Promoting Your Event Through Radio: Interview with Dave Karwowski of 101.9FM The Mix, 100.3 Rewind & 97.1 The Drive

You may have created and organized the perfect event but now you need to promote it.  I sat down with Dave Karwowski, Director of Marketing for 101.9 The Mix, 100.3 Rewind and 97.1 The Drive, to discuss what any event planner should know when considering or choosing to promote an event through radio.

The Chicago Event Planner (TCEP): Why should someone consider including radio in an event campaign as a means of promotion?

Dave Karwowski (DK): Firstly we always start with their goals.  What are you looking to accomplish? Who are you trying to reach?  Maybe it’s as simple as buying a schedule.  Perhaps they are looking for naming rights or integrated [marketing].  We had the Flower & Garden Show approach us.  They noticed their audience was similar to our audience and we ended up working together on that event.

TCEP: If someone has an event, how can they include you in it?

DK: It depends. Sometimes it’s as simple as giving away tickets or supporting ticket sales. But sometimes it’s more than that. For example, we work with the Lincoln Park Zoo on their Jammin’ at the Zoo concert series. We are on-site for that event with our street team and on air personalities.  However, we also look to monetize the event in the form of event sponsorship. We always look to bring clients on board to help enhance the consumer experience.  For example, last year we brought the Florida Board of Tourism to the table.  They were looking for a summer event that attracts a few thousand people.  They set up a great display on site and gave away trips to Florida throughout the evening

TCEP: What about PSAs (Public Service Announcement)?  Do you work very much with those?

DK: We are actually very active in the community and air PSAs throughout the day, unlike other stations in the market that may choose to air their public service announcements during less desirable day-parts…if they air them at all.

TCEP: About how many do you run in a month?

DK: Hundreds!

TCEP: How early should someone send you a PSA if they have one?

DK: About 3 months.  We try not to plan things too far out because things can change very quickly and we try to stay relevant with what’s happening.

TCEP:  So if someone sent you a PSA 6 months before an event, is that too early?  

DK: Yes, around 3 months is best.

TCEP: How long will you run a PSA for?

DK: We change them on the 1st and 15th of each month, so 2 weeks.

TCEP: So how active are you in the community?

DK: Our commitment to the community is substantial.  There are people on my team that work strictly on community out-reach. There are events that appear above the line that we support like our annual Radioathon that has generated over 20 Million Dollars over 14 years to benefit Lurie Children’s Hospital.  We host an annual holiday concert that benefits LaRabida Children’s Hospital and a Golf outing in the summer for the Super Jake Foundation.  However, there’s a good deal of our activity and support that takes place below the line that won’t be promoted on air or found in a post on our web site or social media

TCEP: So the key thing that an event planner can take away when considering if their event is relevant to you and your station is?

DK: Will it give the listeners an advantage?  How would listeners benefit from it?

If you are interested in working with Dave & his team at The Mix, Rewind or The Drive (and you should because he’s one of the nicest people you may ever work with), you can email him at

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