Monday, December 5, 2011

No Shave? No Brainer (source - Country Aircheck)

Last week’s Beard Bash officially wrapped up No Shave November, which raised more than $35,000 for
St. Jude – far exceeding the original $2,500 goal. NSN, however, may just be getting started. This year’s hastily assembled, industry-only affair has the potential to become an annual radio promotion with wide
reach. And the blueprint may be found in the efforts of WSIX/Nashville morning personality Billy Greenwood, who was honored as NSN’s top fundraiser with a final tally of $3,185 – almost 10% of the total. The social media component, an ever-growing point of emphasis for radio, was key. “I introduced it over a weekend and within a couple of hours I had received close to $1,000,” Greenwood says. At that point he hadn’t even mentioned the event on-air, but those announcements eventually came, too. “I
probably hit it a couple of times per week,” he explains. “The last week it was every day, but I talked about it on Facebook and/or Twitter every day. Every time I posted I’d get about five people who would donate.
“It was a very cool and unique way to raise money for a cause we all believe in,” he says. “The response I got on the Web was far more than what happened on the air. Maybe it’s because they’re sitting in front of the computer and it’s easy to donate. I really hope radio will get behind this a lot more next year.”
Greenwood tracks numerous shows for Clear Channel stations across the U.S. and says that even though that helped, Facebook was the catalyst. “It had a grass-roots feel. I think that’s why we got a great response. It was amusing. There’s also something inside of us guys with this competition where we wanted to outgrow each other.”

WMN regional Lou Ramirez originally took the idea to St. Jude/Nashville’s Jackie Proffit and Teri Watson, and agrees with Greenwood that there’s plenty of room for growth – awareness, financial and otherwise. “This time it was organic and fun, but if we could get them talking about it and personalities posting
photos on their station websites, that will be key to passing our total from this year,” he says. “We’ve been talking about putting together a ‘Beard of Directors’ for next year to get more organized. There are a group of guys who have been passionate about this. Maybe we can start doing events ahead of November and even get more labels involved. There’s definitely a buzz.”

Bob Pittman

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