How to get the Grateful Dead Hour on the air
in your town
Choose a station
There are two kinds of radio stations: commercial and public. We deal
with both types, but they are handled differently. Among commercial
stations, obviously, rock-oriented stations are more likely to be
interested than jazz, classical, news-talk, etc. Public, community and
college stations generally have more eclectic fare, so it's often
possible to get the Grateful Dead Hour added to the schedule on the
basis of listener demand and the excellence of the program itself.
Commercial stations will be much more interested in the Grateful Dead
Hour if we bring them a sponsor. If you know of a record store, bar,
law firm, car dealership, or whatever - anyone who might be willing to
buy advertising - ask them to contact the station's sales department.
Public (or college or community) stations do not take advertising, but
most of them accept "underwriting" (similar to advertising, but with
specific restrictions as to what is said on the air). Again, if you
know of any business that might be interested ( and it can be just
about any kind of business, or even a group of individuals!), ask them
to get in touch with the station. The other thing that's important to
public/community stations is memberships. If we can show them that
large numbers of listeners will become members and contribute money to
the station, we will definitely have their attention.
If the first
station you contact just plain refuses to take on the show, try another
one. Sometimes a station won't be interested no matter how many
listeners stand on their heads. Sometimes a station warms up to the
idea right away but simply doesn't ha ve a time slot open. Give the
station time to do what it needs to do to determine if and when it can
add the Grateful Dead Hour. If it declines the offer, turn to another
station in your area. The Grateful Dead Hour is available to any
station that wants it; the trick is to f ind one near you that does.
Get every Deadhead in town to write to that radio station
Every radio station wants more listeners. We need to show them that there are
hundreds, even thousands, of fans ready to tune in and stay tuned.
Write to your local station's program director and say in your own words why
you'd like to hear the Grateful Dead Hour. A thoughtful and enthusiastic letter
carries more weight than a phone call; letters have a way of piling up on a
program director's des
k, providing a concrete indication of listener interest.
A week or two after you write, place a call to the station to see if anything
has developed, and ask if there's anything you can do to help make it happen.
Letters from a large number of listeners will be more persuasive than multiple
contacts from a smal
l number of people. Be positive, and be polite.
Sometimes a petition can be helpful. A few hundred signatures, gathered at a
sympathetic record store, bar, or concert will show the radio people how
serious this community is about our radio program. Be sure to present this
petition as a show of enthusia
stic support, not as pressure.
Keep us posted
If you get some interest from the station, give them our address and phone
number and give us the name and number of the person you've been in touch with.
We will follow through and keep you posted.
Be inventive. You know your city much better than we do. Make something up!
Organizing the community is a great way to meet other Heads in your area, make
new taping contacts, etc.
And when the Grateful Dead Hour is on the air...
Let the station, and especially the advertisers or underwriters, know you
appreciate their support of the Grateful Dead Hour. If you're a member of your
public radio station, be sure to mention the Grateful Dead Hour when you renew
your membership; if you
haven't joined the station, make sure you (and all your friends) sign up with
a specific notice that you're doing so in support of the Grateful Dead Hour.
If it's a commercial station, write to the station and support those
Thank you for your help!
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