December 2004 Vol. 9 Issue 7
Branding Purdue Extension on the radio

Working with Purdue Extension faculty and staff around the state, I encounter a lot of questions about marketing.

The question and answer below should help you prepare for the time restrictions imposed by radio.

Question: I have an event coming up that I will promote on radio. Is there an accepted or expected method of introducing myself as an Extension employee that helps brand our name?

Answer: On the radio, your introduction has to be short and to the point to grab people's attention. But your name, organization, and information are not short and easy to get across to audiences. The key is not to provide all details at once. Think of it as a micro-mystery novel. Give them just enough detail to keep the information flowing.

If you have a well-established radio following in your county, you might start with:

"Hi, I'm Jack Jones, Purdue Extension nutrition educator. All the hype on diets and loosing weight may have you confused. Working in Acme County, I talk with a lot of people just like you ." You can then go on to promote your meeting or message.

If you are new to the county or still establishing yourself, you might start with the topic instead of your name:

"All the hype on diets and losing weight may have you confused about nutrition. I'm Jack Jones, Purdue Extension nutrition educator, with tips on proper nutrition. While working in Acme County, I talk with a lot of people just like you."

Note that for radio especially, you don't have to use the formal name, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. Purdue Extension works great in this situation. Branding Purdue Extension is important. It is our informal name. It can and should be used in these types of situations to brand your good work with "our" good name.

In just a few seconds, you've

  1. enticed them with your topic,
  2. helped brand Purdue Extension,
  3. introduced yourself, and
  4. told them you work in their community.

Depending on how much time you have left - 30 seconds, 60 seconds or five minutes - you can sprinkle more details about yourself, the program, and Purdue in the context of your message. Be sure to talk with the radio station ahead of time to see if they have a certain format they want you to follow. Of course, it's always wise to listen to other programs or announcements on the radio station to get your own idea of their format.

Steve Cain, cain@purdue.edu