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Radio Isn't Dead
Oh sure, I loved the days of big promotional budgets…a car a day in the month of May…caller 99 rips me off for one…thousand…dollars cash.   And that yacht?  Prize package #246 in the last…contest. 
Hey, those days were fun.  Welcome to 2016. 
No, I get it.  I understand why stations do national contesting in a lot of places today. But, I was intrigued at word this week of a new study from NuVooDoo that says a large percentage (I think it was 51%, don’t quote me, though) of listeners say radio contests are fixed. 
Hey, you guys on those Facebook sites, talking about the concert tickets you got for your friends…the prizes you faked, how “caller 15” was actually “caller 2”.  Thanks for your “candor”. 
But, in all seriousness, if the public is beginning to think everything in media is a rip off, got news for you…we’re in big trouble. 
National contesting has been the subject of a lot of commentary in radio circles in past years. And, not all of it good. 
I can accept that a company might like to spread its money around so they can make prizes more exciting to grab public attention.  But when you offer one “grand” prize spread out among hundreds of stations, the odds of winning are about the same as me winning the Super Bowl in 2017. 
Those odds are OK if you’re competing for the half a gazillion dollar Power Ball. But a flyaway with backstage passes to a concert, hotel and spending cash?  In some stations, that was a grand prize for a weekend contest. 
IMHO, a national contest can impact a local community…but only if you can provide some proof that someone in the local area is WINNING. 
Regionalize contests.  Do 3 or 4 or more big prizes and regionalize.  Or do contests by format. Make the chance of winning more realistic.  Not long ago, our stations did a “national” giveaway.  But because the number of stations was fairly small in the group, listeners in our area won over $20,000 over the course of the contest.  We were congratulating new local listeners every week. Do you think those people cared about it being a “national” contest? 
We really can’t afford to lose our credibility, radio bosses.   
 

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