Audience Dialogue

Participative Marketing for Local Radio

Radio marketing is the topic of this section of the Audience Dialogue website, which contains most chapters of Dennis List's book, Participative Marketing for Local Radio.

Participative marketing is a new way of thinking about a timeless concept: marketing is not just something that big corporations do to consumers, but something that everybody does when engaged in purposeful activity. What's new about the idea of participative marketing is that it sets out to weave a strong web of relationships to help bring people together for a common purpose. If it works properly, there's no exploitation, but a filling of mutual needs. "Participative marketing" extends the idea of "relationship marketing" to cover all types of communications and social networks.

The book is designed to be useful for any kind of local radio station, but is specially aimed at community-owned stations. These are perfectly suited to the participative approach, since they are generally short of money but well resourced with people.

This is not a how-to-do-it manual, but a sourcebook of ideas, principles, and possibilities. It is aimed particularly at people who are new to local radio, and are interested in developing an approach to marketing that is not based on exploitation and dishonesty. The book will also be of interest to academics in the area of communication and social change.

How to order a copy



Chapter 1: Marketing for radio
Four views of marketing
For radio, marketing is different
Stakeholders in radio
Product and market orientation
The three goals for a radio station
The three-legged model of funding
Marketing and community development
Using all aspects of marketing

Chapter 2: Audience concepts
Sources of data
Measures of radio audiences
Target audiences

Chapter 3: Research findings
Findings about radio in general
Findings about time use on radio
Findings about stations
Findings about programs

Chapter 4: Program strategy
Targeting the whole population
Station format and positioning
Marketing and programming
Building a community of listeners
Becoming the community's voice

Chapter 5: Publicity and promotion
The need for a memorable name
On air publicity
Off air publicity
Printed publicity
Cultivating word of mouth
The importance of a long-term view
Sharing publicity

As an incentive for people to buy the book, chapters 5 and 6 are not available online!

Chapter 6: Advertising and sponsorship
Formats for commercial messages
Content and focus of messages
Scheduling commercial messages
How to advertise on radio
Setting advertising rates
Making the sales
Organizing for broadcast

Chapter 7: Funding from listeners
On air appeals
Off air appeals
Special events

Chapter 8: Funding from grants
Regular government funding
Funding from NGOs
One-off grants
Corporate sponsorship
Program theory

Chapter 9: Selling programs and airtime
Program sales
Access to airtime
Facility hire

Chapter 10: Internal marketing
Marketing with volunteers
Communicate as much as possible
Conflict management

Chapter 11: Beyond radio
Sound recordings
Radio in print: newsletters and program guides
Radio and email
Radio and the Web
From radio station to telecentre

Chapter 12: Making it happen
Managing your marketing
You need a marketing plan
Affordable audience research
Setting up systems
Conclusion: above all, marketing needs creativity

Appendix: Further reading
Useful books
Internet resources

The printed book (160 pages in large format) is published by Original Books (New Zealand). How to order the book.

If you are thinking of doing more than reading and printing these chapters for your own use, please see our copyright conditions.


An Indonesian translation of Participative Marketing for Local Radio has been published, under the title of Pemasaran Partisipatif untuk Radio Lokal. The publisher is Kantor Berita 68H, in Jakarta. Details in Bahasa Indonesia.

February 2004: Carlos Herrera, of Mexico, has begun to translate the book into Spanish. Here is part of Chapter 1.