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Sales Promotion Planning Tips
by John Lund


What is the promotion or contest called?

What does the client want the promotion to accomplish?

What should it accomplish for the station?

Is it appropriate for both the target audience and the station's image?

Does the station have exclusivity on the promotion?

How can the promotion be improved from its raw concept?

Is this promotion in conflict with any other station activity, client or promotion?

Will the station always look good, in terms of crowd size, level of participation, significant registration, multiple winners and meaningful goodwill?

Is this promotion easy - easy to understand, easy to play, and easy to win?


Has the client done business with your station before?

How much is the account currently spending with your station?

How much more will be spent per week, month or year with this promotional opportunity?

How will the client support the promotion? Will there be an additional on-air schedule, outside advertising, an in-store promotional campaign, a remote broadcast, etc.?

How will the station promote the promotion (promos, website, other media)?

How many promos or mentions, if any, are promised or necessary in addition to the client's commercials? At what value? Will it sound like the client owns the radio station when this promotion is on the air (that is, are there too many promos)?

What stations has the client done promotions with before? Did the sales promotions run smoothly, or were there problems due to the client or station?

Is the promotion fundamentally a good value for the client and the station?

Can the value of the prize be leveraged? Can you turn a $1,500 trip into $15,000 sales package?

Will the client provide another promotional opportunity or ad schedule if this one is successful?


Will the promotion sound great on the air?

Who will write, produce, schedule and update the promos? Consider rules, contest forms, winners' sheets, prize releases and bookkeeping procedures.

Does the contest constitute an illegal lottery, with a prize, chance and consideration?

Can rules be changed midway through the promotion? Can the time frame be extended?

Should the station station's legal counsel be apprised of the promotion?

Are complete rules simple enough to convey in 30 seconds?

Is the contest fun to play even for those not calling in to win?


Will personality appearances be necessary? If so, assign a value to the time and determine who will pay for it.

Will remote equipment, line charges and security be necessary? If so, indicate costs and who will be responsible for them.

Doing a promotion on location requires signage, additional liners, the station van, contest registration, entry boxes, etc. Does the client's budget justify (or cover) the expense?

What are the odds for success? (A registration program for a remote at a low-traffic business may end up looking like a failure.)


Will the prizes coincide with your listeners' interests? How valuable are they to the target audience?

Will the client supply promotional items, gifts and prizes? List prizes and indicate their value.

How will the prizes be distributed? Will certificates or prizes be mailed, or will winners pick them up at the station, the client's location or a remote?

When the prize is to be picked up, is the prize value enough to justify the driving distance for winners? Be sure to provide directions.

Are the promotion and prize topical? Do they relate to what everyone's talking about?

What do qualifiers win? Is there instant gratification for them and the listeners?

Are the prizes really worth the hoops listeners jump through to get them?


How will the station and the client gauge success?

How well did the contest work? Prepare a follow-up report for the client, including documentation of on-air mentions and the money spent by the station on promotion. Complete a station file with all promotional particulars, liners, rules, promos, winners and results evaluation.

Would you recommend doing this promotion next year?

© 2004 by John Lund; reprinted by permission.

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