I got a letter last week from a couple account reps for a couple radio stations: “Especially when times are tough, the community could benefit from the positive message of faith that your organization delivers.”
I’m not big into radio advertising. I’ve done it a couple times. I understand how it works. And how it doesn’t work. (I have a degree in broadcasting, for goodness sakes.) I understand the need for sustained presence and the cost of that kind of presence. I am particularly not in favor of using broadcast media covering large areas when you are a local church. It doesn’t seem to be the best use of limited resources. I feel a particular tension in using broadcast media when you are trying to build relationships.
But I was curious.
So when they called, as they indicated in the letter, I scheduled an appointment.
This morning I called to see if they could get done in 25 minutes so I could get to another appointment. When Brad called back he said, “sure.” I was impressed. They weren’t going to try to linger. They apparently believed that they had something that could be presented clearly and quickly.
They were early. I was on time.
I told them of my bias against broadcast and for narrowcast.
He said he understood.
What they presented was a website that will be promoted on the two stations and on their websites. This platform, called faithandfamilyguide.com, is designed to provide a landing place for the people in their audience who are at life and family transition points and are wondering about faith questions.
The site, limited to 10 churches, has articles about faith and family. It has links to landing pages for the 10 churches, with a common set of audio, video, and information resources, and links out to the sites of the churches. The site will carry advertising, will have its own contests, will have regularly updated calendar info. It will have an “ask the pastor” feature. It may accept content written through the churches (yes, I gave them links to this site and to 300wordsaday.com).
From what I can tell, their project is a good example of content marketing. They are trying to gather resources and content-creators (the churches) and offer that content to their listeners. They will promo the site on air and will link to it from the two station websites. At the same time, they are qualifying leads and bringing them to the ten churches that sign up. No one has to go to the site, but they can if they are wondering about family or faith issues. And the stations hit a demographic that is full of family transitions.
We would pay a monthly fee. We would get the landing page and 24 spots a month on the stations.
Here’s where I need your help.
Does the concept make sense?
What questions should I ask them?
What should we be thinking about?
Does this approach take us to people who live around us that we would not talk to in other ways?
(Just so you know, I love the concept. I love watching the stations branch out from straight ads to a new idea that can have a measure of interactivity. I love the funnelling. But I could be dazzled because of my low initial expectations. That’s why I need your help.)