Radio benefits from off-year elections


Battles for governor in New Jersey and mayor of Houston TX are getting to the white hot point, and radio’s targetability has brought it into play in both races. In New Jersey, the goal is to reach a certain part of the state; in Houston, a certain part of the constituency.

In New Jersey, Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine is reminding residents of one specific corner of the state – Atlantic City – of all that he has done for that municipality. The radio flight is designed to counteract a local newspaper endorsement of his Republican rival Chris Christie. From a media buying perspective, Atlantic City faces a problem shared by many other cities in the state – it is part an out-of-state DMA – in this case, Philadelphia PA. Radio is a good way to target the city in any case, and it is especially important in this case since a TV buy would be wildly out of focus and overly expensive.

In Houston, three candidates are running for mayor, and apparently voters in the Black community are 40% undecided as to whom to vote for.

KCOH-AM is widely seen as the spot on the dial where the African-American community congregates, and it is reaping a bonanza of advertising as Peter Brown, Annise Parker and Gene Locke are all using the station to make their cases.

RBR-TVBR observation: If there are any political media buyers in this audience, it is important to keep radio in mind at all times. TV gets your candidate’s name out there, but radio can quickly and affordably be brought into play when a specific message needs to go to a very specific audience. Both media have their uses, but if TV is the sledge hammer, radio is the scalpel.