Paige Nienaber’s Weekly Idea Dump: My Christmas Wish


(By Paige Nienaber) Judging by the email auto-replies that I’m getting from my client eblasts, there are a lot of people who are out for the holidays. Cool. So I hope this finds you happy, wealthy-ish, and wise-like.

I love Radio. I always knew that I could have made more money doing something responsible with my life, but where’s the fun in that? So here is my Christmas Wish for you:

I wish that you rediscover the thing that brought you into Radio and filled you with joy. (If, like me, it was meeting girls, so be it)

I wish that you occasionally reach out to people who have lost their jobs and share leads and encouragement.

I wish that you try to get live winners on the air whenever possible. Can you imagine “Price Is Right” if it was done with electronic entries and there were no screaming, histrionic contestants? It would have been canceled after one episode. 

I wish that you have your radar up for local opportunities to help out with. A school teacher who is on leave because of cancer. An animal shelter that might need to close its doors without some financial assistance. Local needs that might activate the audience to help. You can’t beat a station that activates it’s audience,

I wish that you look at social media as a way to engage with the audience. “Meghan Trainor’s new Keto Diet has people talking!” No one cares. Only Radio could screw up Facebook.

I wish that you have fun with your group contests. If you can, have fun with the theme and the imaging. 90% of these are wallpaper. Stations that actually get creative with these things like “Win $1000 In Ceramic Cats…Or The Cash Equivalent” that 99.7 DJX did in Louisville and pulled the highest engagement in Alpha. Cash can be more than cash.

I wish that your station has a fun Hall Vibe. Great stations have Hall Vibes. And you can hear it on the air. Happy People create Happy Product.

And of course, I wish you and yours and theirs and thems, all a fantastic 2024.

Before I do the dump, long-time listener, first-time caller George Pelletier with the West Virginia Broadcasters Association noted that as, “Ridiculously great and amazing you are for sharing Christmas ideas, and you clearly aren’t paid enough for your amazing service” (his exact words) “I think that broadcasters would benefit from actionable ideas for things that we could have time to implement and sell.”

Excellent point. So… Let’s look at January and February, shall we?

A Winning Client Meeting

Hot 104.5 in Knoxville had a request from a grocer client to come in and blow them away with a spec promotion. They brought this. When it was done… the client applauded. 

Win A Key That Could Start A Car

The “win a CD” promotion came together one day while I was on the phone with Carlos at Wild in San Francisco and holding on for dear life as Mickey Johnson wove through traffic in Birmingham, talking on HIS phone and trying to find a CD that had slid under his car seat.

Mike Cass at Mix in Vancouver said when he was at Nova in Melbourne, you won a shoe that could start a car.

Hot in Ottawa did Dancing With The Cars. Submit a video of yourself dancing, the winner got a car and her video was in a TV spot that ran during Dancing With The Stars.

Before I die… Win A Gerbil That Can Start A Car…

Dogs And Cats Living Together. Mass Hysteria.

K-Hits also, like many stations, does a pet adoption promotion called Wet Nose Wednesday. Susan Wright was thinking that for Valentine’s Week, it might/could be fun to do the video of the available pet-themed as a singles site video. THAT would be funny.

A St. Panty’s Day Word Of Caution

If we didn’t occasionally have these moments, how boring would our jobs be? From Clay at The Wolf in Greensboro:

“Back in my rock ‘n roll heathen days in Huntington, West Virginia, we celebrated St. Panty’s Day and traveled all over the market exchanging our special-edition 92.7 The Planet T-Shirt for panties… and boy did we collect a ton. Big ‘ens, little ‘ens, and it was my duty to take ‘em home (in a giant trash bag) and wash ‘em so we could turn ‘em into some sort of yet-to-be-specified art. Because I didn’t want this giant Hefty Bag of gonnaherpasyphilaids sitting in my home where the dog could get in ‘em, I left them on my front porch overnight.”

“The next morning, the ENTIRE bag of St Panty’s Day Panties was gone! I had a very hard time explaining to my then-program director that they were stolen, not stashed away somewhere in my house. Great promotion, as long as you weren’t the low man on the totem pole hauling a black bag of used panties back to the home you and your now-ex-fiancé (who certainly did not get the rock radio lifestyle…at…all!) shared!”

Great Moments In Science

From WIXX in Green Bay: Brenda Vanden Elsen was the first person to correctly guess the time it would take for a soda can to explode in the elements outside of our studios today. She wins a stay at Landmark Resort in Door County! It took 1 hour and 20 minutes on our contest clock by the way. 2,000 guesses rolled in, 17 of them were correct, but Brenda called it first (12 minutes in).

Zip Dating

One of the Alpha stations has a zipline place that wants to do “something” for Valentine’s. What if you had people meet and mingle and learn about each other in the amount of time it takes to tandem zipline down a mountain? Go back up, switch partners, and hopefully make a love connection.

Super Bull

As all great promotions go, “First, we need a baby cow….” TV loves wacky sports predictions. Get a baby cow, put it in a pen during PM drive tomorrow and he/she will pick the winner of the game based on what grid it poops in.

Wedding Insurance

The first decade of AFV was basically all ‘nad shots and wedding disasters. There are companies that will cover your wedding for Acts Of God and other calamities. I bet they would have some good stories if you reached out and asked nicely.

Pay Less For The Dress

Here’s some prom dress eventage from Shanna with iHeart Albany:

“We do Pay Less for the Dress where it’s $5 admission/donation, but if you purchase a dress for $9.95 (to go with 99.5 The River), it’s basically a $5 off coupon (1 ticket per dress). We encourage listeners to drop off dresses at any Best Cleaners location, and they clean all of the dresses for us there. All of the money goes to the Proctor’s Scholarship Fund (a theater in Schenectady where we hold the event) and to the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center.”

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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