Kickstart 2012: reach visitors anywhere with local radio

Radio WLEE circa 1949 (courtesy Library of Virginia on Flickr Commons)First in a blog post series for the get-revved-up week between Christmas and New Year’s

Here’s a way to reach fans of your destination who live far away, but still want to connect even when they can’t visit …. tell them how to find and listen to your hometown radio stations that stream online.

People who enjoy familiar music, a long-time DJ’s voice or a particular show may not even know that they can now hear those sounds on the web, even when their regular radio is nowhere near the station’s terrestrial broadcast tower.

For example, my at-home radio is always tuned to FM 89.5 KMFA in Austin. It’s a public, listener-supported station that plays classical music in Central Texas. Unlike KUT, the other public station in town, KMFA does not have standard NPR fare like All Things Considered. It simply provides a wide variety of classical music, 24 hours a day. I love it.

When I’m far away from home in a hotel room, I do look for local stations, but even in music-rich places like New Orleans I seem to have a heck of a time finding them (or getting the hotel’s bedside clock radio to pick them up.) Often I default to playing KMFA in my room through my laptop, which is a nice homey Austin touch on a busy morning when I’m prepping to speak at a conference, for example.

Rev-up recommendation for you:

**  Do a little destination marketing with radio in 2012.

—->>  Write up a blog post that tells visitors where to find 3-4 of your best local radio stations online. Include their AM and/or FM station numbers for people to dial into when they are physically in town. Link to each of the station websites in your post.

—->>  Put a link to the post in a Facebook Page update. Tag the radio stations in your update.

—->>  Tweet the link to your post 2-3 times on Twitter, over a few days, at different times. Include the station or DJ Twitter handles.

—->>  Summarize the post as part of your email newsletter.

—->>  Ask the stations if your CVB or DMO can be a guest on any of the shows that cover local events or festivals, then make sure that your blog/Facebook Page/tweets/newsletter let people know when to tune in to hear you talk up your town. Shoot a short video of you on the air, and put that on YouTube, with a link back to your blog post in the video description.

Can you think of any other way to use radio to connect with visitors?

Oh, and I did finally find a great New Orleans station that streams local music and shows:  WWOZ online, or dial up 90.7 FM when you’re there.

Want more help and training in social communications, tourism and hospitality?  That’s why we started Tourism Currents.

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