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TUNING IN

A blog dedicated to the world of broadcast and public relations

Monday, May 14, 2012

Radio Case Study: AARP Florida – You’ve Earned a Say

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In an era of continually rising living and health care costs, Social Security and Medicare are the bedrock of retirement security for millions of older Americans.  In an effort to educate and activate their core constituency of senior Americans about the challenges these programs are facing and make certain voices are heard in the conversation about protecting these vital safeguards, AARP launched a new initiative this Spring called, “You’ve Earned a Say.”

To amplify the national AARP announcement with a strong statement regarding the local impact in Florida, which is especially relevant in a Presidential Election season, AARP Florida partnered with News Generation to produce, distribute and follow up on an audio news release to share localized-to-Florida survey results about the importance of Medicare and Social Security and citizens’ confidence that these critical programs would be there for them when they need them.  The release also invited listeners to join this politically important conversation by visiting www.earnedasay.org.

AARP Florida and News Generation targeted 150 stations and networks acrossFloridato reach Adults 25+ for this audio news release project.  The stations spanned formats from news-talk to urban to Spanish-language to effectively cover this broad age demographic, all impacted by these National programs.

News Generation directly pitched specific contacts at each station and network with localized survey results and expert spokespeople.  AARP provided two experts from their local leadership to serve as spokespersons, Jeff Johnson, the AARP Florida State Director, and Victoria Funes, AARP Florida Associate Director.  Spanish-language stations were pitched in Spanish and Funes, recorded her sound bites in Spanish to assure greatest pick-up and usage.

The results dramatically exceeded goals.  For context, local state releases typically garner half a million targeted listeners.  By contrast, this AARP release drew more than one and a half million listeners, or three times the average project of this type.  Additionally, the Florida Radio Network fed the story on 89 stations for a total of 267 airings.  Also, airings came on the #1 news-talk stations in all majorFloridamarkets as well as the #1 Spanish-language station in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market.   Finally, outside of the news format, WHQT in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, a soft urban contemporary station, delivered over 100,000 listeners, the most of any non-news station.

The customized, personally pitched approach, coupled with on-message, local and well targeted expert spokespeople underscored the urgency and importance of the story and, ultimately, translated in exceptional returns.

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