[JPL] Programming Question - Promotion Of Our Product

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 22 11:34:53 EDT 2008

One of the issues I've had with what we do here at WHRV and WHRO is lack of promotion for our wonderful product. Too often I find us preaching to the proverbial choir about what we do. We run "spots" promoting what we are doing to the same folks that already listen. I remember when I first started producing "The R&B Chronicles" and the spot I cut was running on our station...promoting it to public radio listeners. That wasn't the point of why I wanted to do the show. The point was to get to a part of the community that wasn't listening. Now it's much better...mainly with the help of print media and word of mouth.  

There is or has been a belief that if you're intelligent, educated, make a decent income...you listen to public radio. That in my view isn't totally true. I find for example when we are performing...particularly locally...I always mention my radio show. There are always people coming up to me asking..."what station is that again?" A lot of folks don't know about us that would listen if they did. One advantage for me being a performer is that I have been able to bring many listeners to my radio show as a result but that's an advantage many jazz programmers don't have. We still need more help.   

My question is how do your stations reach the part of the community that isn't familiar with what you do? Where would you go to promote what you do? Who are the ones more likely to listen to you and how do we reach them? Our budgets are slim for promoting what we do so there has to be other ways to get the word out. I've done classes for example as many of you have...where I'll pick up seven here....nine new listerers there...etc...Is that what it's become? I know this has been talked about over the years at conventions but I'm not sure how these ideas have helped. Some stations my have money to promote what they do but my guess is most don't. 

When WHRV first came on the air in 90 we ran billboards. That stopped after about six months. We ran ad's in the local paper as well. That stopped too. They've been trying to get me to go to smooth jazz events to put our banner up so those folks can learn about us. I personally don't think that has help build our audience. What we do is so amazingly different artistically than that so I can't see it helping us much. 

I know there are many, many out there that would listen if they simply knew we are here. Finding new ways to reach them is the key. Would some like to chime in here and share some thoughts? New ideas? 

Jae Sinnett   


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