So, one morning at a Tualatin Chamber of Commerce meeting, this guy, a sales rep for local KPAM and Sunny 860 radio stations…let’s call him “Joe”, approached me, and with a firm handshake, tells me how much he respects what where doing with our MY KITCHEN cooking outreach, and how he’d like to sit down with me and talk about some ways to “really get our message out there.”
Joe was suave, sharp looking, and the very model of professionalism in speech and demeanor. Myself, flattered and grateful for the positive reinforcement, and desperate to drive traffic to support our outreach, of course, agreed to meet for coffee.
A week later, Joe sat down with me and showed me some impressive charts and graphs that assured me that his radio station, KPAM, out of Milwaukie Oregon, was the ideal demographic for our message.
The only catch was…I had to commit to a full year of advertising in advance, at $10,000, and that deal was ending at the end of the week.
Joe assured me that this was an AMAZING deal.
Okay, I’m not completely stupid (just more so than I thought)… looking back, this was an obvious and ham-handed used-car salesman tactic…and I fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
So, I signed up…and Joe promised me that they would have a professionally-recorded radio spot for me in a couple of weeks.
They did, and it was awesome. I loved it, and I was so excited that I talked about KPAM to anyone and everyone who would listen. The first time I heard our radio spot, I had to pull over. We were finally going to get our name out there, and create a healthy and sustained funding source for our outreach and ministry!
A month passed (Feb-March), and then two…and I didn’t see any (I mean ANY) increase in our website traffic or sign-up rate.
I wasn’t worried… Joe had told me that it might be a slow start and, honestly, hearing our ad on the radio stroked my ego enough to keep me happy, regardless of the nonexistent numbers.
Three months…still no noticeable ROI. I track down Joe at a chamber meeting and he, somewhat sheepishly, tells me that he’s leaving KPAM for a better “opportunity”, but he wants to meet for coffee and introduce me to…let’s call him “Jim.”
We meet at a local cafe, and I’m introduced to Jim (who doesn’t seem nearly as impressive as Joe and, in fact, bears a striking resemblance to Les Nessman of WKRP fame…) He assures me that things are about to really take off, and with that, Joe shakes my hand, and is gone.
As far as Jim…I will never, not once, hear from Jim again, unless he’s trying to sell me something.
At four months, with still nothing to show for my money, I call Jim.
He had just the thing, an annual radio call-in contest, “The Eliminator” always VERY popular with both listeners and advertisers. Only thirty businesses will be included in this “elimination” contest…scads of advertising, high profile placement during prime listening hours…a HUGE business opportunity for those who make it to the final rounds….only $1,000 to take part!
Apparently, I’m a sucker.
A month later (June), we were the last business to be eliminated, making it all the way to the 2nd place spot, with absolutely nothing to show in way of response.
Once again, no above-average increase in hits or sign-ups (see graph above), just another grand out of our outreach fund.
At this point, I was done. This obviously wasn’t working, and the only people seeing any money from our “advertising campaign”…was KPAM.
I called Jim and aired my frustrations. He kindly pointed out that I was under contract. I kindly pointed out that I wasn’t paying them one more damn penny, and please stop airing my ads.
Today, almost exactly one year later, I received a summons to appear in court for a lawsuit for the remainder of the contract, which I will likely have to pay.
Whose fault was all this? Mine of course. I was desperate, and foolish, and gullible, and I got taken by a used-car salesman.
My take away: anyone…KPAM Radio or anyone else, wants to lock you into a long-term contract with no promise of results, and no ability to part ways if it’s not working out…don’t walk, RUN away from the table!
You’re being sold a lemon.
BTW – I ran into “Joe” a few months later at Costco, he casually mentioned that KPAM “probably really wasn’t our ideal market” after all, and suggested a couple of other radio stations I could call…
– Just Perry