Google the above words and you'll find a lot of radio stations creating buzz right now with this contest. PD Reid Morgan and GM Rob Bye at B93, Lethbridge, have done it very successfully for two books in a row now and I know either one of them would be delighted to share what they've learned.
Thanks to an article in the 4/29/05 Billboard Radio Monitor by Katie Hasty, WRVW, Nashville's Promo Director Kate Guido lists these recommendations:
* Make sure your air staff is committed. Nothing else should appear to matter except finding the Fugitive.
* Include it in all of your more strategic sweeper, promo and air staff hype too
* Constant upkeep is required. Update your website constantly, in addition to the stuff on the air. New clues need to keep happening, to make people feel that they are on to something.
* Don't start blind. Talk to other stations who have executed the promotion. Learn about their best clues, how they generated buzz outside the station and how they involved advertisers. For example, to gain an important clue in the 96X, Edmonton, Fugitive last fall listeners had to patronize the drive-through of a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant, causing lines so long that they blocked highways and got TV coverage
* Send listeners to other station events by having clues that will lead them there. Make sure everything the station does ties in to The Fugitive contest in some way. Competing for your listeners' attention with unrelated station events will hurt the impact of your promotion
* Pick a trustworthy Fugitive. The person can live a normal life, go to work and run errands, but they must know that they need to keep up with them without revealing too much to the audience or their friends and coworkers
* It isn't cheap. 107.5 The River spent thousands on nesting direct marketing phone calls, mailers/fliers and posters with the same theme as their website ("The Fugitive is On The Loose in Nashville, Find The 107.5 Fugitive")
* Imposters pretending to be the Fugitive can be a pain (sometimes competing radio stations encourage them just to mess with your promotion). Be prepared to deal with them
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