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Why Radio Stations Should Hold Their Own Upfront Events.

Holding upfront events can benefit both radio and advertisers alike, with broadcasters securing business for the next calendar year and clients gaining an inside look at upcoming programming features, programs and events.

According to Mr. Master President Stu Jacobs, radio’s upfront season will soon come to a close. Already commonplace in the TV industry, which traditionally holds its upfront events in May, radio’s upfront season is September through October.

In a guest blog post for the RAB, Jacobs provides four sales tips to help maximize your sales efforts with an upfront event.

Create an Upfronts Event: “Differentiate your upfronts pitch from your standard renewal or new business efforts by transforming your upfronts sales cycle into a truly special event,” Jacobs writes. “You can think of this like a typical promotion, but instead of your listeners attending, your clients are the target audience. For example, you could do a virtual or in-person summit featuring your on-air talent, as well as artists that your station plays.” Don’t forget the station swag. “You could give away or ship swag bags featuring a memorable premium item to your clients.”

Get Creative with Your Pitch: Jacobs says “don’t be afraid to get creative with your pitch deck.” Suggestions include creating a menu-type pitch deck when presenting to restaurant clients. Or, “if you are pitching a beverage company, you could relabel some of its products with a design that incorporates your sales messaging copy points,” he suggests.

Utilize the RAB’s “Why Radio?” Data: “If you need data to help tell the story of radio – and just how powerful it is – the RAB is a wonderful resource to get free and helpful information,” Jacob says. The “Why Radio” microsite can help create custom reports with industry and consumer data that can be incorporated into presentations.

Deliver 100% Ad Accountability: Minimize the need for make-goods, Jacobs advises. “Use software to automate traffic and production workflows and process network spots — essentially eliminating the need to do makegoods. Compliance software can also post affidavits within 24 hours and provide client shareable analytics on-par with digital.”

Some networks, such as Skyview, annually hold upfront presentations for its clients. During its 2022 event, held earlier this month, Skyview Networks announced that Cox Media Group is joining its network. The network presented to 300 buyers, advertisers and partners during its virtual upfront session.

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