Radio has become a tough advertising vehicle. Radio station formats change like the wind, Internet and satellite radio have begun to take hold offering commercial free listening environment and even the coveted 18-45 age group has become increasingly hooked on the iPod.
There is one radio advertising vehicle that actually will benefit from the above factors and that is public radio. Public radio enjoys one of the few remaining targeted, loyal listening audiences. If your business needs awareness type exposure with a mostly affluent, well-educated, upper management type market, then public radio just may be a great buy.
Public radio stations, as the name implies, receive some public funding and cross the nation in terms of coverage. Almost every American has access to a public radio station and large metropolitan communities may have several to choose from. (I can tune in 4 different ones in Kansas City) – My hometown station
The beauty of public radio is the format. They feature deep news coverage, magazine type interviews, arts coverage and entertainment programs such as Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk and What Do You Know. On top of producing content that really can’t be found elsewhere, they do it everyday, same time, same channel. The audience is so loyal and so consistent that not only can you reach a very targeted group, you can do it without needing to purchase a great deal of frequency. I like to employ an on for month, off for a month strategy.
Recently, I have placed 3 very different clients on public radio with great results. An architect, an office furniture distributor and an upscale home remodeler. All were floored by the results and awareness created in their target audience.
A couple of notes on interest about this vehicle. They do not actually accept advertising. They accept sponsorship and the sponsors receive a message acknowledging their support of the program. The sponsorship message can promote things like a web site address but cannot blatantly sell. (Very few people can write good radio copy anyway, so this is a good thing)
If your target audience fits the public radio listener, I would suggest you take a look at public radio as a great way to promote your business.