Edison Research recently conducted a series of projects for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, focused on the impact of their radio fundraising activities. Edison examined Arbitron ratings data, surveyed listeners to the stations that broadcast the Country Cares Radiothon on behalf of St. Jude, and also interviewed Program Directors at country radio stations across America who either air the Radiothon or compete with stations that do.
This study was designed to quantify the ratings impact – both short-term and long-term – of the Radiothon; to ascertain how listeners felt about the experience, the station and the sponsors of the Radiothon; and to optimize the Radiothon to make it as successful as possible for stations, listeners and of course St. Jude. Edison provided our work on these projects pro bono.
The principal findings included the following:
* While PPM ratings during the Radiothon showed a 24% decline, ratings snapped back by the following week and even showed a slight increase two weeks after the event.
* Almost all of the audiences for these stations snaps back by the Monday following the event – with Saturday being a key day for stations to recover listeners.
* There is a significant “Halo Effect” for the radio stations running the Country Cares Radiothon, manifested in positive sentiment towards the station and their role in the community.
* This “Halo Effect” also extended to the sponsors of the Radiothons; listeners indicated they were more likely to patronize stores and businesses that were sponsors of the Radiothon by nearly two to one.
The following presentation was originally delivered at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis on January 14th, 2012 and again at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville on February 22, and is narrated here by Edison president Larry Rosin.