Paige Nienaber’s Midweek Idea Dump: What A Rush


(By Paige Nienaber) Jo Jo Wright and I started at Kiss 102 in Charlotte on the same day. Two years later we both ended up at KSOL-soon-to-be-Wild 107.7 in San Francisco.

I always wanted my office to be a place where people could hang out, and one afternoon at Wild, he was lounging and we were reflecting on some of the exceptionally cool stuff we’d done in Charlotte, and some of the colorful characters we’d worked with.

Jokingly – I can’t emphasize this enough, jokingly – he reflected, “You’re really slacking. At Kiss you were always creating promotions that had me hanging out with cute girls.”

He’d thrown down the gauntlet: he’d challenged my skills.

I thought for a moment and suggested, “Okay, what if you rushed a sorority?” Big smile from Jo Jo. And so he became a member of Delta Sigma Theta.

Why? Why not?

It was great content. He’d be wrapping up his shift and say that he was heading over to the house to watch “Melrose Place” on VHS, make popcorn, and do each other’s hair. He was never at a loss for phone screeners and when I needed a proxy street team to bulk up for an army-like presence at a concert or festival… boom, I had thirty. They were just excited to get station shirts and meet people.

One of the Tampa stations needed an army at a Garth show, so they borrowed a frat and these guys flooded the area around the stadium with logos.

So, think outside of the traditional street team. And now, on with the Dumpage

Hair (not the Broadway musical)

Hair is a much overlooked promotional venue. Which is kind of sad because it’s pretty universal.

First, for Back To School, the Summit stations do a day of free haircuts at participating salons. And it blows up. Who doesn’t want to get their kid a free haircut right before school returns?

KZIA in Cedar Rapids once did DMV Makeovers and set up outside the license bureau and fixed and tweaked people’s hair before it got immortalized for a decade.

They also did “Daddy/Daughter Hair Training” and brought in stylists to teach dads how to do their kids’ hair, which is kind of an invaluable life lesson.

If you need charitable donations and you need them fast, the whole “If we hit our goal, I’ll shave my head” bit is Gold. Sarah Pepper raised $50,000 for Leukemia research.

And for concerts and other outdoor events, one of the Stingray stations had a mobile salon that they would set up on the plaza. A mirror. Some hair spray. Just the basic so women could do a quick touch-up on a humid, windy day.


Since God first reached down from on high and handed a mike and playlist to Moses on the summit, any kind of promotion or stunt that gets listeners or talent dressing like the opposite sex is a homerun. Like Fearless Fathers for Taylor Swift tickets at The Wolf in Seattle.

Or “Dude To Diva” with Chubbs at Island 106 in Panama City which was all part of a campaign to raise $10,000 for a little girl’s heart surgery. He’s now appearing every Thursday for the Armada Room’s two hour Disco Swing Party

Elementary School Films

They all had a distinct “sound” to them. So Power 96 in Miami used that feel for some Spring Break imaging. And Drake Donovan created this masterpiece on how to win Star Access passes at Star in Pittsburgh.

School Supply Drives

Stuff The Bus was first done in approximately 1935 and it’s always worked. A talent living in a tent in top of a school bus until it’s filled will always be a home run.

In Panama City, Island 106 got a couple of hundred backpacks and told the audience what they needed. Drop off a calculator and it goes into a backpack. Those were then given to kids of low-income families.

Either of these are great for clients who “want something more than a remote.”

With a lot of teachers having to raise the supplies themselves, then incentivize it. I don’t see many of you being able get this approved but 96.1 in San Antonio basically won “Back To School” in 2019. The teacher who had the biggest collection, won a chance to go skydiving.

You have limo trade? Cool. The three teachers who raise the most get limo rides to/from the first day of classes. Or a pizza party for his/her class. Pizza: the most readily-available-to-Radio food EVER.

Food Challenges

When my daughters were ‘tweens they got me hooked on Mo and Ro, who have something like 400 million youtube views. All family friendly and all involving food in some way, shape or form.

Jenny at Z-102.9 does her own thing called Spill It Or Spew It

Bark Week

Shark Week is ongoing through Saturday. And by the way, I have never understood the fascination with it. But I also don’t like cake, candy, or ice cream.

For future reference, if you did something based on dogs that week, people would most assuredly become engaged and would participate. Maybe have people post photos of their pets. Maybe facilitate some pet adoptions. It’s too good of a topical name not to use. And…it doesn’t HAVE to be that week. People will get it. 

“Will It Melt?”

It’s coming back at a station and is one of the best heat wave bits that I know of. Basically you get a random item off a sales person’s desk and place it outside at 8 am. On Facebook or Instagram you ask people to guess whether it will melt or not. Out of everyone who predicts correctly, you grab one person at 5 pm for passes to a waterpark.

“The Schools Won’t Allow Us To Set Up”

Most of the time they won’t when it comes to high school football, so the option that I prefer is to get out a schedule and a map and hit 4 or 5 games over the course of the evening. Pull up, leave someone with the vehicle, run in, snap some photos, hand out some glow sticks or foam fingers, get your requisite call, post a shot and take off. You can hit WAY more people and not have to deal with going through channels to get a 10×10 spot outside the stadium while everyone is inside.

Pennies From Heaven

This came up today because a station is having challenges “cracking” highschool football, ie: what I just posted above.

Pennies From Heaven is a school spirit content that awards a concert to the school that collects the most pennies. KDWB was able to land a really big bank client with the contest.

Short Attention Span Smack

Kind of like group contests, LOTS of radio “celebrity gossip features” kind of blur together. A lot of us are doing the same thing with basically the same titles and names. With some exceptions.

The Comedy Channel started with an on-going very PPM Friendly show called Short Attention Span Theater. Just the meat, the funniest minute or 90 seconds of funny movies. One clip after another after another. 

What if you did that with celebrity gossip. 8 seconds of who hates each other and why, each day. It would need a cheesy game show intro and outro. (Music) Cardi B thinks Mel B is a bitch. (Music).

The Wheel Of Gift Cards

We’re always looking for something, a hook, that will stand out and get people to attend our appearances.

When he was at Fly 92, Terry O’Donnell did The Amazing Box Of Potential Awesomeness. It was at every remote and everyone who attended registered for what was inside… which was revealed at the end of the broadcast. It could be movie tickets. A medium size t-shirt from a client promotion three summers ago. Tickets to a concert. You just never knew.

People. Love. Giftcards. So what if you worked a prize fee into your remote package, buy a bunch of various gift cards, and cover a wheel with them. Every five minutes during your appearance have a listener spin. If it lands on an occupied square, they win it. If it was already won, they spin until they get something.

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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