In this series of articles, I’m going to walk you through the basic procedure for planning your own radio campaign. We’ll cover topics such as choosing your target radio stations, creating a radio-friendly press kit, how to find media contacts, how to write a press kit cover letter for your radio campaign, how to handle follow-up calls, and more! Let’s continue this week by learning what items you’ll need to budget for, and how you can save money while still running an effective campaign.
If you’re interested in planning your own radio campaign, you certainly can’t afford to neglect a budget. There are a lot of costs involved, whether you’re hiring help or doing everything yourself. While you could easily spend several hundred dollars a month (or even in a week!) hiring a radio promoter to handle your campaign for you, I’m going to assume that you plan to do most of the work yourself.
In that case, here is a list of the primary costs to running a successful DIY radio campaign:
1. CD Production
2. Press Kit Design & Production
3. Postage for Press Kits
4. Media Contact Lists
5. Long-Distance Phone Calls for Follow-ups
Obviously the costs mentioned are going to vary greatly based on the size of the campaign you plan to run, whether you already have your CDs pressed and ready, and whether or not you already have a significant number of press kits produced. But, even if you already have those two major costs covered, you can’t neglect the others, which may seem more insignificant.
Postage – I receive press kits on a regular basis. I’m always amazed to see how much some bands are paying for postage. I’ve seen reasonable postage come through at around $.60/kit, and larger kits coming in at over $2.50/kit. So, what’s the easiest way to save money on postage for your radio campaign? – Your Press Kit!!! Keep the kit as small as possible, while still providing the necessary information. Look into smaller (or just lighter) CD packaging methods. Just remember not to sacrifice quality.
Media Contact Lists – I gave you a few resources for free media contacts in Part 2 of this article series. Go back and use them! If you still can’t find the contacts you need, spend some time searching online. You’re better off getting information directly from stations than spending money on indie music contact books and CDs, which are notoriously inaccurate.
Phone Calls – The easiest ways around this cost would be to either keep your radio campaign local or regional, or to get set up with a phone plan (land line or cell) that will allow you to make unlimited long-distance calls during normal business hours.
By completing the work involved in your radio campaign yourselves, you’ll save a small fortune in fees you’d be paying to someone else, you’ll be making your own contacts in the industry, and you won’t over-extend your resources. Just make sure you set realistic goals based upon what you can afford.