Nothing brings more joy to the on-air personality than the extra cash earned by sitting for two hours in a business and talking on-air four times selling whatever is around them. Nothing brings more moans from the salesperson, who has been instructed by the sales manager, to make an appearance at the remote and smooze the owner long enough until they can come up with faux appointment or kid’s ball game they’ve got to attend right now.
What is it about remotes that bring joy and pain on the same day. Maybe for the personality it’s sitting in an empty car showroom with your table set, your engineer sitting next to you, no one in the room except six or seven car salespeople looming over your table asking if you have any free (add your event name here) tickets. Then someone who’s wandering the showroom waiting two hours for their credit to be approved steps up to the table to look over your station pens and movie passes spread out evenly to look more plentiful. You sprint into action, rush around the other side of the table and have your engineer take your cellphone and snap a picture of you with the only person who has shown up in the past 30 minutes. Webpage upload obligation accomplished!
We’ve all been there. It’s usually best in a grocery store remote where there’s a built in audience moving by unlike the small business owner who’s invested in the event and keeps asking you “When are the people going to show up? I have the full staff here today in anticipation of major sales!”
Something needs to be done to re-invent the broadcast remote. At P1 Learning we have ideas. Let’s explore a few.
First for the salesperson. Do your research on your clients expectations in advance and help them focus on their needs. Is this a brand building event or a door swinging event? Set some goals that can be measurable at the end of the event. Did they achieve what they expected. Don’t just expect the air talent to find out what they are selling on the day they show up. Get your copy points in advance and make sure the client isn’t trying to sell too much at once in their spots. Make sure the location description is presented in an understandable form and not a long mysterious address. Don’t just make the sale then move on to something else. Work with your promotion staff, sales manager and engineering staff to grow the business of your client.
Now the personality. Be there at least 30 minutes before so you can check the copy points with the person in charge. Don’t sit behind your table the whole time eating something. Get up, keep moving, interact with staff and customers. Make the employees the stars. Find that outgoing person and put them on the air with you. Sometimes the success of the remote may be one of the employee’s family members seeing or hearing them! Use your technology. There are many cellphone audio and video editing programs allowing you to wander the business collecting audio or video and mixing it all together at your table on your phone to add some pizzazz to your call ins or online posts. You can even record a call-in elsewhere in the business on your cell phone recording app and email it to your studio for playback (but you probably know that by now. It’s also a good back up when the signal fails or gets fuzzy).
Let’s talk about what to do to get people in the place. Everyone usually has a giveaway registration box for a future drawing but think of some competition on site built around the clients product to get people in. Maybe “best photo of your child sitting in the driver’s seat of one of these new cars”, “the he-man or he-woman challenge at the fitness club remote”, “who has the dumbest picture on their phone at the cell phone store remote”. Actually, I’d win that with the photo of the plumbing connections under my bathroom sink. Just take some time to make up a contest using your clients business theme. Work with your promotions department to help with a prize.
And speaking of prizes, how to control the distribution of prizes so you are now out of them in the first 30 minutes. Some have the dice game where you must roll matching numbers to pick a prize. Cut the deck and if the customer gets the high card they choose from the stash. Some have a spinning wheel with prizes marked on the slots. I’ve often attempted to convince the station to have one big prize each quarter like a trip or major concert package and promote it at every broadcast remote for the big prize drawing.
These are just a few ideas for freshening your remote packages. I’ll bet you have some ideas we haven’t thought of and perhaps you’ll leave a few comments to share them.
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