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Sponsoring morning or afternoon traffic updates on local radio stations can be a great way to reinforce your grand opening message.

If you have ever listened to radio on your way to or from work, you're already aware of the benefits of traffic updates. In metro areas and even large towns, stations have added traffic to their morning and afternoon programming as a "public service" to their listeners.

The sponsorship of these updates represents a revenue stream to the stations. But, used correctly, they also represent a great opportunity for you to increase awareness of your new store opening, and deliver a call-to-action to your potential customers.

Here are three advantages to having traffic packages as part of your grand opening media mix:

1. Frequency

Stations deliver their traffic updates multiple times, every hour, during standard "drive times" in your market. In turn, your message is being delivered multiple times to the same radio audience over that same compressed period of time.

Plus, many sponsorships are structured with both a "billboard" (e.g., "this traffic report is brought to you by _________") and a 10 or 15-second commercial message. So, within each report, you're gaining double the exposure for your brand.

2. Reach

Traffic reports are usually implemented consistently across entire station ownership groups, and sometimes even across multiple station groups. That means your single sponsorship can be heard on numerous stations in your market.

Sponsorship packages, from providers like Clear Channel's Total Traffic Network, will admittedly include placing your message on both powerhouse stations as well as those with much smaller audiences.

But, you're extending your reach in the marketplace. And, you can (and should) negotiate the sponsorship costs, to make sure the pricing is fair for what you're getting in return.

3. Cost

And, speaking of costs ... they obviously vary, depending upon your market and the size of the overall radio audience you're reaching. But, fortunately, the traffic format doesn't require (i.e., allow) the use of a traditional 30 or 60-second commercial.

Advertisers usually provide the copy (usually 30-45 words) and the station either pre-records your message or reads it "live" within each traffic update. Regardless, you avoid the cost of audio production, voice talent(s) and music.

Traffic radio sponsorships are definitely not appropriate for every brand message. It's hard (if not impossible) to introduce a complex new program or offer within the format.

But, traffic packages can be a great complement to an established message, or one that is spelled out more completely in another medium.

If you're opening a store, they can be the perfect way to invite the public to your new location. With some careful writing, you may even have enough time to hint at the fun and excitement you have planned for your grand opening.

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