Understanding Radio Schedules

When you’ve decided on a great radio commercial message for your business, and decided which station or stations’ audience you want to reach with your message, the next step is to decide which type of radio schedule will help you make the best use of your budget.

There are several types of radio schedules and each is meant to serve a different purpose.  Here are a few schedule types you may want to consider.


Run of Station or Schedule (ROS)

With this type of schedule, your ads will run any day in any daypart.  You don’t request specific dayparts or programs.  The station traffic manager will distribute the ads.  This type of schedule helps you get better rates on your ad buy.  Depending on the size of your budget, this could make a good option and with a large enough budget you could run all day every day on multiple stations.


Branding Schedule Flights

A flight is typically a 4 to 8 week long campaign duration where you air the same branding spot.  This type of campaign can also have weeks where your campaign is on hiatus.  For example you run your branding spot for two weeks and are on hiatus (off) for a  week. Then your schedule resumes for 2 more weeks and on hiatus again. This type of branding schedule should air a commercial message that is very targeted and contains one main thought.  After several weeks you may want to change the main thought of the campaign but keep a consistent tag throughout the series of your flights.  Branding is best done with annual commitment to radio advertising.


Dominate A Day

Dominating a day is a powerful way to advertise your business on the radio and often suits the budget of the smaller business owner giving you the biggest bang for your buck.  When you Dominate a day you are choosing a day or a few days of the week and saturating it with your ads all day long. Ten or more ads work best to dominate a day. It will take a few weeks, but eventually people will tell you, “I hear you on the radio all the time!”  If you have a smaller budget consider dominating a day rather than spreading your budget thin across several stations and dayparts.


Time Spent Listening & Magic Formula for Target Frequency

A good rule of thumb is to run between 18 to 25 ads per week to hit a radio frequency of 3 in a  week.  If you are a consistent advertiser your weekly frequency builds during the length of your campaign. The number of ads that you need to buy will vary according to a stations TSL or Time Spent Listening. That is the length of time the average listener will stay tuned in to the station at one time.  News talk stations have a longer TSL so it requires fewer ads to get an effective frequency than does a Top 40 station which will require you to purchase and run more ads.

Don’t be confused or make it complicated, it really isn’t.  For advertising success you need to follow just a few rules.  First, have a great message.  Second, commit to a budget that works for your business and schedule accordingly.  Third, trust one of our radio professionals to analyze your plan or suggest a plan that will yield results.  And remember, Radio is a brand builder. National companies like Motel 6, Home Depot and McDonald’s are proof of that and while you might not have their radio budget, Sounds Good Media can work with you to make your budget work to build your brand.