"Successful April 1 stunts leave everybody feeling good. Bad ones leave local cops unhappy and some aggrieved citizen writing the FCC about the “hoax rule.” Radio’s gotten egg on its face many times for half-baked ideas that sounded great in the studio, but which had disastrous consequences out in the real world."
Last year, Dave Pettitt and his Island Radio/Nanaimo team orchestrated what I think may be one of the best executed community deceptions I have ever heard. The key: they had all local officials not only informed at the planning stage, but also got them to help pull it off.
"When listeners called our "City Hotline" they received a message from Kim and myself. People still stop us and tell they were had. It was a pretty successful April Fools Joke."
Day #1: a planted news story, based on fact, but with a silly local angle.
Day #2: (April Fools Day): The story becomes the day's topical talk-about (click to listen)
Day #3: (click to listen) Listeners react to be sure everyone knows it was all in fun.
That's a textbook case of how it's done! What are you planning?