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by Dan O’Day

The promotion director of a certain large market radio station sent a memo to the station's morning host, asking:

"Do you want me to type up a winner sheet for every contest you guys do in the morning, or can we do a generic one? Let me know your thoughts..."

The morning host - a very well-known, very successful, very professional veteran personality - replied as follows:

I need a winner sheet for each separate contest for several reasons.

1) Because of the immediacy of radio; things change quickly and at the last minute. Often sales-oriented contests have last-minute changes. This means that I need an updated form with specifics of each contest the day we start it. Not two weeks ahead of time. Since I do not attend the promotion meetings (because the morning host is not invited), I am not privy to the intricacies of each contest. That's why I would appreciate:

        A) An e-mail detailing the contest the day before it starts.

        B) A contest sheet as a backup in the prize book as we previously discussed (on more than one occasion).

2) I need to know the contest has been approved, signed off on, and otherwise tweaked by you and the program director. Just because I talk to a salesperson does not, repeat, not mean that we are doing a contest. Often I chat with salespeople to give them ideas on what we feasibly could do to help a client, but it is always subject to approval from the Promotions and Program Directors. That's why I need a separate winner sheet for each contest.

3) Although we have listeners who win more than one contest, most of our winners are not aware of when a CD, movie ticket, concert ticket, etc., will be available -- and if it isn't, when they can pick it up. We have many prizes, and each contest is different.

Also, as far as concert tickets are concerned, we have had a problem in the past with overzealous DJs giving out more tickets than we have, or listeners claiming that we have given them a prize when, in fact, we haven't.

Therefore, numbered sheets with jocks' names on them in the case of hard-to-get tickets would be optimal. This is known in most businesses as Inventory Control.

On the other hand, if we have a movie house full of tickets, then I believe you could supply one sheet for the movie and we can Xerox off copies to give to the front desk.

4) The necessary items on each winner's sheet should include (but not be limited to):

* Winner's information

* A description of the prize

* How many of the prizes we have to give away (assuming it's a purely morning show prize)

* Whether we need to get an aircheck for the client and/or sales department

* Whether a specific tag is needed for the client

* In the case of tickets, the date of the event

* Any other specifics of the event; e.g., other groups on the concert bill, or for a sporting event, the opposing team

* Whether the tickets/passes include any special type of entertainment: backstage, food, drink, etc.

* Whether you must be a certain age to get into the event (e.g., if liquor is served, you must be of age)

* If transportation is included, and if so, what it will be (limo, train tickets, etc.). Also, whether we need to mention the transportation provider.

Now, that said, it shouldn't be too much for the air personality to ask that the above items be specified in one or two easy-to-read paragraphs so that we can:

(1) Do a solicit with the first one over the beginning of a record

(2) Do the second one in a backsell briefly with the winner.

You will need to somehow highlight the information that should be given to the winner but that does not need to be given over the air.

If this reply is too specific, it's probably because I don't feel I should be wasting my time with something like winner's sheets and contest specifics that should be common sense to a promotion director in a market of this size. Let's move ahead because we have at least one major promotion a month with the morning show alone that we have to get on track as well as the various weekend contests and standard giveaways that stations like ours do as a matter of course.


A priceless resource of promotion ideas:
Great Radio Promotions & Contests

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