Sponsorship is the area where many community stations struggle, so in Stephen Pead’s session at the CBAA Conference, he gave some useful tips on how to increase funding from sponsors.
Don’t rely solely on sponsors, he warned, make sure there is a mix of income streams such as memberships, fund raising, grants as well as sponsors.
“You have to follow the rules and acknowledge the sponsorship, then maximise the results for your sponsors.
“Maximise your opportunities, tell potential sponsors what’s in it for them.
“Explain to your listeners how they can becoems sponsors, tell them the benefits of working with you station. Play on air testimonials, tell success stories.”
One method that has worked for some stations is 60 second explanations from sponsors about how they have sponsored the station and had success. It has dual benefits, it gives existing sponsors more profile and uses them to convince others that working with your station is beneficial.
Other tips from Stephen Pead included:
Tell them what’s in it for them. Businesses won’t just give you money, they will want to know how you can help them if they are going to help you.
Ensure your sponsors fit your station, don’t approach businesses that are not compatible with your station philosophy.
Make sure you have a good looking wesbite that clearly tells sponsors the benefits of working with you, tells them about your audience and has a clear way to contact the person who deals with sponsorship.
Optimise your website for mobiles and make sure there is a tab called ’sponsorship’ at the top so that sponsors will be impressed immediately.
Don’t approach businesses that don’t have much cash flow, they can’t afford it.
Look for companies that are already doing some advertinsig in the local market place, they are already in the mindset to spend money with media.
Does the business know who they want to get their message to? If not they probably won’t be ready to advertise.
Network in the local market, talk to people, join chambers of commerce and other local groups. You never know who you will talk to next, it might be soneone who will advertise with you.
It is really difficult to sell anything on the phone. Use the first phone call to make an appointment, then visit them to learn more and eventually make the sale.