Paige Nienaber’s Midweek Idea Dump: 16 Ways To Rope An Office


(By Paige Nienaber) Marketing to the ‘nesters sadly stopped evolving in about 1988 with the At-Work Network. Which is unfortunate because if you think about it that’s a (insert profane term for “caca”) load of TSL sitting in cubicles, waiting to be courted and romanced.

Obviously, work habits and listening habits have changed in the last couple of years but radio still wants those ears.

Here are a few suggestions:

Food Delivery – Yes. This dates back to 1967. But who cares? It’s an excuse to be out shaking hands. And since a lot of stations don’t do this, they’ve pulled the goalie. You’re free to go out and make fans.

Delivery To Food – Most radio stations have limo trade. Most radio stations have restaurant trade. Once a week load an office up and take them to lunch. This is especially big because for the average schmo on the streets, riding in a limo is something they might enjoy, maybe, only once: on their wedding day.

Rock Band – Jay Kruz at Mix in Cincinnati is one of those ridiculously smart people who I’d be afraid to look at his SATs because it would probably wound me emotionally for life. He did Rock Band At Work and the station went out and videoed offices rocking out on the game. Again; just an excuse to go and hang with the nesters in their cubes. And obviously, this could be done with a karaoke unit.

Studio Audience – Back when KSFM was really hot, they would frequently have artists come through for accapella or acoustic shows in the conference room. And they would always have an office of listeners come in to enjoy food and the show. We forget, because we’re jaded, that for the average person out there (ie: a listener) having a nice catered lunch and getting 8 seconds of face-time with some B List Act you had drop in your lap, is a huge deal.

F.L.A.T. Food Fast – “Feeling lethargic and tired” on the job? We’ll drop by with some pizza.

Trading Cubicals – Get two groups of at-work listeners, with a minimal budget from a Dollar Store, to rehab and basically f’ up each other’s workspaces.

Emergency Nergy Treatment – Or “E.N.T.”. For people who are getting sluggish in the afternoon, you text and get a delivery of Red Bull or coffee by interns in nurses’ outfits.

Office Of The Week – We’ve all done that theme and they get a little mention under a client’s banner on the website. What would be the next level? Picking a workplace every week and webcamming them.

Field Trips – What term can possibly envisage better memories than this? Who didn’t love getting out of school for the day? Or even a few hours? The Boxx in Houston regularly would send entire offices or workplaces of listeners to movies, casinos, theme parks, and other places to blow off steam.

Office Hottie – KLUC in Las Vegas and Hot 89.9 in Ottawa tapped into something very cool when they did a beauty pageant of local workers. Every office has one. (I’m a one-person office, so it’s me.) Employees entered their hot co-worker and he/she then participated in an event of talent, skill, and of course, swimsuits and evening wear. Again, just a fun, thinly-veiled excuse to market yourself to people who in theory, listen to you for 8 or 9 hours a day.

Secretaries Day – Every day in the PPM World, is Secretaries Day. Valentines? Do Kiss-A-Grams. Superbowl? Do office pools. St. Patrick’s Day? Do the Lucky Lady Lunch Hour with male strippers. Every Hallmark Holiday is an op to be politicking to these people.

Time Killer – If you don’t have a section of time-killing games, videos, and activities on your website, do. KOOL in Denver had a dump button that people could hit if their boss walked by and suddenly the screen transformed into graphs and charts.

Mobile Device Scavenger Hunt – At noon give out ten items that one could expect to see while out at lunch. The first person to email pics of all ten items wins.

Stream Checkers – Have people let you know where they’re listening at work. Spot check and if they are, hit the entire office with movie tickets. Done as Undercover Office at Q-105 in Tampa.

At-Work Love Connection – Everyone has been in a work situation where you ran into someone every day and were wondering if they were available. Mine was a woman who worked across the atrium and who I’d run into at the coffee place every day. Lisa Lisa from ‘HYT in Detroit would call and make the introduction and find out if the other person was available and willing to go out on a blind date, courtesy of the station.

UPS Driver Idol – There was some kind of Cosmo poll that showed that many many women have “things” for their UPS drivers. What about doing some kind of pageant for these hard-driving dudes? (And yes; I know there are women who deliver for them.)

Are there more? Yes. This is tip of the iceberg stuff. But it’s a start.

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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