Today’s programmers are hyper-focused on reducing clutter. That’s good, but in some cases, it has led to poor promotion and marketing decisions. Radio shows must be promoted if they are to be successful, but not all shows are equally promotable. Promotion can’t make a bad show popular, but great shows may never reach their potential without support. The problem is identifying the shows that should be promoted aggressively and those that need to be fixed first. Fortunately, there’s a simple tool to help you sort it out. Once you’ve identified if your show has the potential to lead your radio station forward, it’s time to develop a strategy behind morning show promos.

Strategy Behind Morning Show Promos

The fastest way to increase your ratings or top-of-mind awareness is with an ad campaign on your own radio station. Even high-performing shows attract fewer than half of the station’s total weekly cume. That’s a valuable audience to recruit.

Think of it like this:

Imagine an Italian restaurant that wants to grow its customer base. How should it promote itself? Should it try to reach those who prefer Mexican food? Maybe, but that would be time-consuming and probably not very cost-effective.

Of course, they need to find potential customers who like Italian food. But to reach new customers, they must advertise to a much larger audience, which wastes much of the cost of delivering the message in traditional media. Then consider that those they reach with their message may not respond because they probably already have a favorite Italian restaurant.

Their key to immediate success is to direct ads only to those who have been in an Italian restaurant in the past week with a clear focus on those who have come to their restaurant. They’ve demonstrated they like it, so it would be quite effective to attract them to return.

Apply This Lesson To Your Station

100% of your radio station’s audience likes something about the radio station. They’ve been to your “restaurant” in the past week. They’re the perfect target audience. And you can promote them for free as long as your show meets certain criteria:

Is It Worthy? Don’t assume promotion is the only missing ingredient for a show with a low cume conversion. Maybe the show isn’t worth promotion! Objectively evaluate the show’s strengths and weaknesses. Promote it when it’s strongest.

Are They Committed? Shows must invest time and energy in creating amazing morning show promos. Each promo should accomplish at least one of three things: demonstrate character traits for the show’s personalities, showcase the mood/attitude of the show, and set an appointment to listen at a key time. If the show isn’t willing to devote the resources to making great promos, don’t promote it!

Put Cart Behind The Horse? Most morning shows can’t make a bad station successful. Avoid promoting a show until the station brand is well established. Until then, use the morning show as spokespeople for your brand, connecting with the audience on core brand values they appreciate from your station position.


It’s hard to inspire listeners to change habits and tune into radio stations at different times of the day. But the very people who are most likely to be influenced by an advertising message (and that’s what promos are) already listen. All you have to do is give them reasons to listen more. And isn’t that easier than recruiting new listeners to try you out?

What’s your number and how does it impact the strategy behind morning show promos?

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