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Using Radio to Win an Election

In over twenty years of consulting political races, I know that the our best chance of driving home the campaign message and encouraging voters to make a trip to the polls is with Radio.

At the age of nineteen I was fortunate enough to spend my summer working for the number one radio station in its market. When I started the station was only four years old and had just achieved top ratings. Having no experience, I was both thrilled and surprised that they would hire me. Why did they need me?

The manager had built the station with his own hands. This was his fifth time at the dance, having been successful with each previous station. The interview was simple. He wanted to know if I could sell Air. That is all radio has to offer. You can't see it and you can't touch it, but you have to be able to sell it. I was bold enough to say yes. I was asked why he should hire me rather than a sales representative from another station. My answer was simple: I had no bad habits and I wanted to win. He saw something in me.

I was soon selling radio to the companies who had refused to do business with us in the past. We called them the “dead list”. After four months, this list was making the station over ten thousand dollars. In 1979, a recession era, this was beyond what anyone had hoped. By the sixth month I was one of the top five sales representatives.

What I discovered early in the job, with great tutoring, was how to sell Air. Most people need to touch a newspaper, see a television commercial, or read a billboard to believe their advertising worked. All are effective, but radio is the most cost effective because of the number of people it reaches. The results always exceeded expectations.

I recall making a pitch to a local bar and being told that radio did not work. I smiled at the rejection and asked the owner if I could run a free commercial for him. That got his attention. I wanted to broadcast five commercials stating that “the first ten people to mention hearing this ad to Jack at the Happy Hollow, would receive a crisp ten dollar bill.” Jack did not want to take my offer. “I'm not giving a hundred dollars away!” Ah ha! He just admitted that radio did work. A few weeks later I called him back with a specific promotion that was good fit for his business and we had a deal.

Countless business owners will testify to the effectiveness of radio advertising. So will the candidates that I have worked with over the years. Radio is the most cost effective method of reachingFind Article, informing and driving the voters to the polls.

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Scott Perreault is CEO of ( a Political Advertising Agency and Voice Works specializing in Television, Online Video and Radio. We represent National, State and local candidates or issue campaigns. Over twenty years experience. 2006-2008 Agency of record for U.S. Senate Campaign in Texas. We assist Independents, Republicans and Democrats. services include: Voice Work, Affordable media production in English ($199) and Spanish ($298) Advertising Agency, Polling, DVD Videos for events and Political Consulting. Learn more at:

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