While many of you are just trying to keep ahead of the day-to-day demands being created by the coronavirus lockdown, we are trying to help radio programmers and marketers by looking ahead at a few important dates that are coming up. Since this is such a fast-moving situation, lockdowns and local restrictions might be different in a few weeks than they are today and we also know this is a market by market phenomenon, so keep that in mind with your planning.
Mother’s Day (May 10, 2020)
Traditionally, this day to honor the matriarchs in our lives has been an opportunity for station sales teams to put together prize packages with local advertisers, and this year shouldn’t be different. For those of us lucky enough to still have a mom around, her value and meaning in our lives has only intensified since the outbreak.
Local regulations may vary but many florists appear to be open for delivery, restaurants are selling meal kits that could replace those brunches, and some jewelry stores are hosting online shopping with, in some cases, curbside order pickup.
If these businesses aren’t currently open in your area, put together an online coupon book with gift cards (brunch, flowers, yoga class, spa day) mom can redeem at a later date. Give some away, and sell the package at a discount for dads who can’t get out to shop. It’s critical all these sponsors either deliver or offer pickup.
Another option would be to create an instant Mother’s Day Kit – wine, cheese, flowers, a card, etc. Again, delivery and pickup are essential.
Looking beyond the traditional advertiser aspect here are a few other ideas to consider:
- Mother’s Day Videos: As we all master new video platforms, this would be a great year to record some group video greetings for moms from the airstaff. Or perhaps have them record/post tributes to their moms. You might be able to pull off personalized videos for a few lucky winners from your most popular talent. All that’s needed is a smartphone.
- Online Tutoring Services: Even more so than usual this year, one of the greatest gifts any mother can receive is a breather from taking care of or homeschooling the kids. Chances are, you can trade for these services by highlighting a service on the morning show.
- Breakfast Fails: This year more than most there will be a lot of families making mom breakfast in bed. Collecting pictures of the biggest fails could make a fun gallery for the station’s website.
- Stay At Home Survival Kit: With so many moms being cooped up with the kids, put together survival kits – video games, jigsaw puzzles, Netflix subscriptions, and other diversions designed to keep everyone busy.
National Nurses Day (May 6)
In the U.S., National Nurses Day is celebrated on May 6 as the kickoff to National Nurses Week (which ends on May 12 – the birthday of Florence Nightingale and International Nurses Day). While this usually isn’t a day radio would recognize, this year is clearly different. Contact local nurses organizations to find out what they need and how to best get them involved, or partner with a major hospital system in your market. Here are a variety of thought starters for how stations can get involved:
- Production / Online: The simplest action to take is creating special graphics for your website and social channels. If possible, be sure to mention local hospitals by name.
- Dedications: Have listeners call in and dedicate songs to nurses they know personally, they have encountered, or just as a way to say thank you.
- Salutes: Each hour, honor one nurse in your market and share his/her story.
- PPE Fundraiser: Depending on how your area is being affected, the need for masks and other equipment for nurses has been well documented. Consider a one-day fundraiser or auction to benefit charities helping acquire this equipment.
- Comfortable Shoes: Nurses spend all day on their feet and comfortable shoes are important. Team with a shoe store to create a fund – possibly through a buy a pair, donate a pair program – to help nurses get new, comfortable shoes.
- Red Cross Benefit: The Red Cross in most areas is in desperate need of blood. What better way to honor nurses than promoting a blood drive?
- Feed Their Families: There are a lot of stories about restaurants sending food to overworked hospital staffs but what about their families? Work with a local restaurant to send meal kits to the families of nurses so they have one less thing to worry about that day.
Other Notable Dates in May
- May 4 – Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You): A good day for geeky fun on the air with Star Wars drops.
- May 5 – Cinco de Mayo: It falls on a Tuesday this year, and it looks like most people will likely be celebrating at home. A good day to give away delivery from local Mexican restaurants or at the least play a few sets of five songs from core artists.
- May 21 – National Waitstaff Day: It’s hard to know what the status of restaurants will be by late May but there’s a good many that will still be out of work and hurting financially. This might be a good opportunity for a one-day fundraiser to support people who lost their gigs due to the virus.
- May 23-25 – Memorial Day Weekend: Another one that’s hard to predict because it’s a month away. This may be a tough weekend with people stuck inside during a time they would otherwise be out on the lake, barbequing, or going to a baseball game. Or it could be a coming out party of sorts as people are able to get back outside. It’s too early to know what to expect but it’s worth keeping in mind.
In either case, a great programming stunt that weekend is important to keep your station on the map and in the ratings race. Memorial Day Monday is traditionally a tough one, especially for stations with strong morning shows who have the day off.
As always, if you want to brainstorm station specific ideas for these dates or other promotions, we’d be happy to help.