Christian radio credits a large portion of its present income to religious non-profit organizations. The fact is that, in almost every case, churches constitute the heaviest generic category of advertisers on Christian radio. But some churches would rather put their promotional dollars to work somewhere else. Here are a few of their reasons. Please see Part 2 for the continuation of this article.
All churches advertise whether they call it that or not. All word-of-mouth, flyers on the supermarket bulletin board and even the sign out in front of the church is advertising. Furthermore, the church is obviously paying some amount of money for these projects. Radio is nothing more than an electronic extension of what the church is already doing to promote itself. Obviously, every congregation thinks that they have the best church in town. And no one attending church A would invite people to go to church B. Church radio advertising has become nothing more than word-of-mouth en mass.
In my opinion, radio audiences need to be more aware of local ministries they can plug into more than national ministries with which their involvement is limited. People cannot grow if they don't have roots. By purchasing program or spot time on a local Christian station, local ministries are addressing the greatest need in their community - personal involvement with other believers encouraging local fellowship.
Let's not think for a moment that the Christian radio listener is without the need for evangelization. While it's true that Christian radio plays to one of the most quality audiences in America, our research involving every primary data bank in the country conclusively proves to us that there are those in the Christian radio audience who, in many ways, change the spiritual profile of the entire composite.
A general manager of one of America's premier Christian stations recently told us that a local survey of his listeners revealed that between 19-21% were yet unregenerate. Even more were without a church home. If we forget these aspects of our audience, we will lose sight of the tremendous missionary platform from which to address our local communities. No longer is Christian radio just serving to bless the body of Christ; nor is it just a medium of Christian entertainment. There is no doubt that a large segment of the Christian radio audience constitutes one of America's ripest harvests. It is to this segment of the audience that ministries need to address on Christian radio. For some reason, Christian radio has become increasingly popular as a format that plays to either those who aren't yet saved or who aren't living like it. Local ministries need to promote themselves as a place for these souls to take root.
All the more reason to do radio as well. Any agency in America will tell you that radio is the best support medium for print available. According to Radio Advertising Bureau, the average adult (25-54) devotes only 11% of his/her media attention to newspaper, compared to 41% given to radio. Only 41% of newspaper readers recall seeing any single full-page ad. 33% note half-page ads and 27% note quarter page ads.This means that a client could decrease his full-page ad space cost in half while only reducing his notations by 25%. Then, by adding radio to the mix, his bottom line results would go up. Remember - print supplies the copy, but radio supplies the sizzle, the sound, the emotions, the reinforcement. Print plus radio will bring more results than just print alone. This type of cross-media promotion is a much more effective way to advertise.