Remotes: Are They a Thing of the Past?

Within the past few years, promotions, or outings, have been really hard to come by. If we really think about it, since the pandemic it’s been tough to talk a business into having a radio station on location to promote a sale or event. Years ago it was easy! Pitch your morning show, shirts, “swag,” this number of mentions on air and on social media. Badabing you have a remote. Now…people are watching their budget and telling us we don’t fit into the numbers this month. How do we get over that hurdle?

The ROI is key…relaying to the client how beneficial it is to be heard on air can be a tricky conversation. Of course, they want to know right away what they will get out of it. “How many people can you promise me will walk through our front doors?” I’ve heard this asked MANY times. You know, and, honestly, THEY know you can’t answer that! However, just as when you see a doctor, you want an answer right away about what’s wrong  and it better be the correct answer. The client wants an answer right away and it better fit into their expectation. What do you do now?

First of all, we need to be completely honest with ourselves. The remote itself is not going to do a thing for anyone. Long gone are the days where the jocks are celebrities and listeners were lining up to meet them. Wanna talk to someone on air? Find them on social media and you could have a conversation right now! How do we flip this? There needs to be a creative experience within the remote. 1-2 in the afternoon on a weekday is a waste of everyone’s time. What if the morning show did their actual show on location? I don’t know about you but even after being in radio for decades, I still think it’s cool to see other shows broadcast live from a business or event. Pitch the client a morning show on their turf.

Second, you need to know what you are going to give the client on air. Create a segment around the promotion. Clearly, you have to have a couple cut-ins every hour…but make them MORE than just a “We are live at Smith and Sons for their anniversary event!” Bring the owner on air and ask him some off the wall questions. Hell, make him part of your morning show for that break! Include him in your content. CATER to the client. Make him feel special.

Finally, have GREAT communication with the client! Numerous times I’ve seen a jock show up for a remote and have the intern find the talking points for him. That’s uncalled for. The talent needs to introduce themselves, make it clear you are there for them, and every hour ask if there’s anything else that needs to be said or relayed.

When pitching a remote, all this needs to be communicated to the client. They need to understand this is what’s expected when your station has the opportunity to show the community what the client has to offer. The excitement of a show is a thousand times better than a remote. Oh and you don’t HAVE to do a four hour show…when I say “show” it can still be two or three hours. It’s still a show. Shoot breaks over to the station so those can air while you’re on your way back. The intern can break down the remote.

On-site broadcasts don’t have to be a thing of the past. You just have to get more creative with them now.

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