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I was listening to one of your tapes and you were discussing "benchmarks" and not to use them for entertainment elements....Does that include contests?

i do mornings at a HOT AC station and we run a some of our contests every day. A few are syndicated, pre-produced programs.. Do you suggest not airing them at the same time each day?

Also, we generally finish off the show with the "joke of the day"...That isn't a good idea either?

Just curious what you think!


"Benchmarking" contests (i.e., conducting them at the same time every day) is good for building cume (cumulative audience), bad for increasing time spent listening.

So if your goal for a particular contest is to get as many people as possible to turn on your radio station ó to sample your programming ó then a good way to do it is to offer a $10,000 birthday drawing tomorrow morning at 7:20. You make it as easy as possible for people to tune into that one element.

But if the contest is intended not primarily to attract new listeners but rather to increase the amount of time your average listener spends with your station, you donít want them to be able to tune in and out with such precision. If youíre offering a pair of hot concert tickets, itís more effective to promote it as "between now and 7:30" than to say "at 7:20." (And, of course, not to always give away such prizes at 7:20.)

I donít think finishing your show with a "Joke of the Day" is a bad idea at all. It encourages your regular listeners who happen to be close to the end of your show to stick with you another few minutes and enables you always to end your show on a light note.

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