[Market-farming] Advertising

jay gee jgj23 at mindspring.com
Fri Jan 17 16:53:37 EST 2003

Lucy Goodman wrote:

>To find out rates on your local public television station contact the
>person in charge of underwriting.
>You can usually post PSA on public radio for free for things like
>farmer's markets, farm tours open houses etc.

Two quick comments about Public TV/Radio advertising.

The underwriting departments of PBS stations have come to
resemble advertising departments since most of the federal
financing was yanked some years back.  There is one major
exception -- the level of competence in advertising -- which
is usually very low.

Instead of hustling grants, stations now try to "sell" sponsorships,
often at very inflated rates.  These rates are very negotiable if
you are seriously interested in putting up money and the station
needs money.

But, buying one announcement tied to one episode is unlikely
to do you any good.  So if prices are out of your league, steer clear.

Secondly, radio advertising is good for announcements, but
has not been successful for food image advertising.
If you are trying to build up a brand name (except for a
farmers market), radio should be avoided.

>I have a question has anyone ever use a public TV funder auction as
>advertising. There are two PBS stations around me both that have
>auctions twice a year. people donate items and I have thought donating a
>CSA share may be good advertising for our CSA at not a lot of cost. 
>So anyone done this and how did it work out?

If you do a lot of other advertising, donating a CSA share for auction
to the local PBS station is likely to have this effect:  You will lose a
paid subscriber for each share you donate.  You may gain some
others if there is plenty of advance billing by the station however.

Increasing CSA awareness and your farm image could be real
results from donating a high value item such as a CSA share.

Or, consider donating two or four "half" shares (first half of season
and second half of season).  This policy gets you more air time
if they are spread over four different nights.  Using half shares is
also unlikely to harm your subscriber base because a current
subscriber cannot guarantee that they get both halves in the

BTW, to answer your original question, business people tell
me that a single donation to a PBS auction does little to promote
good will or business, per se.

Repetition is required, just like with advertising.

Jay Gee
not a farmer - but interested in farming

More information about the Market-farming mailing list