was suffering, and this would have a deep impact on local businesses. The folks at the radio station decided not to sit on their hands, and understood that all the negative publicity coming from the national media needed to be countered with positive messages coming from the local media, and specifically these 5 radio stations.

The Solution: Mid-West Family Broadcasting in LaCrosse, Wisconsin built a series of “Shop Local” commercials to keep a positive light on why to shop and specifically why to shop on a local level. Commercials were scheduled, at no charge as a public service to the local business community, each and every day on all of their radio stations.

The Results: Local businesses were ecstatic about the campaign, with dozens sending letters, emails or calling the General Manager to thank the radio stations for doing this. The local chamber of commerce asked to spread the campaign into other media, which led to similar commercials being found on all the radio stations in the market, TV and newspaper…all based on the campaign built by Mid-West Family Broadcasting. This has had a few specific effects. Advertisers who were already on but thinking of cutting back chose not to do so. Past advertisers who had cut, now were calling in asking to get back on the air. And call in levels for requests of advertising information have increase from 3 per week to 10! And this local radio group is seen as the hero during tough times!

You can download examples of the promotions used in this campaign here, here and here.