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The 6 P’s for Promotion

The 6 P’s refer to the saying “Prior Preparation Prevents P**S Poor Performance. Tomorrow is the Fourth of July. Independence Day. Somewhere in Radioland there is someone who awoke today with the realization that they’ve planned nothing special for this holiday. It doesn’t happen only for this holiday. It happens around every holiday, special month or annual event. What’s surprising to me is that more people don’t plan ahead knowing that there are annual holidays that are exactly what they’re described as being. Annual holidays.

McVay Media issues a calendar of events in November of every year for the next year. This calendar is broken out by weeks and months and averages 30-35 pages. It contains ideas and suggestions for stations to use to tie-in to a holiday. To generate revenue. To attract an audience. The purpose of the promotional calendar is so that Programming, Promotion and Sales can prepare far in advance of every event or holiday for the year.


There is no excuse to not be prepared. A slew of holiday’s are locked-in on specific dates. You know that Christmas is December 25th, New Years Eve is December 31st, Valentines Day is February 14th, St. Patrick’s Day is March 17th … and so on. There’s no reason for not planning six-months in advance for whatever the event is and taking advantage of it to build revenue and audience.


The creation of a plan for such annual events should begin by answering the question “What’s the importance of this holiday or event to my audience?” The follow-up question is “What’s the benefit to my audience and to the station to celebrate or magnify the meaning of this holiday?” Continuing with “How do we make our radio station sound connected to the holiday in such a way that shows we’re embracing and enhancing the spirit of the holiday?” Concluding with “Will my audience and advertisers care about this event?”

The Fourth of July, as an example, is one of those special summer holiday’s that put one right smack dab in the middle of the North American summer. It’s a time for family, carnivals, picnics, swimming, boating, fireworks and turning off the work in your life. It’s a part of many families traditions. On-air the connection to a community may start with announcing where and when you can see fireworks. Perhaps an outdoor concert is taking place in your community. You may be contesting, supported by a sponsor, to giveaway a grill.


This is just the tip of the iceberg. Prior planning, having an ideation session (brainstorming) well in advance of the holiday, puts you and your station in a position to create a reason to listen. It has the potential of making your station a destination. Given the increased competition from so many non-radio entertainment sources, it’s not enough to play music and sound like every other day of the year. You need more. You need to look for reasons and ways to be special. That starts with long-term foresight and planning. Strive to be different in the approach you take to a holiday or an event. Be creative. Do something unique.


Better get busy. Labor Day is next. That planning should have happened in early April. You should be thinking of options for Christmas 2023 now. Be prepared.


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