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Brian Wright
Audience Development Group

Back To School Ideas





1. School Spirit - Students simply have to show the most school spirit to win a free concert from a popular artist(s) on your play-list. They show spirit by sending in a video of what they have been doing to create school spirit for the upcoming year. You can post the videos on your station website, and listeners get to vote.                

2. School Spirit #2 - Have schools collect pennies for a chance to win a free concert at their school by a popular artist on your play-list. The school that raises the most money wins the Grand Prize and all the money goes to a local charity.

3. Safety Guards - Send the morning show and/or a personality to a local elementary school to serve as a crossing guard on the first day. Bring along a recorder to get comments from kids and parents on the first day back.

4. Back To School Headquarters - Great one for the sales department. They offer client(s) a chance to purchase the official WADG Back To School Headquarters package which includes: On location broadcast just before school starts with the morning show or personality, prizes, contests, etc. Plus, everyone will be encouraged to visit the location and register to win a Back To School Grand Prize (limo on the first day, tickets to a big concert, school supplies for a year, etc.)

5. Campus Fair - Hold this event at a mall, or other high traffic area. The fair includes the latest fall fashions, coolest Smart Phones or tablets for this school year, SAT tutorial information, etc. Great NTR (non traditional revenue) event..

6. Youth Board - This is a great one for the radio station and a big retailer. Have kids apply to be on the Youth Board, which will give them special perks from the station and/or retail partner. The Youth Board meets once per month to offer their opinions on fashion, music, and problem solving etc.

7. First Car - Feature a page/area on your website that features the coolest, most affordable new/used cars for soon-to-be (or just turned old enough) drivers. You could even hold an auction at the school for these cars.

8. Home Team - Give parents and students a chance to win football tickets to see a popular college team in your area. Listeners can register to win at a client location, register online or win them by playing the station College Quiz, which asks high school students college level questions that they must answer correctly to win.

9. Campus Caravan - Your campus caravan visits local high school and college campuses each week with free prizes, samples from clients, and more! Be sure to take along a recorder to get some drops for station image promos.

10. Radio Adult Education - Offer a free 3-week course in radio to your listeners/students. Limit registration, alternate teachers per week, the GM, then the PD, the Sales Manager, etc. Hold classes at the station.

11. Back To School Double Play For Your First Day - Listeners hear two songs played back-to-back by the same artist to call in and win a station backpack filled with school supplies, discount coupons and free music.

12. Back-to-School VIP - Listeners activate their name at a retail outlet or mall, and/or on air. Grand prize is a chauffeur-driven ride on the first day of school in a limousine, station van, or some other novelty a new Back-to-School wardrobe and something for your winner to give students at the school... sandwich coupons, station pens, or perhaps pizzas delivered to the lunchroom, compliments of your winning student (with the permission of the principal).

13. Field Trip - Hold a "Field Trip" for adults only as a back to school promotion. Take (frequency) listeners to dinner, on dinner cruise, the theater, etc. 

14. Back To School Bash - Create a pep rally style event at a local mall, theme park and/or club to send students back to school. Have a new and/or local artist(s) performing live and give all who attend a chance to receive an autograph or photo with the star(s). Have a fashion show with the latest fall trends, local cheerleading teams, high school bands, and lots of interactive activities (great client tie-in).

15. Back-To-School Celebration Nation - Contact local schools for permission to visit their grounds the week classes resume to hand- out station pencils, t-shirts, etc. As a real treat, you could also arrange to have your morning show help serve lunch in the cafeteria.

16. Good Morning Students - Contact a local high school in one of your hot zips and set it up to do their "Home Room Announcements" LIVE on the air. Try to do it with a twist, come up with a custom song having to do with the school, have the voice of a celebrity on with you, or have an artist you play on your station re-do a verse from one of their songs especially for the school. You can also line this up with several schools and simply do a welcome announcement instead of a customized message.

17. Homework Hotline - Have teachers/professors at the station each night (Monday-Thursday) between 6pm and 8pm helping students on the "WADG Homework Hotline" (business line or a studio line you set up). This could also work as a chat or message board on your website.

18. Supply Drive - Collect school supplies for needy children. Listeners may bring new or unused supplies to various collection sites and receive discount coupons on the purchase of their Back-To-School gear from participating retailers/clients.

19. Back To School Check List - Hand out a Station Back-To-School checklist at participating client locations or make it available to print out on your website. The list itemizes everything needed for the new school year. Include station and/or contest information along with client coupons that may be used for their purchases.

20. Bookcovers - A great premium item to sell, offer as a gift with purchase or simply giveaway. Display your hottest artists, station logo and client ads...or have lots of discount and/or free gift coupons inside.


Brian is a 30 year radio veteran who has successfully served many companies over the years as Program Director, Operations Manger and VP of programming. After many years of success working for individual radio stations and clusters, Brian Joined one of the most trusted consulting firms in the country, Audience Development Group. For the last 15 years Wright has enjoyed building alliances with scores of stations in the US & Canada helping them grow in ratings and revenue. Contact Brian at