Expert Columns

Did you survive the solar eclipse? Hopefully you have some fun memories – and maybe some photographs – to share. After all, it was a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Speaking of events, Monday's eclipse proved that people love events. Even though we're surrounded by hi-tech gadgets that allow us to watch and witness everything, we can't get away from the actual experience of “being there” and seeing it first hand.
So before you put the eclipse glasses away and file your photographs in a digital folder, take a couple of minutes to think about what made this moment in time special.
Was it the thrill of watching a live event unfold?
Was it the excitement of spending time with family and friends?
Did you look forward to booking a campsite or hotel and traveling to watch the event?
Was it the photos and souvenirs?
As you answer those questions, take notes about what made this event so special … and then take those thoughts and ideas and apply them to your next station promotion.
People crave experiences. That moment of “being there,” seeing things happen, being part of a movement or moment in history.
The good part? Not every experience has to be out of this world. Some can be small, but meaningful.
So how can you make your next big promotion an experience that your audience will look back and say, “I was there. I experienced it.”

We communicate with mom every day. In fact, she's our top priority. But do you really know her? Here's a look at some of the latest stats and info on mom. (From
• Over 70% of moms with kids aged 18 and under participate in the work force. That's a lot of working moms!
• 40% of U.S. homes with kids under 18 are headed by single moms.
• Women account for 85% of all purchases today.
• 75% of women are the primary shoppers in their families … and 92% of women pass on online or personal recommendations.
• Women also lead the way in electronics purchases – 61% of women either bought or initiated the purchase. (In order of purchase: smartphones, tablets, laptops, HDTVs)
• Over 90% of women take the lead in new home purchases.
• Women account for 93% of food and pharmaceutical purchases.
• The average age of new moms is 25.
• One out of every 11 women owns a business.
• 60% of moms believe organic foods are better for their health.
• 9 out of 10 women seek health information from online sources.
• Millennial moms (born between 1978 and 1994) make up about 20% of U.S. Moms.
• 81% of moms prefer texting over talking.
This is just a small sampling of the latest research from Check out the research for more stats.
How will you use this information to connect better with mom on-air and online? With more moms in the workforce, the demand on moms are greater than ever before. Become her friend, her expert and the person who watches out for her and her family. The more you make an active effort to bring her the info and encouragement she needs, the more loyal she'll be to your station.

Parents...rejoice! The kids are heading back to school! Oh, wait. Maybe you shouldn't rejoice too loudly. There's a lot of activity attached to the new school year.

If you're a parent – or you're talking to parents every day – you'll know that there are a lot of mixed emotions at the beginning of the school year. On the one hand, it means kids are getting back into a routine. On the other, it means a huge commitment of time and money.

Because the back-to-school rush is on mom's mind, here are a couple ways you can help her get ready for the new year:

1) Dedicate a section of your station's website to back to school helps and ideas. Whether you simply post supply lists for various school districts or you whip up some handy shopping list templates, make sure mom knows there's a place she can turn for information.

2) Share some school lunch recipes on your Facebook page. Sure, a lot of kids just grab school lunches, but some still brown-bag it. Dig up some fun, healthy and inexpensive ideas that mom can keep on hand.

3) Talk about safety. We all need to know some safety basics. Ask the local public information officer on your police force to share some common sense safety tips for bus stops, latch key kids and carpool lanes.

4) Give out branded planners. If you have enough time and cash, invest in some school-year planners for mom or her kids.

5) Collect some time-saving and organizational tips. Mom's got a lengthy to-do list for each morning. She's also working, picking up kids and helping with field trips and foodstuffs. Bring in an organizational specialist who can talk about ways to prep for the day and still keep up with kids and their homework.

6) Remind mom that it's ok not to do it all. shares an interesting tip: Don't overschedule. “Don’t do it all. Give yourself a break. Be super choosy about the few commitments you make outside of work/school for you/your kids.” (Susan Wenner Jackson, 10 Back to School Tips for the Good Enough Mom)

7) Invite moms to put a weekly “love note” in their child's backpack or lunch bag. Just a sticky note with encouragement will do. Or get creative and make up a page of love notes that mom can copy or print. Share ideas online.

8) Write or share a “parent's prayer” that moms and dads can pray over their kids each day. Ask parents to share their prayers on your Facebook and Instagram pages.

9) Share some helpful budgeting ideas. Remind mom that it's ok to stay on budget when shopping for supplies and clothes.

10) Remind everyone to laugh a little. It's ok to relax. It's just school … not a zombie apocalypse or an alien invasion. Although some days it might feel like it...

This is a time of year when you can be mom's hero! Help her plan for – and celebrate – the new school year!

Bill Arbuckle CMW

Bill Arbuckle is a media and marketing pro with over twenty-five years experience in creating media promotions. You can connect with him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Welcome back to the busy season! Kids are starting back to school, football season begins, Labor Day is a few weeks away … and then there's Thanksgiving and Christmas. Are you ready for it all?

The good news is that you have some time to plan. So grab a pen and paper or your favorite note-taking app and start thinking about all of the fourth-quarter promotion opportunities. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

1) Choose an end goal. Promotions are fun … but why do you run promotions? To get exposure? To get people connected? To sell ads or raise operating funds? Pick an end goal and stick to it. Example: If you want to get people connected, make sure every promotion drives connectivity. Capture email addresses. Capture home addresses. Find ways to get people to link to your Facebook and Instagram feeds. Be intentional about moving toward your goal.

2) Don't do everything. There are a lot of good promotional opportunities available in your community. But will every promotion help you reach your goal? As hard as it is to say “no,” you will need to say no to some good opportunities … because they aren't the best opportunities for your station.

3) Write down two or three “dream promotions.” What is that one big promotion that you've always wanted to do? Can you make it happen this year? How about the next big promotion? Give yourself some space to try something different this year.

4) If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just make sure to keep it fresh. Maybe you have some annual traditions that listeners look forward to. Do they work? Good! But put some extra energy into them to make sure that people are excited and connected to your station. One of the worst “sins” you can commit in media is to be boring. So keep things fresh!

5) Set your schedule. Have you chosen an end goal? Looked for opportunities that will help you reach that goal? Now you're ready to plan. Take a look at your station calendar and start putting your fall schedule together.

Fall promotions can be a lot of fun … so choose your opportunities and enjoy!

Bill Arbuckle CMW

Bill Arbuckle is a media and marketing pro with over twenty-five years experience in creating media promotions. You can connect with him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Walmart woke up to a social media crisis this week after comedian Travon Free noticed the retailer used a racial slur on an online product posting. Free sent a tweet – with the info – to his and Walmart's Twitter feeds.

To their credit, Walmart was quick to step into the fray, identify that the post came from a third-party vendor, and issue an apology and a promise to investigate the suspicious posting. But is it enough? ran an editorial piece which included a harsh critique of the retailer, and a word of warning to all of us who represent our organization online. In the editorial, speechwriter Paul Pendergrass said, “The company should treat any product it sells as if it is stamped with the Walmart trademark. Because in the consumer's mind, if you sell it, you own it.”

It's true. In today's world, perception is reality. People don't often check the source. They assume that because we've said it – or posted it – that we own it.

So do yourself a favor when it comes to social media – or on-air information:

1) Check your source. Are they credible?

2) Check the content. Is it accurate? Does it match your brand? Does it reflect the image you work hard to build in your audience's mind?

3) When in doubt, don't. You work too hard to create a solid brand … and there's a lot more content – better content – that you can use in its place.

Walmart will recover. But in the future, they'll screen posts and vendors more carefully. Save yourself the headache by learning from Walmart's crisis and screening your content to make sure it matches your branding and messaging.

Bill Arbuckle CMW

Bill Arbuckle is a media and marketing pro with over twenty-five years experience in creating media promotions. You can connect with him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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