RAB Insights

RAB Research Archive

Seizing the Opportunity

Spring is in the air in Wisconsin – pay no attention to the snow that we got this week. One of the things spring in Wisconsin brings is garage sales. It’s a ritual. The signs go up on Monday, and by Saturday morning, neighborhoods are filled with bargain hunters looking for those unique finds, living by the old cliché that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.

Yesterday during our Leadership MasterClass, Jeff Sisk from Forcht Broadcasting in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, shared a true treasure of an idea. Jeff’s news director came to him and told him that the local newspaper stopped putting yard sale listings in the classified section and wondered if there was something the radio station could do. (Side note: I love it that the news director was thinking about revenue opportunities.)

Jeff’s team went to work and created a website page where people in the community could post a 30-word listing for free. There was a fee if they wanted more words. Jeff also found a title sponsor for the page. His website team developed a form to make it super easy, not only for the staff, but for the people who wanted to post. Then, they went to a local company that they thought would benefit from sponsorship of the page. The sponsor gets the title position and the “ownership” of the page. Everyone wins.

Because this is on the station’s website, this is an organic digital success story that is providing revenue to the station’s website with on-air support to drive traffic to the website. The program has been a great success. For webmasters, this also provides great traffic and engagement based on the number of people coming to post or view. You can click here to go to the station’s website and see how they are executing this great idea. You’ll see that there are tiles created for each listing, and when you click on the tile, you see the full details of the yard sale, including a clickable map button to direct you right to the event.

They key takeaways, aside from the great idea, are:

• A culture of service – Jeff and the management team have created a culture where anyone can come forward with an idea for serving the community, the listeners or generating revenue.

• Seizing the opportunity – Radio has a unique ability to act quickly and seize opportunities. Whether they be disaster response, or in this case filling a need in the community, that also generates revenue.

• Digital provides limitless opportunity – Not too many program directors would want to go on the air and list upcoming yard sales, but with a strong website and digital presence, the station was able to seize an opportunity, create a web page, fill a need in the community and generate revenue. What’s not to love?

Congrats to Jeff and the team in Hopkinsville, and thank you for sharing a great idea. These are some excellent lessons for maximizing digital resources in your market.

Happy Friday!

Jeff Schmidt is SVP-Professional Development at the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can reach Jeff at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com or follow him on social media: Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB