There are three types of Radio stations around the world that are available to listen to, the most popular is commercial radio run as a profit-making organization and containing advertising. The next two radio stations can be linked, firstly government controlled or assisted radio, and community radio which is sometimes called local radio as it serves a local community.
Most commercial stations are broadcast on AM, and will normally have an FM frequency too which is usually for younger audiences. Most community stations are their own bosses and do their own individual thing, but they are just one station.
For a community radio station to run any sort of event, even a fund-raising one, it will first have to gain funds. And local sponsorship is a great way to do this. Many community station managers will admit trying to attract sponsorship is one of their hardest tasks.
With this in mind, a community station has to step up and act like a big commercial one. The mechanics for a community station to achieve sponsorship are the same as a commercial one trying to get advertisers. But there are some great opportunities for a local station as they have different benefits to offer.
Commercial Benefits for Sponsors with Community Radio
- There are not as many restrictions and broadcast regulations to adhere to as commercial radio.
- Community stations are not subject to the same minimum rates per hour commercially.
- Community stations can tell it as it is, they are not bound to impartiality rules.
- Community stations can broadcast pretty much what they want, featuring local artists and their music and feature diverse genres.
Strategies for Community Radio to Raise Money and Attract Sponsors
- Define what the station represents, so they can connect to the community better.
- Make sure the presenters are of the highest caliber, if they are presenting news programs and weather broadcasts then the information is current and accurate.
- Being an alternative does not necessarily mean you abandon good radio strategy and broadcast the exact opposite of commercial stations. It just has to be slightly unique but still highly listenable.
- Keep content local, but tight and accurate. And always make the stories interesting so it engages with the whole audience.
- Management must take control and lead their volunteers by example.
- Be realistic what your volunteers can seriously achieve, and what they commit to.
- Be seen to be heard, get out and about in the community.
For a community radio station to get out and about in the community it needs to organize events. These do not have to be red carpet events, but they do need to be professional. Just because it is a community radio event it does not have to be of lower quality. In part two of this blog, we will see how community radio stations can go about arranging events and what kind of events are the most successful.