Expert Columns

So you're writing a promotions campaign and you want people to support a local ministry that helps the homeless. How do you get listeners to take action?

Here's the answer: Give them very specific instructions.

Seems like a trite answer, but there's much more to it than you'd think. Such as:

1) Determine what you want people to think, feel and do. If you want people to support the local homeless ministry, then take them inside the life of a homeless person. Don't just give a couple of stats about homelessness... tell people what it's like to try to stay warm at night by sleeping in a pile of newspapers. Then explain that a gift of five dollars buys a heavy-duty blanket. Finally, give them an action they can complete on their smart phone.

2) Keep it simple. People can't handle complexity. But they can handle basic instructions. "Give five dollars at HomelessMinistry.com" is easy to process. "Give five, ten, twenty-five or fifty dollars," means listeners have to make decisions about whether to give, how much to give and how much money is in my bank account. Too many options means no decision ever gets made.

3) Remember that timing is key to a response. Most people have the attention of a goldfish.  That means you have to make a point, drive people to a decision, and get them to take action in about eight seconds.

A good call to action consists of simple, clear instructions. Make it easy for people to respond and you'll see results.

Bill Arbuckle CMW

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


How do you measure results when you're writing spots, Facebook posts and promo pieces? As our sponsors, advertisers or donors request more data and proof of performance, it's important to know how to write for results. So before you sit down to write up your next flight of ads or sponsor appeals, take time to ask - and answer - these three questions:
1) What do I need to accomplish? In media, we're always taught that the first question to ask is, "Who is my audience?" But before you ask that question, you need to answer the basic question, "What do I need to accomplish?" What is the advertiser asking you to do? Why is she asking for that result? What do you need to do to achieve that result? Know what it is that you need to do before you sit down to write.
2) Who is my audience? You may think you know about your audience...but do you know them personally? When was the last time you sat down and talked to a real, live person in your target audience...and not just to ask what she likes about your station?
3) What do I want my audience to think, feel or do as a result of my message? Now we're talking real, specific behaviors and actions that can be measured. What do you want your audience to think about your latest fund-raising appeal? Why do you want them to feel that way? What one specific action should they take to act on that feeling?
Answer these three questions before you write. You'll find that the answers will focus your creativity and result in strong calls to action that listeners can't miss.

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

“Can you work 130 hours a week?” Yahoo CEO Melissa Mayer described her experience working for Google in its early days. In an August 4th interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Mayer answered her own question: “Could you work 10 hours a week? The answer is yes, if you're strategic about when you sleep, when you shower, and how often you go to the bathroom. The nap rooms at Google were there because it was safer to stay in the office than walk to your car at 3 a.m. For my first five years, I did at least one all-nighter a week except when I was on vacation – and the vacations are few and far between.”
Mayer compares her work ethic to the business startups who use shared office space at her husband's (Venture Capitalist Zachary Bogue) office. “...If you go in on a Saturday afternoon, I can tell you which startups will succeed ,without even knowing what they do. Being there on the weekend is a huge indicator of success. Mostly because these companies just don't happen. They happen because of really hard work.”
Mayer is correct. Hard work is essential to success. But is it the only thing that defines success? And is it an accurate measure? Michael Hyatt, in his latest ebook, “Shave 10 Hours off Your Workweek” has a different take: “In the long run, overworking drives down our productivity. Many of us have tried to push excessive hours for months and years at a time. Is it any wonder that we're burnt out?”
Hyatt says that burnout - “All this running and gunning is costing us a lot – probably more than we think.” He identifies five areas that burnout affects:
• Career
• Health
• Sanity (or “Emotional Health”)
• Family
• Legacy
The antidote to burnout, Hyatt says, is to add margin to our lives. To be intentional about our time, our commitments, and our choices.
Why talk about burnout and business in an article that runs in a Christian radio magazine?
Because it's easy to get wrapped up in our work and lost sight of what really matters. Because sometimes we need to add margin to our schedules so that we can be more effective in our ministries. And because sometimes we need to stop and remind ourselves to remember that God asks us to be stewards of what He's given us: Our families, our health, our relationship with Him, and our testimonies.
How do you define success? How do you model it to your team and your coworkers? Your family? Your listeners? As a Christian broadcaster, your definition of success influences how people view you – and by extension, how they view Christ.
The question, then, is not “Can your work 130 hours a week,” but “Can people see Jesus when they look at your definition of success?

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

Not long ago, I had someone come up to me at a remote and tell me, "You said something years ago and it ministered to me. I wrote it down and wrote your name next to it."

I had just recently gotten back on the air after a twelve-year-old detour into national radio promotions and communications with Focus on the Family. And I didn't think anyone would remember me...let alone remember a devotional thought that I've long since forgotten. But here was a listener who remembered, not just what was said, but the difference it made.

You've maybe heard something similar. I hope you hear it often, because it's important to know that you're making a difference in people's lives. And it's also a reminder that we are in the business of creating memorable moments for listeners.

Our role, whether an on-air jock or PD is to create moments that link our listeners to our stations and to let them know that they're part of something much bigger. We create those moments through stories, through music, and through one-on-one
connections.

So whatever you do this week, any time you get to open the mic, remember that we're in the business of creating memories. Make them good ones!

Bill Arbuckle is a media and marketing pro with over twenty-five years experience in creating media promotions.  He is a Colorado Springs-based morning show co-host and writer. You can connect with him at bThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it....

Here's the permission you've been looking for: take time to refuel your creativity.
How:
• Talk to a creative friend
• Read an article you've been wanting to read
• Schedule time to listen to a new song
• Write out your plans...no matter how simple or incomplete they may seem.
• Go read a past script or show bit you've written What worked? Why did you like it?
• Watch an old comedy
• Google kids jokes and read them. Out loud.
Creativity needs to be refueled. Often. And creative thinking comes from connecting unconnected dots. So take ten minutes today and refuel the tank. It might seem like you don't have enough time...but refueling the creative tank is one of the most important things you can do. So...do it.

Bill Arbuckle is a media and marketing pro with over twenty-five years experience in creating media promotions. He is a Colorado Springs-based morning show co-host and writer. 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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