2017 Radio Contests

It’s a new year so time to start thinking how you can up the ratings and revenue.  Radio revenue, buzz and awareness are hinged on great content including contests, promos and stunts.  When cleverly thought out, these don’t have to cost much.  The key to an effective radio contest or promotion is the balance of catering to listener interests and the people taking part in the contest or promotion.  It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement, but always ask yourself if it makes great radio for those not playing at the time.

We hope these spark a few new ideas for your station this year.

Who’s the Voice?
Use your editing software to mash two or more singers voices or songs together and get your listeners to guess who they are for a cash prize.

48 Parties in 48 Hours
Have listeners call in with their party announcements. The online winner has to attend 48 parties over the space of one weekend and periodically report back to the station on who has the best, worst, etc.

Dollar Bill Game
Take down the serial numbers of 20-50 one-dollar bills and have staffers put them into circulation in your area. Throughout the promotion, call out a new valid serial number. If a listener is holding the bill that matches the daily serial number calls the station in time, you’ve got a winner.

Bugged Location
Environmental audio would be given from a location where “the bug” is located. The first person to find it wins a prize from that client business or other prizes.

The Fugitive
A cryptic hunt for a person with prize, the winner is the first to crack the clues and locate the person.

Guess the Sex
The aim is for a lucky caller to guess the sex of the next three phone callers. Get three in a row correct and win a cash prize.

Talent-less Idol
A talent show for the talent-less.  Listeners love hearing people make idiots of themselves in a gong show style segment.  The worse they are the better.

Have listeners post pictures on their social media pages using a hashtag specific to the promotion.  Engaging pictures are likely to be widely shared.  For a chance to win, have listeners take pictures of themselves wearing something crazy, participating in a sporting event or doing something related to a charity.  Simply search for the hashtag to see a list of all entrants.

“DJ Made Me Do It” T-Shirts
I’ve personally did this one and it worked great. Basically, design a t-shirt with the station logo and “(name of DJ/show here) Made Me Do It”. These premium giveaway items are ONLY awarded to listeners that do something crazy that the DJ/show tells them to. They are never freely given for no reason. Great sponsorship opportunity on the shirt as well.

Just remember that while many of the above contests do not mention the station website, everything that your stations does should have some kind of website component. This can be an explanation, rules, audio from previous contestants, etc.

Jim Sherwood serves as chief creative, brand strategist, lead developer, meticulous project manager, and station collaborator for all Skyrocket Radio sites and projects.