It's that time of year again, where budgets are being sliced and diced, and the negotiations are occurring between PDs, GMs, and corporate staffers. How much marketing money will we have? Do we have enough for boards? What about direct mail? And shouldn't we be thinking about free gas?
Yet, it's not always a matter of just money. Sometimes the best ideas are the cheapest, easiest, and most obvious. For many years now, Buffalo's 97Rock has been running a "Workforce Employee of the Day" program where listeners "apply" for this daily position. What do they receive? There's a small prize package of this and that, and yes, a T-shirt that the "employee" can show to friends.
But the big impact is station recognition. The "Employee of the Day" gets to request a few songs throughout the day, and hears their voice on the station as they are recognized by 97Rock. They also receive a designation on the station Web site at the top of the home page.
PD John Hager tells me there are thousands of "applications" in-house from people all over Buffalo who want the recognition of working for 97Rock – for a day. And to put the bow on the package, John recently showed me a photocopy of an Arbitron diary comment. The listener noted that while he typically listens to talk shows throughout the day, he was named the "97Rock Employee of the Day" during the week he received his diary. You know the rest of the story.