March 13, 2020

As COVID-19 cases continue to spread, this is the time to check in with your underwriters and strengthen your relationships.

Keep in mind that your underwriting contacts may be extremely busy preparing for the full impact of COVID-19 in your area.

Here are some suggestions when you contact them.

Express your concern about how they are doing. 

Ask how the virus is affecting their business or how they might feel if COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in your area. 

Find out what they are doing to reinforce their relationships with their customers. 

Are they having to cancel performances or events, or is it business as usual for now? 

If they are shortening their hours, or if they have products or services that are critical for their customers to have during this time, ask how they are reaching their customers and prospects with that information. Their responses will give you some idea of how to help them.

Manage digital buyers and agencies

Think of creative ways to serve them in this moment.

Since promotion of events and public gatherings won’t be appropriate for a time, your existing arts and culture underwriters can change event-specific messaging to overall branding messaging, or create a bank of spots for future use.

You could consider adding a page to your website, and promote it on-air, to let listeners know you are a resource of information about your underwriters’ change in business hours, cancellations, or other timely information. That would be a great service to your underwriters and your listeners.

Widen the scope of business categories that have been underwriters. 

Despite being a difficult time, it might be just the right moment to connect with new underwriting categories. Contact health providers such as urgent care centers, assisted living facilities, and doctors’ groups. Your local TV station could underwrite about their newscasts. Maybe your city’s health department can underwrite for the health services they provide.

Listeners will be tuning in to music stations as a respite from what can be an overload of news stories. Be sure to mention your anticipated all-time-high listenership when you approach new and existing underwriters.

Manage digital buyers and agencies