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Research on Micro Radio

Pamphets and Practical Guides

The Joint Statement on Micro Radio

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Micro Radio Art Gallery
Cool micro radio art and graphics-hacks from around the web.

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    Rogue Radio Research

    Research and Resources on
    Micro Radio/Low Power FM

    Rogue Radio Revenue:
    Creative Concepts for Funding your Micro Radio Station

    Selling Stuff:
    T-Shirts, Buttons, Bumper Stickers, and Whatnot

    Contact us

    Rogue Radio Research Main Page / Origins and Strategies / Capitalism v. Enterprise / Listener Support: On-air, Canvassing, and Tabling / Staff Funding / Non-profit Status / Concluding Comments
    T-shirts / Micro Radio T-Shirt Links Page / Bumper Stickers and Buttons / Whatnot

    The hell of retail. As yes, selling stuff is one of the most successful ways to raise money for your station, and so American! The biggest problem here is raising the cash to buy the items. Most times, it's a matter of station staff ponying-up for the initial cash outlay. A critical issue is mark-up; how much to charge the public? Remember, its a fund raiser for a good cause. It has been my experience that you look at two factors; the first is how much the item cost you (including making a screen, art, or other set-up costs), and what's the average price on the street for similar stuff. What we did (KRFH-AM Humboldt) was to double our cost. We found that still put us under what a T-shirt cost at the store and allowed us to give away a few shirts as prizes and gifts and to sell to the staff at a few bucks over cost. However, do yourself a favor and do the math before you go giving anything away.

    "A definite winner for us [t-shirts]. One of the DJ's designed and silk-screened them and we made a good profit after expenses were reimbursed. It has to be do-it-yourself to make money. there were progam hosts who were really ambitious and did their own T's with their show on one side and the RFA logo on the other. I guess we netted a few hundred off it."
    -Steve Provizer, Allston Media Alliance, Free Radio Allston

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    The most popular item and great publicity. The best way is to do it yourself or find a friend who can help you out. Buying the shirts and a few materials are your only costs. The art is another matter. If you have to go to a pro it will cost a lot. Better to find an art student or a socially conscious graphic designer to set you up. If you just can't make it happen, shop around for a deal. Prices for silk screening vary considerably. Another important consideration is the number of colors. The more colors, the higher the cost and the harder it is to screen yourself. If your strapped for cash, one color may be the way to go.

    "We have a commercial screen house that prints each shirt for a $1.00 (discounted from their normal charge of $2) and the shirts from a wholesale distributor cost a little under $4. They sell for $12. "
    -Stephen Dunifer, Free Radio Berkeley

    Micro Radio T-Shirt Links Page
    If an effort to help stations fund themselves through T-shirt sales, I have constructed a Micro Radio T-shirt Links Page. On this page are urls of Stations and Low Power Radio Organizations that sell T-shirts. It's a great chance to beef-up your wardrobe and help the cause of free speech. If you want to get your station or organization T-shirt url on this page follow the link for instructions. Participants are encouraged to copy the source code (raw html) and post the page to your own site. This increases every stations visibility.

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    Stickers and Buttons

    "I also wanted to mention buttons and an especially great thing
    -- bumber stickers. A guy who gives a good deal is:
    The Sticker Guy
    PO Box 204
    Reno NV 89504
    702-324-7865, f-702-324-4628
    You do up the art and he prints it out at a good price. People really like bumper stickers, so you can charge up to $5.00.
    -Steve Provizer, Allston Media Alliance, Free Radio Allston

    The Sticker Guy is a great little enterprise and very cool. You can get 250 basic stickers for a little over $20! If they go for a dollar a piece...well you get the idea. Even at 25 or 50 cents a piece you can have a great fund raiser. A wide variety of sizes, styles, shapes, and prices. The great thing about stickers or t-shirts is that the more you print, the less it costs per item.

    I have not heard much about buttons, but I seem to remember a hand operated button machine my school had once. It would seem to me that you could do cool stuff on your computer and print it out to make the art. If you know about this, drop me a line.

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    "We also had one of the collective members, who is a used book dealer, donate us a ton of books for a 2-day used book sale that generated $1,000. (which went towards Black Cat Radio fines.)"
    -Petunia Joan, Free Radio Memphis/Black Cat Radio

    Use the capitalist mantra "buy low and sell high" as a tool to smash the state! The only limit is your imagination and ingenuity. Keep you eyes pealed for opportunity. Friendly business people, family, employers anybody has stuff that can be donated and turned around for a quick sell. Station Garage Sales may work. The danger here is ending up with other peoples junk, so be polite but picky!

    "Books are also a good item to sell. The Open Media Pamphlet series has four titles 'Microradio & Democracy' - $5.95, 'The Progressive Guide to Alternative Media and Activism' - $10.00, 'Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy' - $5.95, and 'Media Control: the Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda' - $5.95. We can get these wholesale for 40% off. And there is the book I co-edited/authored -'Seizing the Airwaves' available wholesale from AK Press (1-888-AKPRESS), retails for $12.95."
    Stephen Dunifer, Free Radio Berkeley

    There are also political and social organizations that produce material that can be purchased for wholesale prices and sold at information tables. This is a way to inform the public about wider social issues. These can be sticky if you station does not have a core political bent that is shared by all members.

    Look Around for Good Ideas
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery so if you see another community group being successful at a fund raiser, copy them! Invoke your own style of course.

    Service Swaps
    Selling things is not the only way to raise money, there is also selling services. Often people who are just getting into cutting hair or doing message need an opportunity to meet people and give out business cards. Stations can help themselves as well as these small business people by doing events where the stations does the promotion and the person does the service. For instance, Message-a-thon's where the station gets the donation and the practitioner gets to collect the clients. Five, ten, and twenty minute messages for $5, $10, or $20. Events like these can be a boon to everyone involved.

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