Paige Nienaber, CPR Promotions: Make the Logo Bigger
Updated: Nov 10
Paige Neinaber is the VP for CPR Promotions, a marketing consultation firm based out of Scandia, Minnesota. When he worked on promotions director for some of the biggest radio brands in America, he got people's attention. Remember the time a morning radio host Mancow Muller at KSOL-FM stopped traffic on the Bay Bridge for a haircut? Paige might have had something to do with that.
"It’s all about looking for something that hasn’t been done before, and that will get people talking." - Paige Nienaber
He consults over 350 stations across the U.S. and Canada, working with the likes of iHeart Media, Cumulus Media, Alpha Media, as well as Rogers and Stingray in Canada. While radio is working through challenges like 40% less cume from a decade ago, and more audio options than ever before, Paige tells us that promotions are alive and well. He looks back at the successful promtions from radio's past that still work today. He believes we can see that again and that all we need is to get creative and bring the fun back into radio.
Do you want to win "a grand in your hand" or a lifetime supply of tacos? Creativity is the key to success!
Reach out to Paige through his website and connect with the Minister of Good Times! firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-247-4056.
If you're on a budget and don't think you can afford an ideas person for your station - there's barter options available in Canada and the USA.
Paige offers up 3 radio promotion ideas to you every week! Give this a Follow!
Tara Sands (Voiceover) 00:02
The Sound Off Podcast. The show about podcast and broadcast starts now.
Matt Cundill 00:12
This week I'm inviting the Minister Of Good Times, Paige Nienaber back on the show to talk promotions. We last spoke with him back in June of 2021. Paige is a promotions ideas guy. He doesn't show up at the meeting with three ideas, he shows up with 20 ideas. Paige is so passionate about successful radio that he shares his ideas wherever and whenever. One year at the Conclave Summer Learning Conference, someone's flight didn't arrive that left a big hole for the 330 session. Paige jumped in and did 75 promo ideas in 60 minutes. You know, I can't even remember what session was supposed to take place that day. And I remember Paige's session and still have all 75 ideas scribbled illegibly in a notebook. Paige also has a podcast called Three promotional Ideas In Three Minutes, which you should involve yourself with. The weekly piece is a great Kickstarter for when you are feeling mentally Monday. All the contact info to work with Paige is on the episode page of our website and in the show notes. Now, Paige Nienaber joins me from the radio promotions capital of the Western world, Skandia, Minnesota. How did the pandemic change the way radio does promotions?
Paige Neinaber 01:30
Well first of all, radio is very similar to what movies were during the Great Depression. During the Great Depression, you could go to a movie for two cents. And it was escapism. So the stations that got into the theater and giving listeners a place to go to escape all the bad news, one of the stations did a version of the fugitive, but they did it you know, online or digitally, because they didn't want people going around in approaching each other. The Program Director came back and just said, you know, I think people are just starved for entertainment. And then one of the other things that we learned was that brackets can work outside of March you know, everybody always does some kind of bracket March, and especially the Beasley stations have weaponized or recognized brackets and brackets are all based on kind of social media topics. If you get on Facebook and say, well, you know, I think El Loro is the best Mexican restaurant in the Twin Cities. You will have people who will agree with you and then you'll have people who will will attack you think you're an idiot. So brackets based on food. I know that Audyssey in St. Louis did it as food fights where every week it was a different genre of food. What restaurant has the best wings from St. Louis what what has the best Chinese food KY x y in San Diego did for back to school they did. And I had actually tested this on the Facebook community for my suburb or where I grew up and I was discussing about, you know, what the best school lunches were. And we had this thing called a toonie which was kind of a hotdog shaped thing of tuna. It was really awful. So when I'm you know, on social media and intested is a topic and just exploded. I mean, that was three years ago. And people once a week somebody will still comment on it and that's you know, that's something that you don't get with, Cardi B 's new fashion statement as people talking, all this wallpaper, social media stuff. So what KY XY and San Diego did was they did a school lunch bracket, which were school lunches that their 42 year old female listeners would have eaten when they were going to school in San Diego. It was sponsored by a grocery store random people got gift cards, the grocery store, people who had voted. And then Robin just the morning show, then tried to recreate one of these dishes. for back to school. Last year, they did a back to school fashion bracket. It was closed that their listeners would have worn when they back went back to school. I'd never heard of jelly shoes. But I think we could come out of the pandemic with knowing that that kind of stuff will work that theater of the mind and fun radios a game show. And if Monty Hall had just had people sit in their seats and enter emails, it would have been canceled about 10 minutes into the first episode and then we saw that I think with Taylor Swift where there were stations that just had people enter their emails and they got nothing from it. Then he had stations that dared have extra fun was Taylor Swift, and it just exploded. I mean, Taylor Swift is the biggest ticket that I can think of since New Kids On The Block. And I base that on just back in, you know NKOTV and like 1990 just all of the weird phone calls and letters that I would get from people with, you know, these dramatic stories why they needed New Kids On The Block. You get the same stuff with Taylor Swift. So if you have a pair of Taylor Swift tickets, and you check Just do some kind of digital entry. You're wasting a million dollar prize. By the way, I want to thank you for the Monty Hall, Canadian reference. We love that. Absolutely. There's a great Jimmy Buffett song called door number three, that I would like you to listen to when you're done, I'm sure that it's on YouTube somewher.
Matt Cundill 05:20
I might just slip it in right now. So the brackets concept is not new. I did it back in 1994. We had no internet back then. So people had to phone in their vote, to register to do that stuff. 2002 I ran it again, I said, oh, we can do this now with the internet and so this really does seem like a wonderful match. Because we can incorporate this with our online products. We can incorporate it on the air. But I think why it has done so well and especially post pandemic is because it's a way to channel all of our shared experiences.
Paige Neinaber 06:12
Matt Cundill 06:12
Yeah, one thing we just don't have any more in radio is it's harder to find and galvanize all those shared experiences, but this seems to do it right down to the school cafeteria.
Paige Neinaber 06:25
Oh, absolutely. You know, the Beasley stations, it's pretty much all about food. You know, the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia, happened in food, truck wars, and it was their biggest, you know, they pulled the biggest numbers of any of their contests with food, truck wars.
Matt Cundill 06:43
Is it food because everybody eats?
Paige Neinaber 06:45
I think it's food? Because people have strong feelings about it. If you got me going on bratwurst, I would go for an hour.
Matt Cundill 06:53
Yeah, I mean, I used to do it in a more serious manner. Let's talk about you know, who's better Rush, Heart, Zeppelin that sort of thing was more incorporated with with the music. But now it's really more about lifestyle.
Paige Neinaber 07:05
Right and, you know, the other thing that, you know, we did prior to the internet was Match Game, which was always a great contest, where you would have a grid of you know, 50 numbers, and you would call in and try to match you know, I'll take number two, and I'll take number 13. Well, behind number two is a pair of tickets behind number 13 is 5 dollars. You know, now that you can do that, do that on the internet and now in San Francisco has done it with 97 Christmas stockings and you know, you match them you win something, you just follow it along on your tablet or phone.
Matt Cundill 07:36
The radio promotions are so evergreen, you think that okay, we do it, we're done, we put it away, we might not go back to it. But you've proven that so many of these contests are evergreen.
Paige Neinaber 07:48
Well, radio is cyclical. Were like in about I think it was in 2010 suddenly, and I think it was CBS rediscovered secret sound. About every seven or eight years, you know, a popular methodology will come back, you know, and secret sound has always been a strong methodology because it plays to the 96% of people who don't play contests. They're sitting in their car, and they're waiting to hear their favorite song and all sudden, you hear oh my god, I I know that I hear it every day. But now in San Francisco actually did it as this. They did a version of it as the secret sounds of summer, which was just sounds specific to the Bay Area during the summer and they did have a look. Which was the sound of a homerun ball dropping into McCovey Cove, behind the right field fence. And secret Sanders has always been has always been strong. We have 4% of people who play our stupid contests. Imagine if you could get 5% of your listeners to play a contest. I'm not saying it's gonna make a number one, but how cool would that be? You know, with with the group contests, they all sound the same. And I can't imagine you know, more than 2% of people play those things. If you have the ability with the group contests to have some fun with it. If we're gonna do it, let's have some fun. For the first thing is the only real reason to do a contest is to make promos. And the imaging for these contests all sound the same. You know, it's the $1,000 Grand in your hand. That's wallpaper. So Alpha Media, they're able to you know, IHeart can do it too. Odyssey can do it also. It doesn't have to be $1,000 I think we've desensitized $1,000 To the point that it just doesn't mean anything. So DJX in Louisville did win $1,000 and ceramic cats or the cash equivalent. Then, okay, now that sounds different. Okay, that's going to get your attention. And promotions is the art of getting people to notice you and you're not going to get noticed if you do what everybody else does. So they did that. But then they seal the deal with the spokesperson. Great campaigns have great spokespeople. Progressive would just be another insurance company without flow. Their spokesperson was voiced by a woman named Laura Daniels, who is with Cumulus in Buffalo, New York. And Laura's Laura is just a little crazy, which is why she's so good. And so she was used as Tea Underman who was a crazy cat lady who lived in a retirement home and she had over 8000 cats. And she was so excited about this contest and she, Laura gave her a little bit of a list so she Tea Underman and people love my ceramic cats. And they pulled the highest numbers in Alpha with that, just by doing something different. Wild in Tampa just did win $1,000 and tacos or the cash equivalent. Who's gonna, who's gonna say no to $1,000 in tacos? If I won $1,000, I don't know if I would tell anybody but if I want $1,000 of tacos it's such a great conversation starter. Oh, absolutely. Win $1,000 in beer. I remember one of the new cap stations, I think it was in Edmonton was going up against a station that was doing $5,000 a week. Well, they had $2,500 a week. So what they did was they just framed it as we did the math $2,500 was gas for a year, everybody needs gas. It was the same thing where the station in Greensboro had $300 a day to give away, and $300 is just kind of a weird number. So we did the math and figured out that $300 would buy school lunches for a year. And it blew the phone system out. Because what parent isn't going to want to pay for all their kids school lunches for a year, it sounded way bigger than $300.
Matt Cundill 12:05
So 4% is sort of the number that you've arrived at where people might play a contest. But when you say playing along is it you know, being willing to enter or just play along, I'm listening in the car and I'm actively going to tune in?
Paige Neinaber 12:22
You're more likely to actively tune in or participate if we can first of all get you to listen to it. You know, I had a fairly mind blowing experience Cities 97 in the Twin Cities was doing secret's out and it was like a year ago. And I went into the little bank in this town that I live in and there are there were two women who are working was Anne and Rachel and I walked in and they kind of turn away, shh. And they were huddled over the radio and they both had their phones out and they were trying to play, you know, Cities 97 secret contests or secret sound and Anne had her phone out and I had all of the previous guesses. So they were listening and they were trying to call. When was the last time that you walked in on people trying to play a contest? If it was the $1,000 grant in your hand 18 times a day. Nobody's gonna go shh trying to text a code to a national station.
Matt Cundill 13:17
Were they listening on? Or what was it a device? Was it a Google?
Paige Neinaber 13:20
It was a, it was a device? But then they also had they both had their phones out too.
Matt Cundill 13:27
Excellent. So when it comes to a promotion, how do you, how does everybody want to measure the ROI? Is it website hits? Is it what we see in the ratings? Is it what we see online and social? Is it a combination of it all?
Paige Neinaber 13:43
It's a combination of it all. And again, every company has different priorities. Some of the companies just don't care. If they get ratings out of it, they want to collect email addresses. So that would be their gauge or their criteria. I'm old fashioned. I would like to have people listen to the radio and be recognized or rated or surveyed on that. My or NBC my broadcasting in Ontario they just did the future live in one of the clicks. It was people going to the website to look at evidence. And in a market of I think it was 70,000 people. They had 160,000 clicks in a week and people like that. I mean, that's great if you can get people to visit your website, repeatedly over and over and over over the course of the week and people aren't going to do that for updated celebrity gossip. Selena Gomez says that fame still can't get her to eat artichokes. Nobody cares.
Matt Cundill 14:40
It's so strange that the celebrity aspect of radio still exists. And is it just it's been cranked out more than ever., but you and I are both sitting here and we know it is rather valueless.
Paige Neinaber 14:53
There was a station in a really, really, really, really big market and they rebranded and the format stayed the same, but they just changed the moniker. And for I think it was six weeks, I was using Facebook. In six weeks on Facebook, there was not a post that mentioned the city that referred to the radio station that referred to a contest referred to a personality. It was all pop culture crap. And at one point, they had gone 18 days without getting a like, or a comment and this is an extremely large market. I brought this up and they said, well, it was there. They called it, it was their storytelling idea or whatever of social media. Well, if you go 18 days, and nobody makes a comment, or a like, it sucks and it's not like you can't get the information about Joe Jonas's underwear from 18,000 other sources.
Matt Cundill 15:57
But you when you come across celebrity, you encounter a different sort of approach, whether it's how can we sort of encapsulate this into a contest. But when was the last time you had to create an entirely different folder, because something is big, like Taylor Swift comes along. And I know you've got some Taylor Swift contests that you can keep it, when was the last time you had to sort of restructure the entire file system of your promotions to say, here's its own category?
Paige Neinaber 16:25
Obviously, it's Taylor Swift. But then you also have when things like Matthew Perry, or, you know, Taylor, from the Foo Fighters, I think, actually, Tate Taylor from the food fighters is a perfect example. Because it's, it's the loved artists and everything. That was a very sad story. And there were stations that actually put some thought and effort into finding interesting stuff about this man, as opposed to just reposting something they got from corporate about if you know, his death, it really requires effort, it really does. In 2023, I saw radio stations in markets where they had a team in the World Series that never referred to the World Series. How do you do that? How is that possible? If you're if you're in a market, and your team is in the World Series, the entire course of life changes dramatically, at least as long as the series is happening, and not to acknowledge it. I don't understand how that happens.
Matt Cundill 17:31
I look at the death of Matthew Perry and I thought, well, what could have been done, you know, in the days after, and I think if you spend enough time going to social, you would find that there are a number of people who might have posted that they interacted with him at some level, maybe play tennis with him in LA, maybe went to school with him in Ottawa, maybe played hockey with him and you can go and get your stories from there. And I mentioned that because I went to school with him and played hockey with him.
Paige Neinaber 17:58
Matt Cundill 17:59
I bet you didn't know that. But I went to I went to school in Ottawa, and he was in my he was in the great ahead of me. But we played on the same hockey team.
Paige Neinaber 18:06
Oh, that's really cool. Yeah, I mean, if you if you can find people that can add to the narrative, and flesh out this person, who they were, what were what were they like growing up and what were the great things that they did? And you know, it can be more than just a picture.
Matt Cundill 18:28
What about the length of of a contest, we try to get it to, I think when we plan it, we think it can go three, four weeks, eight weeks, maybe longer. But when's enough enough?
Paige Neinaber 18:41
you know, the audience has the attention span of a golden retriever and the first thing that you need to do is continually update the imaging. If you have the same promo that runs for four weeks, it eventually just kind of, you know, turn to this kind of fuzzy noise that you don't notice you continually update the imaging. The four weeks, when we've done the fugitive four weeks seems to be the magic number. I know that one of the stations did it for five weeks and that was kind of a stretch. Because you're asking people to do stuff. You're asking people to physically do things. There's only so long you can get them to do that, but just to keep them interested. is hard to do. There was one of the stations that did how back in the mid 90s they did a Hummer and they did the Hummer summer or something like that. And what you found was listening, even the DJ is refined or having difficulty finding new ways to to present this and seem excited about it. You know, by the end of the summer people are just, you know, there's a great prize but you know, it's over four weeks.
Matt Cundill 19:53
Yeah, cuz the summer one goes about nine because we would get this summer Hummer, we would want to give as much value as possible to the client who's offering us the Hummer, we're given away at the end of the summer, already sent my kids back to school, can you please end this already?
Paige Neinaber 20:08
You know if that's why, you know, summer umbrellas, if you're going to umbrella the summer. So you know, the 98 days of summer, it doesn't really mean anything. To have an umbrella is a way to tie everything together. So Katie web in Minneapolis was the first station to do the summer of 10,000 tickets. And we did it because Minnesota is this land of 10,000 lakes and they had a ton of tickets to give away. So it was a way to tie them all together. It wasn't just here's another pair of tickets. So we got tickets to this tomorrow and we got tickets to this thing. It's all brought it together under underneath this umbrella and it made sense. So if you're going to you know, if you're going to find yourself doing a lot of something than one way to umbrella, it is great. I mean, I always like like when I worked in San Francisco, we had no budget. I mean, we had I didn't have two pennies to rub together, but we were able to through the independent record promoter, we got trips to giveaway and trips are great prizes. So they were our music position was stockless music. So these were established getaways and I numbered them and I started I think it stopless Jetaway number five, but stopless jettaways by numbering them and allowed you to post promote previous getaways. Status getaway number 17. In the past, we sent you to go home shopping with Whitney Houston and we do this and we do this shoot. Those are lasers by the way. By the way, number 17. We're sending you the scene the Mariah Carey compete against car alarms in Brooklyn parking lot.
Matt Cundill 21:55
I love that numbering sequence of contesting because it sort of gives value to the fact we've done this 16 times before.
Paige Neinaber 22:02
It allows you to own a position. It's hard. I mean, you can't compete against transcripts
Tara Sands (Voiceover) 22:07
transcription of the Sound Off Podcast is powered by the Podcast Super Friends, five podcast producers who get together to discuss podcasting. Sharpen your podcast and creation skills by following the show on the Sound Off Podcast, YouTube or Facebook page. The Sound Off Podcast supports Podcasting 2.0. So feel free to send us a boost. If you're listening on a newer podcast app. If you don't have a newer podcast app, you can get one at new podcast apps.com.
Matt Cundill 22:39
I don't think everybody's had the joy of putting together a zero budget promotion. I know we think a lot of people have zero budget, but they don't bother to put together the promotion. I went without a promotions budget for eight years, zero. And we always had the best promotions.
Paige Neinaber 22:59
Me too. I went from working at a station in Minneapolis where we had a quarter million a book for promotions to a station in Charlotte. We're the number one am in town, but one of the one of the things that they failed to tell me in the interviewing process was that the company had just bought care with an LA for 83 million. So that money was coming from somewhere and we just took everything and looked at it from a from a dozen different angles and went okay. We have one pair of tickets to the southern women's show. What can we do with this? We built methodologies based on the prize. What can we do with this? What can we do with this? We just took everything that came across our desk and exploited it. And that was the same thing in San Francisco. I mean, I had less money in San Francisco than I did in Charlotte. We did great promotions because we had to. We had no choice. It's been a while but I've seen stations that have just had like, like too much money and they weren't doing anything with it was just lots of cash giveaways.
Matt Cundill 24:05
I don't think any innovation is born out of having too much money.
Paige Neinaber 24:10
No, and again. It really requires you to sit down and go okay. Christmas is coming up. You can't miss Christmas. What can we do with the very few resources that we have? Well, I'll tell you what we can do. We can call around and get some Christmas trees. We usually have all these Christmas tree lights and they would probably love to give you a couple of trees for the for additional mentions. Great. Now we have six Christmas trees. What can we do with the six Christmas trees? And I'm very Hallmark holiday obsessive because I mean I've seen stations that when I say miss, I mean there was no acknowledgement on social media or an imaging or in morning show features or anything about Halloween. How do you miss Halloween? There was a great Michael Martin line. Michael is great and one of the stations missed Valentine's Day. And I mean, there was just nothing. There was no reference to it nothing. And Michael's line was, well, you know, I can understand how that happens. I mean, they keep changing the date every year. Last year, it was the 16th, the year before it was January 31 you know, if they could just settle out of date, then it would be easier. You have to acknowledge these things. I remember there was a station in Chicago that I once I told somebody I said that if there was an earthquake in Indiana, fell into Lake Michigan, the station wouldn't change their course or direction or acknowledge it, because this is our game plan and this is what we're going to do and they had started this contest. It was, it was it was so confusing. I actually shared it with Michael Martin and I said, how do you win this? Because they changed the times every day, they changed the amounts and everything. So this this is going on, and there was a teacher strike that hit and I think it was something like 400,000 families were going to be affected by this. And I said, you know, what, if you suspended the contest, and said, we're going to take this $500 and break it into $100 amounts, and we're going to pay for your babysitting, or your childcare. And you would have thought that I had suggested putting kittens in a blender. He was like oh go away, oh, no. You know, and plus, they had also had they had a 50,000 piece direct mailer to support this contest. 50,000 pieces in Chicago? You have to be able to change directions when it calls for it. I mean, I've often referred to radio as being a football game. And every day is a series of plays, and no quarterback in football goes out into the field and goes, okay, here's every game, here's every play, I'm going to run for this game. Because you go out there and the defensive line are all 900 pound meth heads, you're going to need to change the game plan, or you'll end up being fed through a tube. So there are going to be times when you'll want to change the game plan. Because something bigger comes along. And sometimes these are not happy things. This could be a school shooting in your market. It could be an earthquake or a tornado or something. If there's some similar calamity or disaster that happens in your market, you need to acknowledge it, you need to do something with it. You know, we have these silly things called licenses are allegedly supposed to care about, you know, the welfare of our audience. Great radio stations always have the radar up. They're always looking for things. There's guy named Joe Bell, who is the market manager in Philadelphia and there's another guy named Dan Seaman. Dan is with Hubbard in the Twin Cities, both Joe and Dan are always they got the radar. What are people talking about when the lottery is going to be a billion dollars? Well, we need to do something with that. They had a thing in the Twin Cities where and this came up at just a meeting. They do these little meetings where just you get together you talk about what are people talking about? And one of the salespeople said, well, what people are talking about is that she was lives in Stillwater. And she said out in Stillwater, there was a young man who was a senior in high school and he was dying of cancer. But he was a songwriter. And his goal before he passed away was to record his songs. Whatever could a radio station do with that? The song went to number one on Spotify. It was turned into a movie with a Canadian Nev Campbell as his mother. His album was called Clouds and his name was Josh Sobiech. And every year since his passing, they go to Mall of America. And they do a choir concert with 5000 volunteers in the rotunda of the Mall of America singing his songs, beautiful event and it's something that most stations would have missed. Just because we got other stuff going on. Nobody 25 years from now is going to have be having coffee with you. And go you know, I remember the time we did the $1,000 grant in your hand. That was that was wacky. No, they're gonna remember the time. You were real in the moment.
Matt Cundill 29:35
You mentioned Halloween and then it's there every year, but I look at there's annual opportunities so I look at one radio station say that had a bear Halloween Howler. The bear in Edmonton would have a rock concert they would give away the tickets. Something like The Simpsons goes off brand and does a different episode The Tree House of Horrors which is not has has nothing really to do with The Simpsons. It's just their twisted mind. They use the characters and the characters all become very evil or zombies and whatnot. And there's horror and blood. What is this?
Paige Neinaber 30:09
I like the aliens who look like octopuses?
Matt Cundill 30:13
Oh they could have qualified for their own spin off?
Paige Neinaber 30:15
Oh, yeah, absolutely.
Matt Cundill 30:17
Yeah. But those, but those are annual opportunities you can build into the calendar, you just need to hit the event once and get Valentine's Day right get Halloween, right. Could be Easter, it could be anything.
Paige Neinaber 30:27
You know, Google has turned out to be a marginally successful operation. But Google will change their image every day. If it was Rosa Parks, his birthday, they'll change it. Irish independence day, they'll change it. So what John did was he sat down and identified 33 Hallmark holidays, and created logos for each of them. So the new cap stations could, for St. Patrick's Day, pick one of three logos to use and that's one thing that should be, you know, a Hallmark holiday doesn't necessarily have to be a certain day, it could be an annual event, like back to school, or something.
Matt Cundill 31:07
I know you've worked with the new cap, and now Stingray stations a lot. And people are wondering, well, why is that but very simply, that company is in some of the most competitive markets in Canada, Edmonton, Halifax, and you know, your regular promotion is not going to work. And it's, you know, to your point in what you mentioned, we get $300 a day, what can we do with that? See, you have to take the promotion and elevate it, you have to elevate all the parts in order to be competitive, especially when there's a lot of radio stations around you also, with more budget, in the promotions game.
Paige Neinaber 31:41
I have been working with somebody with a station for a long time and they're the franchise of the station is the morning guy, Program Director and he's kind of had the life beaten out of him. He's gotten told no, so many times that why even bother? You know, why, why try? I've never been afraid to pick up the phone and call people and just say, you know, hey, you know, would you want to partner as I you know, whenever we hire promotion directors, I always ask you, what promotion have you always wanted to do? You're now the new promotion director and came at? What what do you want to do when you're not in this? You can, you can do whatever you want. Maybe you'll have to get creative, but you can do whatever you want. What do you want? What do you want to do? Great people usually have dreams. I'm not referencing myself or referring to myself as great, but I'd always wanted to fly a plane load of people to Disneyland for the day, leave at 6am come back at 10pm. That was my goal and whenever I had time, whenever I had five minutes, I'd pick up the phone and make a phone call. It's like a slot machine. If you pull the handle enough, you might get a payoff. Three stations down the line. I was working in San Francisco and made a phone call and guess what KTVU channel two had just entered into a partnership with Alaska Airlines and they were looking for something to do which flew flew two planes of listeners and viewers from KTVU down to Los Angeles for the day. They left at 6am. I mean, it was it was just great. And the total cost was zero. If you make enough phone calls, eventually you'll get put through to somebody who can go hey, you know what? We were looking to do something.
Matt Cundill 33:26
If someone says no, you're speaking to the wrong person. Do billboards still work? And I mentioned that because we've referenced the new cap station, I think K97 and Edmonton for years and years and years and later to Q104 in Halifax as well. With the outlandish billboards.
Paige Neinaber 33:43
Yeah it's just it's again, what do you do with it? If it's if it's just a music position, probably not. I know KGGI in Riverside, that station was just a monster. I can't possibly impress upon you how huge of a radio station that was. So with their billboards, they put mannequins on them that look like they were dancing and they would go up every couple of days and move the mannequins around. And they eventually had they had to take them down because the Highway Patrol said people were slowing down. It was dangerous. But I thought the dancing mannequins was great. Did you ever see the ugly kids billboards?
Matt Cundill 34:21
I've seen people do that.
Paige Neinaber 34:22
Yeah, the ugly kids, billboards. Ugly kids become radio DJs. Y94 in Fargo, have you ever ever done the bit where you flip your billboard upside down? Yeah. It used to be something that you would do, like almost as a good luck charm. When you did an outdoor campaign, you know, 50 or 100 boards, you put one of them upside down. It's the Marshall McLuhan thing. Where another great Canadian, it's not the message, it's how you deliver the message. So turning the logo upside down will get people to call the radio station. Getting people to call the radio station is never a bad thing. Then you to look at electronic boards. So when when Trump said cofefi or something like that, KHits in Sacramento, on there, you know, coming up, you know, coming up next, every third song was called Cofefi. My talk in the Twin Cities which again, this Dan Seaman guy who was great, they they've used the electronic boards, I mean, they will like when Ed Asner died, you have to be from the Twin Cities to truly understand, Ed Asner. And the impact of The Mary Tyler Moore Show because we were a cold Omaha before Mary Tyler Moore came around and acknowledged that we existed. So Ed Asner is death, actually, was something that here in the Twin Cities hit home, they had a really funny board up whether it was just an outlandish photo of him, but you know, we'll miss you at or something like that. They did it with Betty, or Betty White. There was an Olympic medalist, who was from St. Paul, and the day that she metal that they put it up on the board. I mean, the electronic boards are fantastic and they use them great and they are on it fast.
Matt Cundill 36:04
That's right. And speaking about, Minneapolis, does this better than anyone else? Because I do remember and I think it was 107 in Minneapolis that did this with the Bachelorette. The Bachelorette was from Minneapolis at the time and they could use the electronic boards to reflect what had happened on the show.
Paige Neinaber 36:22
Matt Cundill 36:23
Yeah, I remember seeing I think that's brilliant.
Paige Neinaber 36:27
If you're gonna have this stuff, if you have the luxury, you know, God has reached down on high and bequeathed you with electronic boards, and for God's sakes do something fun with them, as opposed to just putting up your mere music position. Because nobody cares when I worked with stations in Huntsville, in Birmingham, do that drive. And it's about 100 miles and is nothing but outdoor, nothing but billboards. I refer to it as out blur, because they're just they all blurred together. And I was doing the drive and up ahead, there was a bird and one of these boards. And as I got closer, I thought, that is the world's, Jesus Christ, that's a big Prescott dinosaur. No is a guy who ran a mini storage unit in some little town in Alabama, who put a giant eagle on top of his billboard. It got your attention and that's what promotions is about promotions is simply the art of getting people don't notice you.
Matt Cundill 37:25
So tell me about the podcast. You've done it now for a few years.
Paige Neinaber 37:30
Yeah, I've been doing three radio promotions in three minutes. It's, you know, I know that people have lives. And as opposed to us, of course, but other people, I've heard of them. So I just wanted to give people you know, three ideas really quickly. And that's been my job, since 1991, has been to provide content to people and I always I was always of the artillery barrage theory of promotions, where he would have the annual meeting with the theme park. And the agency would fly in from Atlanta, and every radio station within 150 miles would get their eight minutes with the ad agency, and they would come in with their three ideas. I'd come in with 25 ideas and, you know, my theory was that if I throw 25 ideas that you I mean, they can't all suck. I mean, there's got to be one of them that, you know, we can probably do that three radio promotions in three minutes, you can find it. We're all great podcast and menswear can be found. It's three ideas in three minutes. It's just It's stuff that you should be on your radar, or maybe that you hadn't heard of before. You know, there's two things. First of all, in 2023, whoever has the best ideas, unless, you know, you're playing Chinese Gong music and you're not in Beijing, you're going to win. The other thing is in 2023 ideas will sell spots. There were there were some stations that did really good stuff, I was kind of disappointed. But they took a version of the black box, which was the hidden item inside of a trunk of a car and you had to identify this item based on sound effects. And it was they sold it to a car dealer for $100,000. That's good. And so like Beasley in Las Vegas, they had the sales manager had heard from somebody there was a chain of auto body or collision repair places. And they didn't advertise on the radio. We don't advertise on the radio. You have to you have to say it in that kind of tell it we don't have records on the radio. And like you would refer to your nephew or the pedophile or nephew or the pedophile. So they had been told that they did like creative stuff. So you know what the hell let's come up. Let's let's just let's just see what happens. So we came up with three ideas and they bought two of them for a significant amount of money. So ideas, you know, ideas can turn people from being you know, scoffers to advertisers. What was great was that the competition, I think, lost their mind. Because they didn't. They don't they don't advertise on the radio. Well, that's because you didn't bring them good ideas.
Matt Cundill 40:08
And one of your great ideas that I heard in a recent podcast episode was to offer a seminar to people on how to create a good sounding podcast. And from that you could parlay future clients into your ecosystem of advertising.
Paige Neinaber 40:28
Well, you know what my friend Todd managed his golf course and we were talking about, you know, his, his passion has always been golf. I mean, he's just, he's always just been a golf nut and he had this idea for a podcast, that would be for golf enthusiasts or something, I forget the whole idea, but it sounded really good. But he was like, I don't know how to do a podcast, you know. And that's, you need a microphone and then you come over here and I'll show you how to edit it. I mean, if I can do it, there's no doubt that you can do it. But for the average person out there, who listens to podcasts and consumes the content, doing a podcast seems really intimidating. So they actually, Max Media in Denver, gave away a podcast, where somebody got they got the microphone, and then they got through there are friends at such and such client. They got the training, it's a hell of a prize.
Matt Cundill 41:28
So now I've got some ideas that I should be approaching a radio station and perhaps partnering with them to give away a podcast through my network.
Paige Neinaber 41:36
There we go.
Matt Cundill 41:37
I got a nice, it's a sexy network. It really you can you can hang out with all the stars.
Paige Neinaber 41:44
The ship may have already sailed. But I've always thought that giving creating a community radio station just for high school students, or they would come in and they would be the staff when I was in high school, I wrote for this thing called the Metro Student News. It was a high school newspaper for every high school in the state of Minnesota. And oh, you know, who was one of the other writers and it was Dan Wilson, from semi sonic and who wrote for Adele, he used to write concert reviews. I remember, I found one of these things from like, a long time ago. And he was kind of he didn't think that Springsteen had had a long career ahead of him. So I thought that was kind of funny. The Metro Student News, what was great a couple dozen kids from a bunch of high schools who, who wrote this thing. I think having a radio station, just for kids would be fantastic. Just for high school students would be the same as like a college radio station.
Matt Cundill 42:41
I think it would be very much attracted to the format of that sort of station more so than what they're being served up by commercial radio today.
Paige Neinaber 42:51
Oh, no question.
Matt Cundill 42:53
And I mentioned that because my son is doing that. He's talking about what he wants to talk about and he's doing it on community radio.
Paige Neinaber 42:58
No, I think I think that would be you know, there's one of the highest there used to be high schools that had radio stations, and I don't think any of them do anymore. But I think it would be a great way first of all, to find your stars for five years from now. It's the same thing that when you have high school cheerleaders on the air, like on Thursday afternoon or Thursday evenings you're going to have every kid at that school tuned in. So if you had a radio station and these kids themselves would be the influencers and would be marketing you and their their little college or high school radio station. I think it'd be great.
Matt Cundill 43:33
Paige, it's so good to see you again. How can we work with you I gather in Canada you've just signed on with Orbit?
Paige Neinaber 43:38
Yes. Started working with them on barter, and they're really cool and fun to work with. And if you have any questions about me when what I do and why I do it, and how do i pronounce my last name, you can email me at Paige Nienaber. It's called like it's pronounced or sounds. P-A-I-G-E N-E-I-N-A-B-E-R @ Gmail.
Matt Cundill 44:04
Love it. Okay, so good to talk to you and hope to see you again in the near future.
Paige Neinaber 44:08
Thank you very much sir.
Tara Sands (Voiceover) 44:09
The Sound Off Podcast is written and hosted by Matt Cundill. Produced by Evan Surminski, edited by Chloe Emond-Lane, social media by Aidan Glassey. Another great creation from the Sound Off Media Company. There's always more at soundoffpodca