efforts---at least not in the beginning. But there is a way you

can approximate their maneuvers without actually spending their

kind of money. And that's through "P.I" Advertising.

"P.I." stands for per inquiry. This kind of advertising most

generally associated with broadcasting, where you pay only for

the responses you get to your advertising message. It's very

popular--somewhat akin to bartering--and is used by many more

advertisers than most people realize. The advantages of PI

Advertising are all in favor of the advertiser because with this

kind of an advertising arrangement, you can pay only for the

results the advertising produces.

To get in on this "free" advertising, start with a loose leaf

notebook, and about 100 sheets of filler paper. Next, either

visit your public library and start poring through the Broadcast

Yearbook on radio stations in the U.S., or Standard Rate and Data

Services Directory on Spot Radio. Both these publications will

give you just about all the information you could ever want about

licensed stations.

An easier way might be to call or visit one of your local radio

stations, and ask to borrow (and take home with you) their

current copy of either of these volumes. To purchase them

outright will cost $50 to $75.

Once you have a copy of either of these publications, select the

state or states you want to work first. It's generally best to

begin in your own state and work outward from there. If you have

a moneymaking manual, you might want to start first with those

states reporting the most unemployment.

Use some old fashioned common sense. Who are the people most

likely to be interested in your offer, and where are the largest

concentrations of these people? You wouldn't attempt to sell

windshield de-ice canisters in Florida, or suntan lotion in

Minnesota during the winter months, would you?

At any rate, once you've got your beginning "target" area decided

upon, go through the radio listings for the cities and towns in

that area, and jot down in your notebook the names of general

mangers, the station call letters, and addresses. be sure to list

the telephone numbers as well.

On the first try, list only one radio station per city. Pick out

the station people most interested in your product would be

listening to. This can be determined by the programming

description contained within the date block about the station in

the Broadcasting Yearbook or the SRDS Directory.

The first contact should be in the way of introducing yourself,

and inquiring if they would consider a PI Advertising campaign.

You tell the station manger that you have a product you feel will

sell very well in his market, and would like to test it before

going ahead with a paid advertising program. You must quickly

point out that your product sells for, say $5, and that during

this test, you would allow him 50% of that for each response his

station pulls for you. Explain that you handle everything for

him: the writing of the commercials, all accounting and

bookkeeping, plus any refunds or complaints that come in. In

other words all he has to do is schedule your commercials on his

log, and give them his "best shot." When the responses come in,

he counts them, and forwards them on to you for fulfillment. You

make out a check for payment to him, and everybody is happy.

If you've contacted him by phone, and he agrees to look over your

material, tell him thank you and promise to get a complete

"package" in the mail to him immediately. Then do just that.

Write a short cover letter, place it on top of your "ready-to-go"

PI Advertising Package, and get it in the mail to him without


If you're turned down, and he is not interested in "taking on"

any PI Advertising, just tell him thanks, make a notation in your

notebook by his name, and go to your next call. Contacting these

people by phone is by far the quickest, least expensive and most

productive method of "exploring" for those stations willing to

consider your PI proposal. In some cases though, circumstances

will deem it to be less expensive to make this initial contact by

letter or postcard.

In that case, simply address you card or letter to the person you

are trying to contact. Your letter should be positive in tone,

straight forward and complete. Present all the details in logical

order on one page, perfectly typed on letterhead paper, and sent

in a letterhead envelope. (Rubber-stamped letterheads just won't

get past a first glance.) Ideally, you should include a

self-addressed and stamped postcard with spaces for positive or

negative check marks in answer to your questions: Will you or

won't you over my material and consider a mutually profitable

"Per Inquiry" advertising campaign on your station?

Once you have an agreement from your contact at the radio station

that they will look over your materials and give serious

consideration for a PI program, move quickly, getting your cover

letter and package off by First Class mail, perhaps even Special


What this means is at the same time you organize your "radio

station notebook," you'll also want to organize your advertising

package. Have it all put together and ready to mail just as soon

as you have a positive response. Don't allow time for that

interest in your program to cool down.

You'll need a follow-up letter. Write one to fit all situations;

have 250 copies printed, and then when you're ready to send out a

package, all you'll have to do is fill in the business salutation

and sign it. If you spoke of different arrangements or a specific

matter was discussed in your initial contact, however, type a

different letter incorporating comments or answers to the points

discussed. This personal touch won't take long, and could pay


You'll also need at least to thirty-second commercials and two

sixty-second commercials. You could write these up, and have 250

copies printed and organized as a part of your PI Advertising


You should also have some sort of advertising contract written

up, detailing everything about your program, and how everything

is to be handled; how and when payment to the radio station is to

be made, plus special paragraphs relative to refunds, complaints,

and liabilities. All this can be very quickly written up and

printed in lots of 250 or more on carbonless multi-part snap-out

business forms.

Finally, you should include a self-addressed and stamped postcard

the radio station can use to let you know that they are going to

use your PI Advertising program, when they will start running

your commercials on the air, and how often, during which time

periods. Again, you simply type out the wording in the form you

want to use on these "reply postcards, and have copies printed

for your use in these mailings.

To review this program: Your first step is the initial contact

after searching through the SRDS or Broadcasting Yearbook. Actual

contact with the stations is by phone or mail. When turned down,

simply say thanks, and go to the nest station on the list. For

those who want to know more about your proposal, you immediately

get a PI Advertising Package off to them via the fastest way

possible. Don't let the interest wane.

Your Advertising Package should contain the following:

1. Cover letter

2. Sample brochure, product literature

3. Thirty-second and sixty-second commercials

4. PI Advertising Contract

5. Self-addressed, stamped postcard for station

acknowledgement and

acceptance of your program.

Before you ask why you need an acknowledgement postcard when you

have already given them a contact, remember that everything about

business changes from day to day---conditions change, people get

busy, and other things come up. the station manager may sign a

contract with your advertising to begin the 1st of March. The

contract is signed on the 1st of January, but when March 1 rolls

around, he may have forgotten, been replaced, or even decided

against running your program. A lot of paper seemingly "covering

all the minute details" can be very impressive to many radio

station managers, and convince them that your company is a good

one to do business with.

Let's say that right now you're impatient to get started with

your own PI Advertising campaign. Before you "jump off the deep

end," remember this: Radio station people are just as

professional and dedicated as anyone else in business---even more

so in some instances--so be sure you have a product or service

that lends itself well to selling via radio inquiry system.

Anything can be sold, and sold easily with any method you decide

upon, providing you present it from the right angle. "hello out


Who wants to buy a mailing list for 10 cents a thousand names?"

wouldn't even be allowed on the air. However, if you have the

addresses of the top 100 movie stars, and you put together an

idea enabling the people to write to them direct, you might have

a winner, and sell a lot of mailing lists of the stars.

At the bottom line, a lot is riding on the content of your

commercial---the benefits you suggest to the listener, and how

easy it is for him to enjoy those benefits. For instance, if you

have a new book on how to find jobs when there aren't any jobs:

You want to talk to people who are desperately searching for

employment. You have to appeal to them in words that not only

"perk up" their ears, but cause them to feel that whatever it is

that you're offering will solve their problems. It's the product,

and in writing of the advertising message about that product are

going to bring in those responses.

Radio station managers are sales people, and sales people the

world over will be sold on your idea if you put your selling

package together properly. And if the responses come in your

first offer, you have set yourself up for an entire series of

successes. Success has a "ripple effect," but you have to start

on that first one. We wish you success!

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