The Importance of Marketing Partnerships: Finding Partners During COVID

By Tanya Simpson

With a career spanning over 25 years in the radio industry, most recently as Brand Partnerships Director for Nova Entertainment, Tanya Simpson is one of Australia’s most experienced radio promotion and marketing professionals. Tanya is now offering her considerable expertise as an independent consultant and BPR is delighted to have her as a contributor to the NUDGE.

If you’re single, online dating has taken on a whole new meaning during COVID lockdown but still a great option to find a partner.  I want to talk about finding partnerships for your radio station.

The event space is a very different world right now thanks to social distancing, venue restrictions and a hesitance by some of the public of going out for anything except food and exercise.  Although sports teams are happy to play to empty stadiums, many venues and arts organisations have no real timeline for when their live events will return.

That doesn’t mean however, that all events are dead and your opportunity for partnership has gone to the grave with them.

It’s (stating the obvious) all about the online world.  Thankfully something that works very well alongside radio listening.

Partnerships are a great way to maximise your marketing budget, reach new audiences and engage with people in their own lockdown world. Their stay at home for work, study, rest and play world.   With many of us living 95% of our life online, partnering with like-minded companies in the digital space should be a part of your strategy.

Here are a few areas you should consider for your partnership mix.


Online Events

When the ‘live events’ world dried up overnight many touring and production companies closed, not sure when they’d be able to open again.  Some are still waiting for that moment.

A few, however, were agile and able to turn their physical events into digital ones thanks to platforms like Zoom, live streaming and webinar hosting services.   These online events still carry audiences relevant to your station with benefits such as association, brand alignment and marketing collateral.  You might not get the usual signage and on-site activations but they can still offer on screen logos, content, opportunities to promote your brand by the host or MC …. and free tickets for you to give away on air or online.

The range of online events is broad too – from concerts (perfectly aligned with your playlist), stage shows, live cooking classes, sporting events and TED talks.  Check out what’s happening in your area and which ones fit your target audience.


Health, Fitness & Wellbeing

If there’s one thing we all need right now, it’s to look after our physical and mental health.  Partnering with a local yoga studio, gym or personal trainer is a great way to show your listeners that you care about their health and wellbeing.  These could be good contacts for the sales team too, driving revenue opportunities.

You might like to give away free online PT sessions, run mindfulness workshops or sessions from physiotherapists.  Many of these practitioners have moved to the digital space with complimentary classes for their clients.   By partnering with them you reach their database, but also provide benefits to your own audience.  Align your partnership with your format.  Easy listening = yoga and meditation.  Rock & Pop = high energy gym classes.


Online Education

With a little bit of extra time on our hands (minus banana bread and sour dough baking), many people have used their lockdown time to gain further skills and education through online learning.  Universities, further education and vocational centres have added digital classrooms to their portfolios.  Websites house hundreds of small courses in areas such as creative writing, painting, cooking, craft and learning to play a musical instrument.   Maybe your talent could run an online class about something they’re passionate about.

A partnership with an educational organisation gets you in front of people who are looking to expand their knowledge and are open to new ideas.   It means they’ll also be open to hearing about your brand and how you can make a difference in their life.  Also, another opportunity for your sales team to bring some new clients on board.


Once you work through your hitlist of the best organisations and online events to partner with, consider ways you can collaborate.  Look at providing music or playlists for them as intros before their events starts (and add your ID to it).  Offer your talent to MC and host the event.  Interview performers or key staff on your shows to get a behind the scenes look at the event.  Ask for tickets to give away and of course, cross promotion on their socials, via EDMs and on their website.

The events and partnerships world is a little different right now but it’s still an effective way to engage your current and potential audience.   Online event partnerships allow you to connect with listeners as they try to find their way in this digital world.


For further ideas on how partnerships can make a difference to your station, contact Tanya Simpson at




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