Radio station on-air personalities love to get free product and service samples! So reach out to them and give them what they want! You could create fans and get on-air mentions, which will spread the word about your product or service.
Visit your local radio station early in the morning (during commuter hours) and drop off food, beverage and other product samples. Build a relationship with the on-air personalities and repeat your visits when you launch something new.
Depending on your product or service, mid-day and afternoon drive time radio station personalities could also be great relationships to build.
Whether you’re a restaurant, retail store, food truck or hair salon, this activity is a great way to build local awareness of your location and your offerings. The goal of the radio drop is to get the product in the hands & mouths of the DJs so that they will mention it on air. Don’t worry, it’s not too hard. After all, who doesn’t like free food and beverages?
Radio stations make great long-term partners, so have the goal of targeting the right radio stations and building relationships with the right people.
Identify the Stations
You probably know the key radio stations to target in your local market: the stations you listen to, and most importantly, the stations your customers and potential customers listen to.
However, if you’re unsure of which radio stations to target, use this site to find the full list of stations nearest you and links to the station websites.
Getting Into the Radio Station
Now, once you’ve identified the top radio stations you want to target, there are two ways to get your products samples into the hands of on-air personalities:
- Guerrilla Sampling: Just drop by! Although can be a bit challenging in this day and age.
- Write a Pitch: Contact them to see about coming in.
Guerrilla Sampling is simply stopping by local radio stations during morning drive time with your product samples…just make sure the samples are hot and fresh!
Often the best time for radio drops is prior to 8:00 am. At this point, there usually isn’t a receptionist on duty yet, so you have one less person to “get through.” Drive to the station, call the listener/request line (you can find this on the radio station’s website under “Contact Us”), and let the DJs know you are outside with free products. Most stations have an intern that will run out to get your product (or they may even invite you in). If you don’t get accepted, just try the next one!
With the product samples you are taking, make sure to also include …
- information on your product
- menu or list of services
- new promotion or event postcard
- gift cards/certificates are also a great idea…the DJs can use them or give them away on the air to listeners.
Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for them to talk about you.
Write with a Pitch: If you’re not comfortable just stopping by, send an introductory email to the Promotions Director or Producer of the morning show. You can find this person on most radio station websites under “Contact Us.”
Here’s a sample email introduction…
I’m a big fan of the ABC123 Morning Show. My restaurant, Joe’s Grill, is minutes away from your station. I just launched a new line of grilled sandwiches and I would love to bring some in for the Morning Crew to sample.
Please let me know a good date and time for me to bring them over. I’ll bring enough for everyone working and can also provide gift certificates to give way on air to your listeners.
Look forward to hearing from you. Thank you,
New Christmas Beverage Launch
When Starbucks first launched its Gingerbread Latte beverage in the Washington, DC market, we were thrilled to hear one of the popular morning DJs raving about the drink. We contacted the station about coming in one morning and making the “last Gingerbread latte of the season” on air for them. They loved the idea, and it was the start of a beautiful relationship. For the next Christmas, and several after, we launched the beverage on-air with them and even created a Gingerbread Latte Wednesday promotion where a portion of sales generated on every Gingerbread Latte Wednesdays was given to the local Starbucks Christmas toy drive partner. For four years, the DC market was the TOP selling Gingerbread Latte market in the country.
Prior to opening Seattle’s Best Coffee cafes in Borders bookstores, many district marketing managers would drop off coffee to local radio stations the Friday prior to the Grand Opening Event. The package that they would drop off to their list of stations included a coffee thermos of the promotional coffee, a bag of the coffee, some new books from Borders, and postcards promoting the Grand Opening Event.
DC Radio Restaurant Promotion
One of the local radio stations in the DC area invites a different restaurant into the studio every weekday morning. By listening regularly, you’ll get to know who comes in and what they bring. You’ll also know who to contact. Every morning the on-air team mentions and thanks the local restaurant, food truck, etc… who brings in the goodies and often shares any promotional news or gift cards they bring.