Paige Nienaber’s Midweek Idea Dump: Monday Morning The 27th


(By Paige Nienaber) My first Canadian client was Newcap in Edmonton and Ottawa in 2005. It was an eye-opening experience from the very first day and reminded me that I still had a lot to learn about Marketing.

On Day One of a promotion, the station would flood the phones with “listeners” talking about the contest, like how they’d spend the money, or, with non-traditional promotions like “Live With” or “Fugitive”, they’d ask questions.

“Listener”: “So, can I just call people up and ask them if they’re the Fugitive?

DJ: Great question Paige. I was listening when they called the Hot Tub this morning and the way they explained it, you have to ask directly to their face using this EXACT phrase….

Basically, it’s a way to also train people on rules without the scintillating rules promo.

With the advent of social media, It’s always nice to have a few “listeners” you can spike in early in the contest to comment and drum up excitement. Radio is psychology.

If I go to an Eagles concert and see a radio tent that no one is stopping at, it would lead me to believe that perhaps they have something communicable like Herpes Simplex Ten. So if you post about The Incredible $10,000 Cash Rodeo and no one comments or cares, then why should I?

Excitement breeds excitement. And sometimes it requires a little jump start.

And now on with the Idea Dump. 

Monday Morning The 27th

By then the website should be tweaked in red and green and tinsel and other window-dressing to reflect that it’s now full steam ahead for Christmas. But you can still soak Thanksgiving for a few more bits.

  • Felon At The Table – I’ve lobbed this out many times. Reward the listener who calls in and can claim to have shared a Thanksgiving meal with the biggest convicted criminal. When I heard it on Alice in Denver, the winner was a woman who sat next to her uncle…fresh out of prison after pulling a stretch for manslaughter.
  • Auntorage – Have listeners submit photos of their hot, just-visited aunts for a web poll.
  • Most Awkward Holiday Moment – There has rarely been a holiday meal where someone didn’t say something that elicited an uncomfortable, eyes drifting towards the ceiling, comment. Open up the phones and let your listeners share from the previous weekend.
  • Creepiest Relative – I have a former sister-in-law’s brother-in-law who has been arrested a couple of times for flashing children and whose entire apartment is filled with….anyone?…butterflies. Freaking Buffalo Bill.
  • Free Crack!!!!! – That could/should be the weekend promo for the morning show: “Be listening on Monday as we return with free crack!!” Get dozens of wishbones from turkeys (either a restaurant or the deli section at a grocery store should be able to supply those) and do an elimination competition of people cracking them. Last Bone Standing.
  • Peoples Court – Have the listeners phone in, assess blame, and mediate a dispute that erupted out of a holiday family gathering.
  • Relatives With Riders – What dinner guest had the most absurd or complicated dietary restrictions? I have a brother-in-law’s girlfriend who won’t eat onions, is allergic to wheat, and doesn’t like vegetables… my wife hates her.

In Honor Of The First Snow Of The Year

This is a reminder that the best Radio always seems to be when we have to scramble and change the game plan, and we’re also reminded that we’re here to broadcast for the public interest.

A Christmas Episode

Dave & Jimmy at ‘NCI regularly do a special “Christmas episode” which is not entirely a novel idea in TV: every show has its own holiday episode.

What would be fun would be to go through that list and compile all the clichés so that your last show before Christmas features a child who’s lost her belief in Santa, a special appearance by Melissa Joan Hart as ‘Aunt Tammy,’ and the parents finally talking after twenty years.

The Giving Globe

94.9 in Cincinnati found another way to stand out and get noticed at a Toy Drive: they stuck a DJ in a snow globe for a day. American Airlines had one of these on the concourse at O’Hare last year and you could step in through the zipper back and get a photo that they then shared and posted for you.

I have to believe that someone in your market has one of these you can borrow for mentions.

Morning Show Craft Projects

My daughter plays harp at an animal shelter to help calm the dogs down and make them more adoptable. No one wants a spazzy dog. One of the people at Max Media in Denver has a friend who makes bow ties for the pets to wear. It makes them “cuter”. It’s like oiling the cucumbers at the grocery store: they’re shining them up for sale. (Name the film reference and get a cassette from the prize closet.) Maybe this is a project day for the morning show and listeners – make and donate bow ties to a shelter.

Paige Nienaber insults/consults more than 100 radio stations on Fun ‘N Games (Marketing & Promotions). Find him at CPR Promotions. Read Paige’s Radio Ink archives here.


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