As Andy Williams would say, it's the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is already upon us, and everyone is currently gearing up for end-of-year celebrations. There's just one question...are you using the occasion to your radio station's advantage?
If you haven't taken the opportunity to showcase some holiday spirit on your radio station yet, don't worry - there's still time! If you're stumped about how to incorporate merry and bright moments into your program in 2021, we've got 5 simple-yet-effective tips that will do the trick. Just keep reading, and you'll be ready to give your station a special holiday makeover in no time.
1. Playing Holiday Music
This is pretty much a given if you're looking to incorporate holiday cheer into your station. It's the big question on all your listeners' minds: is your station going to play special holiday music when it's that time of year?
We recommend picking a specific date in advance to start blasting the holiday jams (some stations aren't afraid to begin around Thanksgiving while others wait until early December). Additionally, if your station is a specific genre - like country or jazz - make sure to pick holiday tunes that match the vibe. To up the ante, you might even consider getting some holiday-themed imaging made for your station.
If you need some help planning your holiday music rotations, make sure to check out Live365's complete holiday music guide, skim through the song lists under our Christmas tag, and get some inspiration by listening to some Live365 holiday stations!
2. Themed Games, Contests, & Giveaways
You may already be playing radio station games with audience members and guests on your station. When the holidays hit, give your usual fun activities a yuletide twist!
Have your listeners guess the name of an obscure Christmas song correctly to win a prize. Hold a holiday karaoke contest where the best caroler receives some cash. Even simple giveaways with holiday-themed items are a good incentive for your listeners to tune in throughout December.
3. Donations to Charities & Food Banks
It's always important to give back during the holiday season, and with the consequences of the pandemic still upon us, help is needed now more than ever. Team up with charities, food banks, and other non-profits to support this year. Local is always better!
Besides mentioning the names of your chosen charities and food banks on-air, make sure to set up a program that will encourage your audience to donate to them directly. This is where our previous tip - holding themed games, contests, and giveaways - can work wonders. You could exchange canned goods from your audience for coupons to local stores. Another idea is having listeners donate money to a local charity, and having the money they donate correspond to a certain amount of tickets entered in their name for a holiday raffle. Put your creativity to good use!
4. Talking to Listeners
If you have the ability to broadcast phone calls on-air, it might be a good idea to showcase your listeners' holiday cheer this season! Ask your audience to call in with their favorite holiday tradition, a delicious winter dish they make every year, or an embarrassing Christmas story that never fails to crack them up. After chatting with them, fade into a holiday tune that matches the mood.
If you're unable to have your audience phone in, you can read their contributions via social media or emails as an alternative. Like with games, audience interaction raises the spirits of all your listeners. And who knows: letting someone chat about their memories on-air may be saving them from having a lonely holiday season.
5. Decking Out Your Website & Social Media
Put your design skills to the test and create some holiday-themed images and aesthetics for your radio station's website and social media! It's a relatively simple way to celebrate the season, but it shows off your holiday spirit nicely.
The possibilities are endless with this suggestion. You could craft a new holiday logo and temporarily swap your station's usual one for a holiday-themed version, perhaps adorned with snowflakes, ornaments, or wreaths. Change the colors on your website to green and red, or show off a behind-the-scenes photo of you in the studio with a lit menorah or a Santa hat. Not only can you spread holiday cheer on-air, but you can do it virtually as well!
That's it for our tips. Keep checking the Live365 blog for more top 10s and guides this December centered around the holidays. From all of us here at Live365, we hope you have a fantastic holiday season. Happy broadcasting!
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