Coronavirus Ideas For Radio

Oscar Wilde quoted, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” In the midst of this pandemic, Radio Stations have taken control and are looking at the stars!

While advertising cancellations may have been one step back, a majority of you are taking two steps forward by thinking out-of-the-box and generating creative revenue opportunities that may not have existed before. Opportunities, that could potentially increase your revenue while creating goodwill within your community. Your acts will not go unnoticed!

“You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding!” - Cheryl Strayed

Here are some categories, ideas and thought starters...

"This is John from Muscle Fitness Center. While we are temporarily closed, we want to say thank you to all of you Doctor's, nurses, and healthcare workers who are putting your life on the line for ours! We appreciate all of you, and looking forward to reopening our doors and seeing our valued customers again." Sell this idea to multiple businesses, rotating them hourly or more.

KYMK in Lafayette, LA started Homegrown Home Sessions, live music from local artists streamed live every night at 8pm. Sponsorship opportunity... nightclubs that feature live music, music stores - get the artist to use their instruments. What about mailing your special performer a sponsorship sign they can display during their performance (i.e My shirt is from Target, my guitar is from Guitar City, etc.).

Cromwell's Bud Walters said it best, "Government money is flowing and there are messages to be delivered. Call every department of the city, county, and region. They have messages they want heard."

Whether it's for important medical information, change of hours, curbside pickup, etc. all of these categories have a reason to advertise right now: Doctors, hospitals, outpatient clinics, urgent cares, home health agencies, lab services, pharmacies, insurance companies, Restaurants, grocery stores (when will they be restocking toilet paper? hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, etc.), dry cleaners, Accountants (Tax filing has been extended to July 15, 2020), food delivery services, all online stores, online apps (Zoom, Skype, meditation, learning), Online courses (colleges, udemy.com, masterclass.com, etc), online boredom relief (dance classes, yoga, cooking classes, kids education, etc), money lending businesses, online at-home fitness programs (The Mirror, 9-Rounds, Lifetime Fitness, Neou, ClassPass, The Sculpt Society, FitBit Premium, Centr, Peloton, Obe, etc.).

Weddings that have taken months to plan, have been postponed. This is a very important day! With all of the planning, the money spent, the invitations sent, honeymoon booked, etc. it is crushing to those who have to move their special date. Can you tie in clients that can help by sending out new announcements, moving to a different venue, creating a virtual wedding, make up money lost by providing a new wedding dress and tux?

Great idea - WURV in Richmond has launched the "Radio Readers" webisode series, a virtual story time with members of the morning show reading books for kids to watch while home. Sponsorship opportunity!

The list of "essential" businesses that can stay open vary from state to state. Listeners have no idea what businesses are allowed to remain open, and I'm sure those businesses would like to get the word out! Here are some "essential business" categories: Liquor Stores, Marijuana dispensaries, Golf Courses, Florist deliveries, office supply stores, hardware stores, big box retailers, pet supply stores, mail and delivery stores, gas stations, laundromats, auto repair, banks.

“We have a choice: To plow new ground, or let the weeds grow.” - Department of Ag

There are a lot of items that your listeners are in need of right now. Some stations are giving away toilet paper, while others are giving away antibacterial hand sanitizer. Great items that are much needed. Now, with the new CDC suggestion of wearing a face mask, there's a new item in hot demand!

What if your station was able to customize their own face mask or bandana with your logo (see image to the right), or a clients logo?

If you google it, you can find customized face masks and bandanas that for now, appear to be readily available and fairly inexpensive.

Let me know if you're interested, and we can track down a vendor together. There may even be a print shop in your area that can partner with you.

Almost all states have implemented stay-at-home-orders, creating a huge opportunity to promote listening on Alexa and Google Home. You can’t promote this enough!  Run Alexa / Google Home imaging at least 2x per hour, post instructions on your website and facebook page.

The Charlotte Observer did a great job at listing kid activities to keep the little ones occupied and happy while at home. Some stations have made on-air rotators out of these and added sponsorships. i.e "Mix 95.5 knows your kids are going stir crazy at home. We're here to help! Here's tip #63 to prevent you from pulling your hair out, brought to you by Flour Power Kids Cooking Classes: (insert) While we're entertaining your kids, we'll entertain you with great music! Mix 95.5."

Here are the ideas...

  • Look through old family photo albums, either from when the kids were littler, or from before they were born. Let them laugh at your haircut.
  • Make a homemade jigsaw puzzle by cutting up the front of a cereal box or a greeting card.
  • Try some origami. It’s easy to find instructions online and you can use any kind of paper, in a crunch.
  • Do stamp art with vegetables. Just cut them in half, dry them well, and dip them in paint.
  • Make puppets from paper lunch bags if you have any around. No lunch bags? Try socks.
  • Make a blanket fort.
  • If you have wax paper, scavenge for some leaves or flowers, put them between two pieces of wax paper. Add very small bits of crayons, or yarn, or pretty much any almost-flat object. Then put a piece of newspaper over the top sheet of wax paper and have an adult iron the two pieces of wax paper together. 
  • Make play dough. Add 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 cup of warm water, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and some food coloring into a pot. Cook over a low heat, and keep stirring until it’s no longer sticky. Take it off the heat and let it cool for 30 minutes.
  • Make a memory jar and have everyone write down a memory (or dictate one) that they don’t want to forget. Make this a family tradition.
  • If you have non-carpeted floors, have the kids put socks on their feet and hands and play “dogs on ice.”
  • Make a board game. Use any piece of cardboard for the game board, using markers to draw up the board navigation. Use pieces from other games or any small objects you have around the house, as the game pieces. 
  • Make a picnic. Lay out a sheet or blanket on the floor, or outside if you have a yard, and eat some fun picnic food.
  • Make a treasure hunt. First hide the prize, which can be anything. It doesn’t have to be something new. Then hide a clue to the hiding spot of the prize somewhere else. And work backwards until you have 10 or so clues.
  • Grab some papers that you haven’t recycled or shredded yet, crumple them up into “snowballs” and let the battle begin.
  • Yarn bomb a piece of furniture.
  • If you have a dog, teach the dog a new trick. If you don’t have a dog, have the kids teach each other new tricks.
  • Teach your kids your favorite song from when you were a teenager.
  • Play 20 questions.
  • Play Marco Polo in a room without a lot of trippable obstacles. Blindfold one kid and have him or her find you or the other kids.
  • Make a collaborative drawing. One person draws a shape, and then the next, and the next, taking turns until the picture is “done.”  Or make a collaborative story the same way. Each person tells one line of the story, letting it go in unexpected directions.
  • Write actual letters to relatives!
  • Play classic games like “Follow the leader,” “Red Light, Green Light,” “Simon Says,” and “Leap Frog.”
  • Teach your kids classic card games.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have bubble wrap around, put it on the ground and let the kids stomp on it.
  • If you have balloons around, blow them up and challenge the kids to keep them up in the air.
  • Learn Morse Code.
  • Create an indoor obstacle course, or an outdoor one if you have a yard.
  • Put on your fanciest clothes and have a tea party.
  • Have a scavenger hunt.
  • Camp out in the living room (or the backyard if you have one) in sleeping bags.
  • Play charades.
  • Create a race track for toy cars on the floor with painter’s tape.
  • Use painter’s tape to create a “web” in a doorway. Have your kids crumple up paper and try to throw it through the web.
  • Make a collage by cutting up pictures from a magazine. Or cut up really small pieces from the pictures and make a mosaic.


Fun, educational and free kids websites:



Animal webcams and live streams that will keep your kids occupied for hours!

"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” - Francesca Reigler

For more Coronavirus money making ideas, thoughts and strategies, contact Station Domination Radio Consulting Group. We can help!