Big Market Dreams with a Small Market Budget

I first noticed Shöna on Instagram putting her crafting skills to work over Instagram. I had to know more about her, as someone who is crafty and and resourceful myself in order to save on promo costs!

Meet Shöna! Promotions Director at Q105 & The Wolf 102.3
We actually featured her on Meet The Fam back in May 2020.

"Budgets can be tight in radio and I really enjoy getting a little crafty sometimes to make our events a bit more personal. I joke that I have a lot of big market dreams with a small market budget.  So I’m always trying to find a way to make those big market dreams come true."

Tell me about the rocks I've been seeing on IG:

I've been painting kindness rocks to give out at our events, because I was running low on station promo swag and there’s been a delay in getting more because of the pandemic.  

I also thought it might be a nice way to connect with our listeners and cheer people up. I always want our listeners to have a great experience when they come to our events or interact with us at a community event.  I want them to walk away feeling like we truly do care about them and have a personal connection with us. I feel like hand crafting something that they take away from the event does that.

What about the mustaches on popsicles sticks...?

A lot of times like with the Bohemian Rhapsody premier we did, I try to pull a theme together. The theme for that was very obvious... Queen and rockstars!  I wanted them to feel like they were rockstars.  For that premiere I also had the music of Queen playing outside as people were walking into the venue and in the theater, I had our photo booth setup and the mustaches were given to each person in attendance.  I could have bought mustaches but the cost to make them myself was astronomically lower.  We already had black construction paper in the office and a box of craft sticks is under $5. Listeners remember stuff like that and they are who it’s all about!  

I’ve created things like a giant field goal post for a football promo.

What's your favorite crafty creation?!

For our local Pride day a few years ago where the theme of the day was Carnival and so I got a piece of peg board, spray painted it black and took balloons in the colors of the rainbow and made a balloon dart game.  We gave out prizes for the different colors.  It was also very cheap to make and it was a hit.  We put up signs and allowed some down time so we could refill the board every so often too.  

Rock-STAR glasses for the Rocketman premiere.

How did you get into radio?

I fell into was never even on my radar as a career path.  I was really lost in my 20’s and tried a few different jobs and careers on for size. 

I spent 5 years as a receptionist and in my free time I volunteered and that’s how I learned how much I loved events.

I just couldn’t figure out how to make my volunteer life into a paycheck.  Enter a woman I met while volunteering with New London Main Street named Shirley.  Shirley and I became friends pretty much instantly and worked together during the food strolls and other Main Street events.   She started working at Cumulus as the Promotions Director and we were talking about her new job and she had mentioned getting involved part time on the street team and how perfect I would be for that. 

Shirley had gotten promoted over to sales and her position as promotions director would being opening up and she thought I should apply because what she had been doing for the station was pretty much what I had been doing for the last 5-6 years in my volunteer work.  I immediately applied and they brought me in for an interview and I landed the job. 

What are your favorite type of promotions?

The ones where we are able to help in our local community.  We’ve done a few promotions with our local homeless hospitality center and one of our advertisers who wanted to giveback.  The biggest reason this particular project is near and dear to my heart is because the Account Rep that initially brought this idea up was my good friend and office “big brother” and he passed away in 2019.  He was so passionate about radio and helping people.  It really left our whole staff from full timers right on down the line to my Street Teamers heartbroken. 

In 2018 he brought this idea of linking one of his clients to a local charity and do a food and supplies drive.  After looking at a few local charities and making suggestions to the client we collectively decided that this charity was a good fit because they do so much with so little, they are right in this client’s backyard and they offer many services to people in need. 

We ended up with a total donation of  532 lbs of food and supplies.  After we dropped everything off I got in the station vehicle and cried because I was just so overwhelmed with our success and how grateful the people at the hospitality center were and just thinking about how many people we were gonna help with all that stuff just felt amazing.  In 2019 the client wanted to continue this tradition in honor of our coworker.  


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