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60 Great Radio Ideas

Originally published by Mediaonline.

Some of the local industry’s leading creative minds got together at Radio Days Africa 2021 to brainstorm 60 different ways to increase audience and revenue.

The afternoon session broke with conference convention, as Claire Mawisa moderated an epicspeed brainstorming session titled 60 Ideas in 60 Minutes. The conversation brought about multiple fresh ideas across the different segments of broadcasting, thanks to input from from Zane Derbyshire (programme manager at East Coast Radio), Gary Stroebel (CEO at Future Media Namibia), Paulo Dias (head of creative at Ultimate Media) & Ravi Naidoo (chief creative officer at Primedia).


If you blinked you may have missed the jam-packed afternoon session, which saw a renowned group of panelists from different corners of the industry brainstorming 60 ideas in 60 minutes. As promised, here is the full list, in all its glory:

  1. Ideas and creative solutions should come from anyone in an organisation, not just management

  2. Don’t worry about the sales rate card. Concentrate on a smart discount policy instead.

  3. Don’t sell radio with a Word doc. Give potential clients a chance to hear what they want.

  4. Organise a (COVID responsible) client open day and turn on the charm.

  5. The tip jar campaign idea for East Coast Radio — taking a successful campaign nationwide.

  6. Play more music on the radio.

  7. Get to the adult market on radio through a campaign targeting their kids.

  8. A big giant spinning wheel in the studio.

  9. A 72-hour activation at a shopping mall with a quiz aspect.

  10. Give listeners and presenters versatile ideas to play with, to create organic content.

  11. Car stickers campaign: listeners write down their phone number on stickers stuck to a car, and only one is in permanent marker. Wipe all stickers down at the end, and the winner is the only number left.

  12. Sponsored DIY competition: can you make the sound of a power tool on air?

  13. More experiential campaigns with simplicity across digital platforms.

  14. Skill sharing within both community and commercial stations. Even if just a week-long exchange program to fill knowledge gaps.

  15. Give all your sales reps name tags, as clients don’t remember names.

  16. Give clients two or three options on one of the elements (‘co-creation’ leads to client ownership, and they think they came up with the idea).

  17. Train your sales team on ‘leave behinds’.

  18. Uplifting anthem idea: two feel good songs played every hour along with messaging.

  19. Greatest year in music: you get your listeners to vote to find the best decade, then year, then you play all the songs from the winning year across a full day of programming.

  20. Give listeners more radio station “swag”.

  21. A virtual cook-off (especially during lockdown).

  22. Stations should set up a makeshift gig or sports bar to give people “what they had been missing” during the pandemic.

  23. Staged “lockdown house party” events with an online live stream.

  24. A campaign making the presenter(s) come across more authentic i.e. cancer awareness from a presenter who is connected to the issue.

  25. International campaign: listeners to “live in a coffin” for 60 minutes on Halloween, sponsored by a funeral parlour.

  26. Ronan Keating’s Life is a Rollercoaster campaign where he sings the song on a rollercoaster.

  27. Less celebrity interviews: more innovative collaborations owned by the station.

  28. Organise a pet promotion day with an inoculation tent.

  29. Set up blood drives.

  30. Car park car wash: Invite people selling their cars to bring them along too.

  31. Olympic games: bring more presenter competitions to radio.

  32. How many balloons can people blow up in a minute to see how strong their lungs are?

  33. What if a car (or piece of tech) could co-host a radio show?

  34. Telling the story of a radio drama through WhatsApp.

  35. Doing a live read from Space (using new technologies to plug it into radio).

  36. Use your listeners to generate content for you.

  37. Have a naked wedding.

  38. Writing a client logo in water repellent paint for an activation during the rainy season.

  39. Ask newbies in the industry what their ‘big radio dream’ is and connect what they are doing now to that.

  40. Bowls days: invite you clients for networking and sponsor a corporate league.

  41. Create a radio segment called Titans of Business.

  42. Youth formats should invite the schools in the area to ‘make radio’.

  43. The ten year old dresser: get kids to go with Breakfast presenters to a mall to choose their outfits for a social media photoshoot.

  44. Putting your hosts ‘head to head’, especially with a twist where the winner can tweet from the loser’s account for a day.

  45. Sell the breakfast show online (auction to the highest bidder and money goes to a CSI initiative).

  46. Incorporate music streaming into campaigns i.e. Shazam into a competition mechanic.

  47. Integration of trending technologies into radio campaigns.

  48. ‘Last night the DJ stole my Spotify playlist’: let people build up their own playlists, and then play them on air.

  49. Create a bespoke online stream covering topical events.

  50. SPCA promotion: using dog audio and driving awareness to the community.

  51. Little reporters: kids on radio for LEGO and other youth activations.

  52. Have we ever pitted radio stations against each other for a rivalry or competition?

  53. Get talent from an educational institution or campus radio.

  54. Create a digital station for all the songs that are big on TikTok and let influencers host them.

  55. Campaign: If you have an old TV or want a new TV, “let us get rid of the former for you” (driving over it, dropping it from a tall building) and you get a new one.

  56. ‘Everyday is shoes-day’: give women or men their Cinderella moment and if the shoe fits, they win it.

  57. We should think again about radio time channels and how these drive engagement.

  58. Fund and sell more research.

  59. A Presenter search through social media with the finale streamed live on Facebook.

  60. Classic promotions reinvented for digital channels, that are edgy, “don’t hide anything” and aren’t sold perfectly on air.

Take a minute to let those sink in, and see you soon for another round of action from Radio Days Africa 2021.


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